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Excess weight might be the culprit behind sleep deprivation. Outsmart insomnia by eating healthy and losing weight. Watch this to learn more.
Transcript: Two in three Americans regularly have trouble sleeping! But forget counting sheep-you can combat insomnia...
Two in three Americans regularly have trouble sleeping! But forget counting sheep-you can combat insomnia with these simple diet and exercise tips. Diet and nutrition can play a vital role in helping you get a good night's sleep. But before you can put these tools to work for you, it helps to know what might be causing your insomnia. A. Insomnia is a general word that describes difficulty sleeping. B. This umbrella term includes people who have a hard time falling asleep, those who wake up periodically during the night, C. and people who awaken earlier than they would like to in the morning. Most people experience insomnia at some point, but when it persists for over a month, it is known as chronic insomnia, and considered slightly more serious. The foods you eat can help with insomnia. In the evening, try consuming foods that are high in tryptophan, a chemical that encourages sleep. Great sources include bananas, figs, grapefruit, dates, tuna, turkey, yogurt and milk. Another great aid for insomniacs is consuming the hormone melatonin, a natural sleep-enhancer. Melatonin is found in foods like oats, bananas and rice. It is also available in a supplement form. It is important to avoid stimulants like caffeine and cigarettes during the three hours before bedtime. A. Insomnias should also bypass alcohol before bed. Although spirits are technically classified as depressants, B. they can interfere with deep, restful REM sleep later in the night. A. People who have a hard time falling asleep may want to consider cutting back B. on foods like chocolate, sugar, C. cheese and potatoes. D. These neuro-stimulants contain tyrosine, which increases alertness. There are also some simple exercises which may be able to help you sleep. Because the leg muscles are the largest, they store more tension than any other body part. Doing leg stretches before bed can release tension, allowing for sounder sleep. Using a wall for support, raise your right leg behind you and grab your foot with your left hand. Pull your heel up toward your buttocks, stretching the muscles in the front of your leg for 20 seconds. Repeat with your left leg. Sleep apnea, which affects 18 million Americans, is a disorder that causes people to stop breathing for up to 30 seconds at a time while they are asleep. These disruptions leave sufferers much less alert during their waking hours - so much so that they are 7 times as likely to get into a car accident as people without the disorder. Losing weight can significantly decrease the occurrences of the condition, but there are some specific things to keep in mind when you are trying to slim down for this reason. A. Make sure your diet incorporates foods that fit into your weight loss program and increase your general energy levels, B. like apples with peanut butter or carrots and hummus. Tossing and turning can often be a thing of the past with smart diet and exercise choices. However, if you have prolonged difficulty sleeping, please see your physician.More »
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A good night’s sleep rejuvenates the mind and body. But there's more to Understanding sleep, including crucial cycles such as REM. Watch this to learn more.
Transcript: You spend a third of your life sleeping-or at least you should! So what goes on while you're snuggling...
