Sleep, Exercise & Your Odds for a Long, Healthy Life

Denise Mann wrote . . . . . . . . .

Poor quality sleep can shave years off your life, and these effects may be magnified if you don’t get enough physical activity.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that getting more exercise may help counter some of the health risks known to accompany poor quality sleep, new research shows.

Folks who scored low in both sleep and exercise categories were 57% more likely to die from heart disease, stroke and cancer over more than a decade of follow-up when compared with those who reported getting better sleep and more exercise.

“Physical inactivity seems to amplify the health risks of poor sleep patterns in a synergistic way,” said study co-author Emmanuel Stamatakis.

“The mortality risk from physical inactivity and poor sleep combined is larger than the sum of the separate risks of poor sleep and physical inactivity,” added Stamatakis, a professor of physical activity, lifestyle and population health at the University of Sydney in Australia.

But getting at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week seems to dampen these effects, he said.

The study wasn’t designed to say how, or even if, poor sleep and lack of exercise work together, but researchers do have their theories.

Many sleep problems, such as short sleep or insomnia, cause hormonal and metabolic dysfunction and inflammation, and stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, Stamatakis explained. When the sympathetic nervous system is activated, it triggers the release of stress hormones that can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can raise your risk for heart disease over time.

Physical activity works on the same pathways but in the opposite direction, Stamatakis said. “A possible explanation is that regular activity helps neutralize some of these consequences of poor sleep,” he noted.

For the study, the researchers analyzed information from more than 380,000 middle-aged men and women who took part in the large-scale U.K. Biobank study.

People were given a sleep score of 0 to 5 based on several factors, including whether they typically got seven to eight hours of sleep a night, had insomnia regularly, snored, felt tired during the day, or were a “night owl” or “morning lark.”

The sleep score was combined with a high, medium or low physical activity score, and people were categorized based on different combinations of sleep and exercise scores.

The lower the sleep score, the higher the risks of death from any cause during the 11-year follow-up. Exercise, however, blunted some of these effects.

“For someone who moves very little in general, I would advise them to introduce small amounts of physical activity of about 10-15 minutes per day that can comfortably fit into their daily routine and work towards 25-30 minutes per day over time,” Stamatakis said.

There will be spillover benefits on your sleep, too. “Physical activity improves sleep quality so they will enjoy the direct benefits of physical activity/exercise and may receive some help with their sleep problems,” Stamatakis said.

The study had its share of limitations. Folks only provided information on their sleep and physical activity at one point in time so researchers can’t know whether these habits changed with time.

The findings appear in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

“If you are having trouble sleeping, but still manage to exercise regularly, you are in a better place than someone who is not exercising and having sleep problems,” said Dr. Martha Gulati, editor-in-chief of, the American College of Cardiology’s educational site for patients.

“This is the first study I have seen that looked at how sleep and exercise interact,” said Gulati, who has no ties to the new research. “There appears to be a synergy between the two, but more research is needed to tease out exactly how sleep and exercise work together to affect health.”

If you are not sleeping enough, you may be too tired to exercise, she said. It’s also possible that an underlying medical condition may be affecting your sleep.

Source: HealthDay

In Pictures: Breakfast Toasts

Pfizer and BioNTech Provide Update on Booster Program in Light of the Delta-Variant

Press Release on July 8, 2021 . . . . . . . . .

As part of Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s continued efforts to stay ahead of the virus causing COVID-19 and circulating mutations, the companies are providing an update on their comprehensive booster strategy.

Pfizer and BioNTech have seen encouraging data in the ongoing booster trial of a third dose of the current BNT162b2 vaccine. Initial data from the study demonstrate that a booster dose given 6 months after the second dose has a consistent tolerability profile while eliciting high neutralization titers against the wild type and the Beta variant, which are 5 to 10 times higher than after two primary doses. The companies expect to publish more definitive data soon as well as in a peer-reviewed journal and plan to submit the data to the FDA, EMA and other regulatory authorities in the coming weeks. In addition, data from a recent Nature paper demonstrate that immune sera obtained shortly after dose 2 of the primary two dose series of BNT162b2 have strong neutralization titers against the Delta variant (B.1.617.2 lineage) in laboratory tests.

The companies anticipate that a third dose will boost those antibody titers even higher, similar to how the third dose performs for the Beta variant (B.1.351). Pfizer and BioNTech are conducting preclinical and clinical tests to confirm this hypothesis.

While Pfizer and BioNTech believe a third dose of BNT162b2 has the potential to preserve the highest levels of protective efficacy against all currently known variants including Delta, the companies are remaining vigilant and are developing an updated version of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that targets the full spike protein of the Delta variant. The first batch of the mRNA for the trial has already been manufactured. The Companies anticipate the clinical studies to begin in August, subject to regulatory approvals.

As seen in real world data released from the Israel Ministry of Health, vaccine efficacy in preventing both infection and symptomatic disease has declined six months post-vaccination, although efficacy in preventing serious illnesses remains high. Additionally, during this period the Delta variant is becoming the dominant variant in Israel as well as many other countries. These findings are consistent with an ongoing analysis from the Companies’ Phase 3 study. That is why we have said, and we continue to believe that it is likely, based on the totality of the data we have to date, that a third dose may be needed within 6 to 12 months after full vaccination. While protection against severe disease remained high across the full 6 months, a decline in efficacy against symptomatic disease over time and the continued emergence of variants are expected. Based on the totality of the data they have to date, Pfizer and BioNTech believe that a third dose may be beneficial to maintain the highest levels of protection.


The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID19 Vaccine is authorized for use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for active immunization to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 12 years of age and older.

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Continue to read the Important Safety Information

Crème Fraiche Loaf


Pre-ferment Dough

245 g bread flour
140 g water
7 g fresh yeast
3.5 g sea salt
7 g skimmed milk powder


105 g bread flour
87.5 g water
3.5 g sea salt
3.5 g fresh yeast
34.5 g sugar
70 g crème fraiche


  1. Dissolve the yeast in water first. Add flour, salt and milk powder. Knead until smooth. Cover with cling film. Refrigerate for 17 hours. The dough lasts well in the fridge for 72 hours.
  2. Cut the pre-ferment dough into pieces.
  3. Mix the dough ingredients with the cut-up pre-ferment pieces. Knead until stretchable into a thin film without breaking or sticking to the bowl.
  4. Roll the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let it proof for 30 minutes.
  5. Cut the dough into 3 equal parts. Press out the trapped air. Roll each piece of dough into a long strand. Leave it to rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Roll the dough out into a thin rectangle. Fold both sides toward centre. Roll it flat again until the width of the dough is roughly of the same length as the loaf pan. Roll it up and put into a loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap.
  7. Leave the dough in the pan for 30 to 45 minutes until the dough expands to fill up to 90% of the loaf pan. Optionally, brush egg wash on the dough.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30 to 35 minutes until golden.

Makes 1 loaf.

Source: Devoted to Bread-making

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