Roberto León Barriera's blog

Why do we sleep?

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We don’t often think about the purpose of sleep, yet we always feel better and more energized after a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that we spend about one-third of our lives sleeping. Why is this so? There is no scientific consensus on the specific reason why we need sleep. While the question of exactly why we sleep is difficult to answer, sleep has many benefits. The effects of sleep deprivation can either manifest immediately, such as crashing your car due to excessive tiredness, or can build up with time and lead to chronic conditions. Research shows that sleep deficiency impairs your driving ability as much as being drunk. It is estimated that driver sleepiness is a factor in about 100,000 car accidents a year, and this may cause up to 1,500 deaths a year.

Designer Drugs: A Lethal High

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Designer drugs are substances designed to mimic the effects of an existing drug. Their chemical structure is altered, which prevents them from appearing in standard drug screening tests. The idea behind these drugs is to create a new substance that is not classified as illegal, allowing dealers to sell it without breaking the law. As law enforcement officials get to know these drugs, they are classified as illegal.  Dealers then alter the structure again, repeating the cycle. In the United States, around 200-300 new designer drugs were identified between 2009-2014.  These drugs are often distributed in night clubs, parties, and raves. Aside from their many detrimental effects on the body, these drugs have an added danger and lethality.

How to distinguish between a panic attack and generalized anxiety disorder?

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All of us have felt anxious at some point in our lives. The pressures of life, work, studies and money can temporarily cause us anxiety. However, if anxiety interferes with your daily activities and you feel that it is something you can’t control, it could be more than a simple concern. Generalized anxiety disorder affects about 6.8 million people in the United States and is more common in women. In Puerto Rico, up to 25% of the population suffers from this disorder, according to estimates of the Academy of Psychiatry of Puerto Rico.

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