You spend a third of your life sleeping-or at least you should! So what goes on while you're snuggling under the covers? Most of us think of sleep as "dead time," yet it's actually an active state during which the brain and body regenerate. For this reason, a good night's sleep is essential to a good day's productivity. During sleep, the body repeatedly cycles through four stages of non rapid-eye movement sleep, or NREM, and one stage of rapid-eye movement sleep, or REM. Each of the four stages of NREM sleep can last from 5 to 15 minutes. During Stage 1 of NREM sleep, you can be awakened very easily, and, if you are, you may feel like you haven't slept at all. During this first NREM stage, many people experience a feeling of falling, which can cause a sudden muscle contraction, known as hypnic myoclonia. Often, hypnic myoclonia will cause an abrupt awakening. When the body enters Stage 2 of NREM sleep, the heart rate slows and body temperature drops. Muscles tighten and then relax again as you prepare to enter deep sleep. Stages 3 and 4 of NREM sleep are also known as slow-wave, or delta sleep, although Stage 4 is more intense. If aroused during these stages, you may feel briefly disoriented before awakening fully. During the delta sleep stages of NREM, the body repairs and regenerates energy, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system. After the body cycles through its first four stages of NREM sleep (generally 90 minutes after sleep onset), it enters its first course of REM sleep. The first period of REM lasts for about 10 minutes. Then, you begin the cycle again, passing through the 4 stages of NREM before re-entering REM sleep. Each subsequent stage of REM lengthens until the last segment, which may last up to an hour. During REM sleep, the eyes move rapidly in different directions, hence the term "rapid-eye movement." Heart rate and respiration also speed up and become erratic. Dreaming only occurs during REM, as a result of the heightened brain activity in this stage. Paradoxically, during this time your muscles are paralyzed. To be properly restored and regenerated, the body must repeatedly cycle through all of these sleep stages, usually for about 7 to 8 hours a night in adults. If you have trouble falling asleep, or can't sleep through the night, if you wake up too early, or if you are tired during the day, you may have a sleep disorder. Common sleep disorders include standard insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, nightmares and sleepwalking. Because the body needs sleep to properly restore and repair itself, it's vital to get your uninterrupted eight hours. If you're not sleeping as you should, please see your doctor. Always remember to remove yourMore »
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Approximately 70 million Americans suffer from common sleep disorders. Find out what factors may lead to sleep disorders.
Transcript: Can't sleep? You're not alone! At least one in four Americans spends time tossing and turning on a regular...
Can't sleep? You're not alone! At least one in four Americans spends time tossing and turning on a regular basis. Insomnia is certainly not rare. In fact, there are upwards of 85 recognized sleep disorders affecting more than 70 million Americans! Let's look at some common sleep-zappers. The most basic sleep disorder is called insomnia. People with insomnia just don't get enough sleep at night, either due to difficulty falling asleep, frequent nightly awakenings or early morning rising. Insomnia can be acute, meaning that it lasts for less than a month, or chronic, lasting for a month or longer. Acute insomnia can result from periods of stress, illness or physical discomfort. Some medications can cause temporary insomnia, as can environmental factors, like a new location, bright light or excess noise. Chronic insomnia, meanwhile, is more often related to depression, anxiety or unremitting stress. Another common sleep difficulty, a circadian rhythm disorder, results from disruptions to the body's internal clock, or 24-hour sleep cycle. This "clock" is actually a small part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus, which rests above the nerves leaving the back of the eyes. Common causes of circadian rhythm disorders include jet lag and working odd hours. That's because unusual exposure to light and exercise can effectively "reset" the body's clock, moving it forward or backward and making sleep difficult. Snoring is present in up to 45 percent of Americans, and can present problems when the noise is so loud that it awakens the sleeper. This rattling sound is produced when the air you inhale passes over the throat's relaxed tissue. Sometimes, snoring can point to a more serious problem known as sleep apnea, which occurs when the upper airway becomes blocked, interrupting breathing for brief periods during the night. People with sleep apnea are often overweight, or may have particularly small inner throats. In addition, sleep apnea often occurs in people with enlarged tonsils. Restless leg syndrome is a condition where a person experiences severe discomfort in their legs and feet, which can often only be eased by walking around. Because this syndrom peaks during the night, it can cause hours of sleep lost to restless pacing. Sometimes, restless leg sufferers experience erratic leg movements during sleep, which can disturb the body's sleep cycles. Sleepwalking is a disorder that occurs during non-REM sleep. Sleepwalkers can perform any range of activities while they aren't awake, such as turning on the TV or making a sandwich, yet they will often not remember the nocturnal events the next day. Another sleep stealer is narcolepsy, a brain disorder that causes daytime sleepiness. People with narcolepsy experience constant tiredness during the day and often find long naps refreshing. On rare occasions, narcolepsy can result in brief "sleep attacks" where sufferers fall asleep in the middle of the day while going about their normal business. Restorative sleep is vitally important, so if you are experiencing signs of a sleep disorder, please see your doctor to discuss treatment options.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-13 | Tags »
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Lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems, even if you feel fine for now. Take a look at this video to learn about the consequences of insomnia.
