For Tuesday, Aug. 8, WGN’s Dina Bair has new medical information, including:

How to improve sleep as a college student

Time management during awake hours may contribute to better sleep, according to a new study.

University of Alabama environmental scientists sought to figure out why college students experience such poor sleep, as lack of sleep can have both mental and physical impacts. 

Researchers found that organization, scheduling and overall time management enhanced sleep health. 

Students who slept better had fewer bouts of anxiety and stress. 

Overweight brain

All brains are not the same. 

Cambridge scientists reveal the hypothalamus, a key region of the brain involved with controlling appetite, is different in the brains of people who are overweight and obese compared to those who are a healthy weight. 

About 2/3 of adults are overweight. 

That number increases the threat of many health problems like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. 

Genetics, hormones and the environment also impact how and what we eat. 

Add to that a unique brain structure that may hamper the brain’s ability to help people regulate eating behaviors by alerting people they feel full. 

Doctors say they are not sure if the structural changes in the brain are a cause of overeating or a consequence since a high-fat diet can lead to inflammation which may alter the brain. 

People with autism see increased risk of suicide

People with autism are more likely to harm themselves and attempt suicide than non-autistic people. 

Experts say the risk is so great, mental health experts urgently need to come up with ways to ease the threat. 

Autistic females have an 83% increased risk of self-harm, according to the Center for Addiction and Mental Health. 

Autistic males have a 47% greater risk for harm and have the highest incidence of suicide death.

Study authors say this is a wake-up call to help those with autism. 

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