New Study Reveals Exactly How Much Sleep Those Middle Aged and Up Should Be Getting

New research claims to have found the ideal amount of sleep for middle-aged adults and senior citizens.

© Weiquan Lin – Getty Images

We’ve been told time and time again that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night, but new research points to the exact amount of quality Z’s that may support our cognitive abilities, ward off early signs of dementia, and even protect our mental health.

The new study published in the journal Nature Aging found that around seven hours of sleep is ideal for middle and older-aged adults.

The research found anything more or less than seven hours was associated with a reduced ability to remember, learn new things, focus, solve problems, and make decisions. Additionally, more or less sleep was linked to experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression and worse overall well-being.

Article by Arielle Weg for prevention©

Source: New Study Reveals Exactly How Much Sleep Those Middle Aged and Up Should Be Getting (

Roku Proves That It’s Not Netflix

The country’s leading operating system for streaming video on TV is still expanding. Roku now has a record 61.3 million active accounts, a sequential increase of more than a million homes, and a welcome contrast to Netflix shedding 200,000 net members through the first three months of this year. 

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Roku’s audience also experienced a 14% increase over the past year. Remember when the most problematic knock on Roku was that folks would be streaming less after COVID-19 vaccines became freely available? A record 20.9 billion hours were spent streaming on Roku in its latest quarter, a 14% increase over the past year that matches its increase in accounts. In short, we’re streaming as much as we were a year ago. 

Then we get to Roku’s ability to monetize its platform. Netflix has had to resort to price hikes to keep average revenue per user rising, but Roku’s platform is a free ad-based model. With services vying for the attention of Roku’s widening audience — and Netflix now proving mortal — you can expect a lot of connected TV ad revenue going Roku’s way. Average revenue per user for Roku has soared 34% over the past year, and that’s stacked on top of the expanding account base. 

Article by Rick Munarriz for The Motley Fool©

What is Roku?

Roku is a collection of streaming devices that offer consumers viewing experiences at a variety of price points with a variety of features. No matter which Roku product you pick, though, you’ll always have access to Roku’s breadth of channels and apps. The Roku product itself is a streaming device that has the functionality for both live TV and on-demand streaming, as well as music streaming and even game play. With a simple internet connection, you have access to everything Roku has to offer. 

Roku Channel List

Roku has an incredibly vast list of channels and apps available for download and use. You’ll find everything from the expected favorites to channels you never even knew existed. Check out some of the best channels available on Roku.

Free TV & Movies

One of the prime places to check for free TV and movies is the Roku Channel. This is essentially a streaming service within a streaming device. Similar to the likes of Hulu and Netflix, the Roku Channel offers a selection of free TV and movies that’s constantly rotating. You’ll find reality TV like The Bachelorette here, as well as Alfred Hitchcock classics. 

Other free TV and movie channels include The CW, Peacock, Crackle, Plex, PBS, Tubi, and Filmrise. They all offer a wide selection of on-demand movies and TV shows that you can watch at your leisure. 

Our Final Take

If you don’t already have a Roku, they’re a great streaming device with a ton of content to offer. Roku offers a channel or app for everyone in the family — from free TV and movies to premium subscriptions — and the fact that you can get a Roku device for as little as $30 makes this one attractive streaming device. Roku’s channel list is practically endless, and you never know what show or movie you’ll stumble across when surfing all the apps.

Source: The Top Streaming Deals This Weekend — Save on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV 4K, and More – TV Guide

Note: I’m new Roku viewer as of about 6 months ago when Netflix wasn’t doing much for me. Fortunately, my Firestick that I use for viewing Netflix, also works for viewing Roku channels. I don’t subscribe so I must watch ads. No prob except the same ads are run. The ads are short enough though. I highly recommend Roku for its variety of offerings. DH

May Writing Prompts Pt. 2

Let’s continue with this month’s writing prompts.

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These prompts provide teachers a great way to add more writing time in class. Some have two suggestions, one for middle school (MS) and one for high school (HS). These can be simple writing assignments, warm-ups, or journal entries. Feel free to use these any way you wish.

May 8 – Theme: National Train Day
High-speed trains can travel fast with some prototypes with speeds over 400 mph. In theory, a high-speed train could race up the East Coast, from NYC to Miami, in seven hours. The same trip would take a car about 18.5 hours. Should Americans invest in high-speed rails for trains or in roads for cars?  Why or why not?
May 9 – Theme: Peter Pan Day
Pretend you were in J.M. Barrie’s story about Peter Pan, a boy who never grows up and remain eternally young. Which part would you most like to see or do: fly, visit with mermaids, fight the pirate Captain Hook, or meet the mischevious fairy Tinkerbell? Explain your answer.