Transcript: At least one in three Americans doesn't get enough sleep on a regular basis, but sleep deprivation comes...
At least one in three Americans doesn't get enough sleep on a regular basis, but sleep deprivation comes with a heavy price tag! No matter how well you may think you are adapting to limited sleep, the truth is that a short-sleep schedule will impact your day-to-day functioning and impair your long-term health. So how much sleep is enough? In a standard 24-hour period, infants require 16 hours of sleep, children tend to need 10, teenagers should get 9, and most adults need 7 to 8. Pregnant women, particularly those in the first trimester, may require up to 11 hours of sleep. But doctors agree that the bottom line is, if you feel drowsy during the day, you haven't had enough sleep during the night. In the short term, sleep deprivation can lead to decreased performance and alertness during daily activities. Reducing sleep by just one and a half hours can lead to a 30 percent reduction in alertness. In fact, over 100,000 car crashes and 7,000 accident deaths each year are attributed to drowsy driving. If you're not getting enough sleep, your cognitive functioning, and your memory in particular, suffers a blow. This can make it difficult to think and process new information on the job or at school, and can double the risk that you will suffer an occupational injury. Sleep loss can also lead to a host of serious physical maladies over the long-term, including an increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. In addition, because the body repairs and strengthens its immune system during non-REM sleep, people who don't sleep well are at an increased risk of catching a cold or the flu. There is some evidence that not sleeping well is a factor in obesity. Whether this is true or not, it is certainly a fact that sleeping well is as important to your health as eating right and exercising! Recurrent insomnia can also lead to severe depression. Conversely, people who are depressed often have trouble sleeping, resulting in a vicious cycle. Romantic relationships can be negatively affected by poor sleeping habits, as well. Not only do restless sleepers disrupt the sleep of their partners, they are often irritable and moody during the day-hardly a recipe for romance! Clearly, not sleeping enough during your nighttime hours can have big consequences for your daytime ones! Because a host of factors can contribute to sleep loss, talk to your doctor about what may be contributing to your insomnia.More »
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Did you know millions of people worldwide suffer from sleep disorders? Fortunately, many can be treated with behavioral therapy and medication. Check out this video to see how.
Transcript: In the United States alone, 70 million people suffer from sleep disorders. So how do doctors treat all...
In the United States alone, 70 million people suffer from sleep disorders. So how do doctors treat all these individuals? The treatment of sleep disorders can be divided into two basic categories: Behavioral therapy and medication. A successful plan may incorporate elements of both. Sleep-aid medications are often a short-term option for treating insomnia. They tend to provide quick relief from wakefulness, but can also result in addiction, and may have decreased effectiveness over time. Benzodiazepine hypnotics are one class of prescription drugs that are commonly used to treat insomnia. These drugs include temazepam, which is sold under the brand name Restoril, and flurazepam, also known as awake. Here's how benzodiazepines work: GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter found in the brain. When these medications enter the brain, they bind to a receptor on GABA, creating a sedative effect which induces sleep. These medications tend to have long-lasting action and are the most beneficial to those who frequently awaken during the night. Another group of medications, the non-benzodiazepine hypnotics, are chemically different than benzodiazepines but have a similar method of action....they also work by binding to a sleep-inducing receptor on GABA. Non-benzodiazepines include eszopiclone, which is commonly known as Lunesta, and zolpidem, which is sold under the name Ambien. These quick-acting, but short-lasting, medications are the most effective for people who have trouble initially falling asleep at night. Certain antidepressant medications are used to encourage sleep when chronic depression leads to insomnia. Examples include trazodone, or Desyrel and nortiptyline, or Pamelor. As with all prescription medications, sleep aids can be addictive and should only be used under the direct consultation of a doctor. People with circadian rhythm disruptions, like those who work odd hours or suffer from jet lag, may benefit from over-the-counter melatonin supplements. Melatonin is a hormone which is naturally released by the brain's pineal gland. This hormone influences the circadian rhythm cycle, or the body's natural sleep/wake patterns. During the day, levels are low, while darkness causes an increase in melatonin. While medications can be a great option for short-term insomnia, behavioral therapy is often necessary to make the habit changes that will lead to a lifetime of restorative sleep. Sleep hygiene measures are simple actions you can take to correct factors that stop you from getting sleep. Common examples include maintaining a regular sleep schedule seven days a week and only using the bed for sleeping and sex. People who lie in bed with their minds racing may benefit from relaxation therapy, which entails practices like progressive muscle relaxation and meditative breathing. If you suffer from a sleep disorder, your doctor will probably combine behavioral therapy with medication to treat the problem. These therapies all have high success rates, so the odds are good that you'll be sleeping soundly in no time!More »
Last Modified: 2013-09-27 | Tags »
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Good sleep is critical, and not sleeping well can be a major health challenge. Learn some tips for how to prevent insomnia and rest better. Watch this video for more.
Transcript: Whether you live to sleep or sleep to live, time spent between the sheets is vital to a healthy you....
Whether you live to sleep or sleep to live, time spent between the sheets is vital to a healthy you. Here are some tips on ensuring you get the sleep you need. During sleep, our bodies and minds relax and repair, so that we can be at our best during the day. Sleep hygiene is a set of guidelines that are critically important to getting that restorative sleep. Good sleep hygiene requires attention to three basic components: circadian rhythms, which are 24-hour sleep/wake cycles, psychological stressors and recreational or social awakes. Circadian rhythms refer to the body's internal clock. This "clock" is actually a small part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. Changes in light or the timing of exercise can "reset" the clock, moving it forward or backward and making sleep difficult. For this reason, it's useful to avoid exercise and bright lights in the hours leading up to bed. Because the suprachiasmatic nucleus does work like a clock, it also helps to maintain a regular sleep schedule 7-days a week-that means avoiding late-night Saturdays or lazy Sunday mornings! Similarly, it is important not to nap during the day, as this confuses the body's clock even further. Psychological stressors are stess-inducing factors that can prevent you from getting to sleep or sleeping well. These include marital conflict, work deadlines and money worries, among others. To stop psychological stressors from sapping your sleep, it can help to have a "pre-bed" ritual in place. This can involve taking a hot bath, enjoying light (non-work related) reading, or writing down daily stressors in a journal. Just ensure that your bedtime ritual does not take place in the bed: A spot that should be reserved for sleep and sex only. This is so you do not associate the bed with distracting emotions and activities that can make sleeping difficult. Another important component of sleep hygiene is to avoid awakes like caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bed. Nicotine and caffeine are both stimulants that will keep you up for hours. Although alcohol is a depressant and may help you fall asleep at first, the metabolism that clears it from your body while you sleep results in withdrawal symptoms, which can cause nightmares and sweats. A few tweaks to your sleeping area can also help you get the rest you need. If you have a pet, don't let it under the covers! You and Buster will both sleep better if he's on the floor. Avoid extremes in temperature and noise in your bedroom. The best temperature is 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, distracting noise can be drowned out with earplugs, soft music, or a white noise machine. Attaining the restorative sleep your body needs can be as easy as following these sleep hygiene tips. However, talk to your doctor if you're experiencing chronic insomnia or feelings of daytime lethargy.More »
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To make sure you stay fresh and alert during the day, it is important to get a good night’s sleep. Learn how to train yourself to sleep deep by viewing this video.
Transcript: Taking a nap in the middle of the day: A great plan in kindergarten. Not so great in a professional environment....