May 10 – Theme: Civil Disobedience.
In 1994, political activist Nelson Mandela was sworn in as South Africa’s 1st Black president. Mandela followed the example of the civil disobedience practices used by Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Consider King’s statement, “Any man who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community on the injustice of the law is at that moment expressing the very highest respect for the law.”
For what injustice would you practice civil disobedience?
May 10: Theme: Postcards
In 1861, the US Post Office authorized the first postcard. Postcards are usually sent from a vacation place or as a greeting card to mark an event, or even just to say “hello”.
Design a postcard and prepare a message.

May 11 – Theme: Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month
Do you have asthma or allergies? If so, what are your triggers? (What makes you have an attack or sneeze, etc.) If not, do you think that schools do enough to help those who have asthma and allergies? Why or why not?
May 12: Theme: National Limerick DayLimericks are poems with the following scheme: five-lines of an anapestic meter (unstressed syllable, unstressed syllable, stressed syllable) with a strict rhyme scheme of AABBA. For example:

“There was an Old Man in a tree,
Who was horribly bored by a Bee;
When they said, ‘Does it buzz?’
He replied, ‘Yes, it does!’
‘It’s a regular brute of a Bee!'”

Try to write a limerick.

May 13 – Theme: Mother’s Day
Write a descriptive paragraph or poem about either your Mother or someone who is a Mother figure to you.
May 13 – Theme: Tulip Day
In the 17th century, tulip bulbs were so prized that traders would mortgage their houses and fields. (provide a picture or bring in real tulips). Describe a tulip or another flower using all five senses.

May 14 – Theme: Lewis and Clark Expedition
William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was able to create a map of the Louisiana Purchase by merely walking through and exploring it. Today Google uses cars with custom cameras over five million miles to develop their Google Maps apps. How do maps figure in your life? How might they figure in your future?
May 15 – Theme: L. F. Baum’s Birthday – Author of the Wizard of Oz books and creator of Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West, the Scarecrow, the Lion, the Tin Man, and the Wizard.
Which character from the world of Oz would you most like to meet? Explain your answer.

May 16 – Theme: National Bar-B-Que Month
The word barbecue comes from the Caribbean word “barbacoa.” Originally, barbacoa was not a way of cooking food, but the name of a wooden structure used by indigenous Taino Indians to smoke their food. Barbeque ranks in the top 20 most popular foods in the USA. What’s your favorite picnic food? Do you like bar-b-que, hamburgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, or something else entirely? What makes it so special?

May 17 – Theme: Kentucky Derby
(MS) This horse race is also called “The Run for the Roses” for the draped blanket of roses placed over the winning horse. This idiom uses a rose, as do many other idioms. Choose one of the following rose idioms, or any other idiom you know, and give an example as to when it could be used:

(HS) Just before the race at the Kentucky Derby, the crowds sing “My Old Kentucky Home.” The revised lyrics of the original song by Stephen Foster changed the word “darkies”, and substituted the word “people.” Crowds now sing:

“The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home
Tis summer, the people are gay…”

Should songs with questionable lyrics from years ago continue to be used for public events? Are there songs that are so inappropriate that they should be dropped entirely?

Source: Writing Prompts for Journal Topics and Writing Ideas (

Note: This year Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8 and The Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 7.

May Writing Prompts Pt. 1

May is often a beautiful month, full of flowers and sunshine. May also celebrates a week for teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. Many of the following writing prompts for each day of May are written to take advantage of this time of year. These prompts provide teachers a great way to add more writing time in class. Some have two suggestions, one for middle school (MS) and one for high school (HS). These can be simple writing assignments, warm-ups, or journal entries. Feel free to use these any way you wish.

May 1  Theme: May Day
(MS) May Day is a traditional celebration of Spring in countries around the globe, often including dancing and flowers around a maypole. However, May Day is rarely celebrated in the United States. Do you think that Americans should celebrate May Day? Why or why not?
(HS) In Chicago 1886, 15 people were killed during the Haymaker Riot strikes held to protest poor working conditions. In sympathy, European nations, many socialist or communist, established May Day to honor the cause of the worker. 

May 2 – Theme: Holocaust Remembrance Day
Some people argue that the Holocaust is too disturbing for students to learn about in middle school or even in high school. Write a persuasive paragraph explaining why it should be included in the curriculum.

May 3 – Theme: National Day of Prayer is usually observed on the first Thursday of May. This day is an inter-denominational event when faiths from across the country pray for the United States and its leaders. The word “pray” was first used in the early 13th century to mean “ask earnestly, beg.” What would you like to “ask earnestly, beg” for in your life?