Taking a nap in the middle of the day: A great plan in kindergarten. Not so great in a professional environment. If you're tired in the middle of your workday, you're probably not sleeping enough at night. But you can train your body for deeper sleep. Start your sleep training by restricting yourself to only five or six hours a night, forbidding yourself to sleep more even if you are tired. That means, if the alarm is set for 7AM, don't even think about hitting the hay before 2AM! This may sound counter-intuitive, but it will actually teach your body that bed is for sleeping, not tossing and turning. Once you're sleeping the full time allotted, increase the amount of time you sleep by 15 minute intervals. Follow this routine for a few weeks, and you'll quickly begin sleeping a healthy amount at night-so you can actually stay awake during the day!More »
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Do you have a long day ahead of you and want to get a good night’s sleep? If the answer is yes then try to relax progressively to sleep deep. Click here to find out how.
Transcript: Sleeping is good. Sleeping at work is bad. Here's how to get zzs tonight so you're awake tomorrow! Progressive...
Sleeping is good. Sleeping at work is bad. Here's how to get zzs tonight so you're awake tomorrow! Progressive muscle relaxation is a tried and true technique for easing into a restful night's sleep. Warning: Don't try this in the office! Lie down on your back with your arms slightly away from your body and your palms facing up. Focus on your feet and ankles, noticing if they are painful or tense. Tighten the muscles briefly to feel the sensation. Then, let the feet sink into the bed. Feel them getting heavy, allowing them to float away from consciousness. Very slowly move your attention upward through different parts of your body. Relax your calves, thighs, lower back, hips, and pelvis. Move to the middle back, abdomen, upper back, shoulders, arms, and hands. Finish with your neck, jaw, tongue, and scalp. Once you reach your head, relax any spots that are still tense. Breathe gently as you drift off to the dreams of a productive tomorrow!More »
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Not getting a good night's sleep can really affect your productivity at work. Watch this video to learn about wacky ways to sleep in hopes of keeping your career wide awake.
Transcript: What do socks and salt have in common? They could both put you to sleep! Lack of sleep is a leading cause...
What do socks and salt have in common? They could both put you to sleep! Lack of sleep is a leading cause of lost workplace productivity. Protect your career with these not so obvious tips! First, increase blood flow to your feet by putting on a pair of thick socks. When you lie down to sleep, the body encourages rest by redistributing heat to its extremities. Insomniacs often experience poor blood flow, and, consequently, poor sleep. Wearing socks regulates your temperature for evening, persuading you to sleep deep. And if socks don't work, try salt! Drink half a glass of water, then put a pinch of salt on your tongue and let it dissolve. The combination actually alters the electrical charge of the brain to sleep mode.Now go to sleep already-just don't forget to set the alarm!More »
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Despite the flexibility to snooze at will, many students suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders. If you're having problems sleeping in college, you're definitely not without treatment options. Here, the 411 on fighting the tired bug
Transcript: Having trouble sleeping regularly? So are most of your peers-77% of them, according to the National Sleep...
Having trouble sleeping regularly? So are most of your peers-77% of them, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Insomnia is a serious issue amongst young people. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation found that college students are the demographic most affected by insomnia. This broad-based term simply means the inability to fall asleep, or to remain asleep, for an adequate length of time. Put most of the blame on the varying sleep schedules you keep on the weekends versus the weeknights. Technically, your body sleeps best when you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, which is why college insomnia is worst on Sunday, the "catch-up" night. For the same reason, Wednesday night tends to be the best night for sound sleep across campus. School and socials stressors also take some of the blame for college insomnia, since most students have trouble separating sleep time from worry time. Whatever the reason, a repeat lack of sleep does nothing to bolster your everyday performance and mood, and can wear down your immune system. College insomniacs in the NSF study reported feeling generally irritable, angry, and foggy as they went about their days. They also experienced poor performance in class, a weakened sex drive, and/or an increase in colds, flu, and mono. As such, it's little wonder that many college insomniacs also deal with a depression or anxiety disorder. The good news is that even though insomnia is prevalent on campus, there are treatments that can help. So make an appointment at your campus health center to discuss ways you can start sleeping soundly.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-14 | Tags »
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Whether you're staying awake for studying or something a bit more exciting, you probably drink more than your fair share of caffeine packed energy drinks and coffee. Here, learn about the pros and cons of staying-awake aids.
Transcript: If you're pulling an all-nighter, you'll probably need some help. Here, the good, the bad, and the ugly...
If you're pulling an all-nighter, you'll probably need some help. Here, the good, the bad, and the ugly of the stay-awake aids. The most common sleep fighting agent amongst college students is caffeine, which is the stimulating ingredient in coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Though some use ephedrine, the active ingredient found in over-the-counter allergy and cold medication, like Sudafed or Mucinex.According to the National Coffee Association, college students are now drinking more caffeine than ever-about 3.2 cups each daily, up from 2.1 in 2005. Meanwhile, some students prefer to get their caffeine rush faster, in the form of over-the-counter pills like NoDoze and Vivarin. Most of these tablets contain about 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is comparable to two cups of coffee. Both caffeine pills and direct caffeine intake are fairly harmless ways to stay awake, according to the FDA. Remember though, that caffeine may make you jittery and distracted, side effects that can defeat the purpose of staying awake to study in the first place. Additionally, caffeine can be addictive, so you can suffer headaches and other withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it. While caffeine is generally safe, some energy drinks, like Wired, contain as much as 500 milligrams of the stimulant. That's the equivalent of five cups of coffee in one fell swoop, a dose that may make doing schoolwork more difficult. Still, if you're sticking with caffeine, you're better off than the 14% of your peers who rely on prescription ADHD medication, like Adderall or Ritalin, to stay awake, according to a 2004 University of Wisconsin study.* These stimulating drugs are often used illegally by college students to increase concentration and ward off sleep. While ADHD meds may work in the short-term, if used incorrectly, they can sometimes come with some dangerous side effects, including fainting and seizures. Plus, drugs like Ritalin are addictive, and users may start to desire them even when all-nighters aren't necessary. But no matter your stay-awake aid, you're probably better off letting yourself actually sleep, says a recent study at Saint Lawrence University. There, researchers found that students who avoided staying up all night had better GPAs than those who relied on not sleeping pre-exam. So think ahead, and plan your schedule so that you can crawl under the covers and get yourself some much deserved rest when you're in crunch time!More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-14 | Tags »
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Xanax is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. Watch this video to get details on Xanax uses and Xanax side effects.
Transcript: Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a drug used to treat anxiety disorders, which was approved by...
Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a drug used to treat anxiety disorders, which was approved by the FDA in 1969. Alprazolam is a prescription medication which is available both as a generic drug and under the brand name Xanax. Alprazolam is a short-acting drug in a class of sedatives known as benzodiazepines. Here's how alprazolam works: GABA is a neurotransmitter found in the brain. When the brain becomes over-excited, GABA acts to inhibit this excitement. When alprazolam enters the brain, it binds to a receptor on GABA. This creates a powerful inhibitory effect, causing sedation and reducing anxiety. Alprazolam is most commonly used to treat anxiety disorders and can also be effective for people prone to panic attacks. Alprazolam is available in pill form in dosages ranging from point two-five to two milligrams. A long-acting formula, Xanax XR, is also available.Because alprazolam can be habit forming, never take extra doses. If you stop taking alprazolam, do so gradually to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Some commonly reported side effects of alprazolam include drowsiness, dizziness and confusion, but be sure to ask your doctor for a complete list.And tell your physician immediately if you experience slurred speech, trouble walking, yellowing skin or any other significant changes. Alprazolam should not be taken in conjunction with Diflucan or Rescriptor and is not recommended for pregnant women or the elderly. Ask your doctor for a full list of medications and conditions that shouldn't be combined with alprazolam. Because of its short-acting nature, alprazolam can be very effective in treating sudden panic attacks and panic disorders. However, it should always be used under the direct care of a physician. Please ask for and review all of the patient information provided by your doctor before taking this medication. "The information in this video is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise of your physician. Always consult your doctor before using this drug."More »
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