 May 4 – Theme: Star Wars Day
The date comes from the catchphrase, “May the 4th [force] Be With You.”
What is your opinion about the “Star Wars” film franchise? Do you love it, hate it? Are there reasons to appreciate the series? For example, from 2015 to the present, the film series has made millions of dollars:

  • “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015) over $900 million
  • “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017) over $600 million
  • “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016) over $500 million

May 5 – Theme: Cinco de Mayo
Many people across the United States celebrate the day, but they do not know what Cinco de Mayo commemorates. The day recognizes when Mexican Army‘s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla, in 1862. Should there be more education on knowing this holiday or other international holidays?  

May 6 – Theme: American Bike Month
(MS) 40% of Americans have a bicycle. Do you know how to ride a bike? Do you have a bicycle? What could be the advantages of having a bicycle? What are the disadvantages of riding a bike?
(HS) Urban planners include more bike lanes to reduce car traffic. The benefits of bicycles in cities are the reduction of car emissions and the increase of exercise. Is this planning a good thing? Or, is this planning something cities should do? Could this planning be like the idiom the says something is needed “like a fish needs a bicycle “?

May 7 – Theme: Teacher Appreciation (Week May 7-11)
What qualities do you think a great teacher must have? Explain your answer.
Do you have a favorite teacher from your school experiences? Write a letter of appreciation to that teacher.

Source: Writing Prompts for Journal Topics and Writing Ideas (

Surprising Side Effects of Eating Cauliflower

If you’ve stepped foot in a grocery store any time over the past few years, it’s almost a guarantee that you have encountered some of your favorite foods in cauliflower form. From pizza to rice to even cookies, cauliflower is certainly having a moment.

Thanks to its neutral flavor and its versatility, cauliflower is a natural addition to many favorite recipes. And as an added bonus, the taste is rarely compromised when this cruciferous veggie is included. It has become a solution for those who are trying to reduce their carbohydrate intake, increase their fiber intake, or limit their calories.

Cauliflower scores high points in the nutrition department. Not only is it low in calories and a natural source of important vitamins and minerals like immune-supporting vitamin C and bone-building calcium, but it also contains good-for-you phytochemicals like chlorophyll (yes, the same good stuff that you find in your uber-trendy chlorophyll water).

We already know that cauliflower is a beloved veggie for the weight-loss crowd thanks to its high-fiber, low-calorie nutrition content. But for others, there are some secret effects of eating this popular veggie that everyone should know about before jumping on the cauli bandwagon.

1. You may experience excessive gas.

Like all cruciferous veggies (like broccoli and Brussels sprouts), cauliflower contains the complex sugar raffinose. This sugar is tough for the human body to break down, and in turn, it travels to the large intestine undigested where bacteria ferment it—leading to possible gas and bloat.

2. You may be at a reduced risk of developing certain cancers.

Many people turn to cauliflower as a low-carb and low-cal weight loss-friendly food, but eating this veggie has benefits beyond helping your jeans fit.

Cauliflower contains an antioxidant called indole-3-carbinol. And this antioxidant is linked to a reduced risk of developing reproductive cancers in both men and women (like breast cancer and prostate cancer).

Another component found in cauliflower called sulforaphane has been linked to a reduced risk of developing certain cancers as well.

3. You may experience a reduced effect of your blood-thinning medication.

Most people know that eating foods that naturally contain vitamin K should be monitored when taking blood-thinning medication to avoid unwanted interactions. In some cases, taking in too much vitamin K on an inconsistent schedule can cause the dose of the blood thinner to not work as well, increasing a person’s risk of developing a dangerous blood clot.

While green leafy veggies are notorious for being vitamin K-rich foods, cauliflower contains this blood clot-supporting nutrient too. If you are taking a blood thinner, going cauliflower-crazy can lead to an unsavory effect.

4. You may experience hypothyroidism if you have an iodine deficiency.

Cauliflower contains a slew of phytonutrients that offer some amazing health benefits. However, one such phytonutrient produces a molecule called isothiocyanates, which can interfere with iodine absorption in those with low dietary iodine intake, especially if cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower are eating in large amounts.

However, if there is no iodine deficiency, the risk does not appear to be present. In one study, those who ate 5 ounces of cooked Brussels sprouts (another source of isothiocyanates) every day for four weeks did not result in hypothyroidism.

5. You may feel less hungry.

The darling of cauliflower claims is that it is a great weight-loss food. Since it is a low-carb, low-cal, low-fat, and high-fiber food, it checks almost all of the boxes when it comes to a slim-down food.

Fiber is particularly key to weight loss, as eating it in adequate amounts has been linked to increased satiety—possibly resulting in people eating less over the long run.

6. You may have a strong immune system.

Eating one entire head of cauliflower will supply you with four times the recommended amount of vitamin C. And since this nutrient is linked to immune support, enjoying some riced cauliflower in your citrus smoothie may give you that extra boost that your body needs during cold and flu season.

Article by Lauren Manaker for Eat This, Not That©

Source: Surprising Side Effects of Eating Cauliflower (