Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.


Hump Day: Sex on the brain


Every 7 seconds, a guy is thinking about sex.  Have you heard that before?  Well, researchers from the Ohio State University has debunked this myth recently.

In a recent research study that will soon be published in the Journal for Sex Research, OSU researchers learned that men actually think about sex approximately 19 times per day.  And women reportedly thought about sex on average 10 times per day.  Much less than the common belief going around, and likely more on average with most of our average readers, especially given everything else there is to think about at Hopkins. Perhaps this gives guys a bit more credit and shows that women and men aren't that far off from one another.  How often do you think Hopkins students think about sex?  Less? More?

Check out this great video from one of our comments!


Reset Your Internal Clock- A message from a PEEP

Start Fresh, Reset Your Internal Clock

After a long break of sleeping in and not having anything to do, it is often difficult readjusting to the academic schedule. Most of the time this problem lies in a warped internal clock that often makes students very tired at the times that they should be working. A tired mind works less efficiently, therefore to really get the most out of your studying time it is best to be well rested.

The NY Times health blog recently published an article that helps night-crawlers readjust their clocks to become morning people. Perhaps becoming a morning person is not your goal, but either way this article will help you set your internal clock to a time that works best for you. It also has a convenient quiz that helps you understand what kind of sleeper you are and what times of day you are most productive.

Do not underestimate the importance of sleep in your studying habits. A relaxed, rested mind is conducive to a healthier life.

Post submitted by a PEEP- Amelie Nkodo


SEE for Yourself on Monday: Eat WELL!


EAT WELL: Actually, drink well!  Water makes up 60% of the average person's body weight.  Without enough water, dehydration can occur which can lead to an energy lapse, sleepiness, or more severe issues, like fever, rapid heartbeat, etc.  With so much to do, hydration is key to stay on track and keep moving through the day with ease.  Water can be replenished through the variety of foods and beverages we consume  throughout the day.  So take time to eat and drink well during the day to allow your body to quench it's thirst.  Do you find that you are thirsty during the day, but don't have access to something to drink when you need it?  Try carrying a water bottle with you to keep you hydrated all day long.  Don't have one?  No problem- stop by the Breezeway from 1-3pm today for your own SEE water bottle (while supplies last)!

Mythbusting with HKB: MYTH- Using a water pipe to smoke tobacco (otherwise known as a hookah) is safe since the water filters any harmful ingredients from the tobacco.
FACT: The water does not filter the chemicals in the tobacco and can be just as harmful to the lungs and heart as smoking a cigarette.

Want a simple stress reliever?  Drink a glass of water. When your body is dehydrated it stops running properly and stress levels increase. To keep stress levels down, increase the water you consume to be the best version of yourself and tackle the day's challenges.  Want more stress relief? Stop by the MSE library, Q-level, from 8-10pm for a free back-rub from Stressbusters.


Turkey Day


Happy Thanksgiving!
Relax and enjoy!
The CHEW Blog will return on Monday with your SEE for yourself tip and more! 


Hump Day: Love lyrics


Caution: Censored material included in this video- please be advised.

If you're about to get down, what sort of atmosphere is usually in place?  Candles?  Rose pedals?  A string quartet?  Okay, most likely the majority of this isn't actually there.  But, perhaps there is a sweet soundtrack to the moment.  If so, what sort of music would be playing?  Some Al Green, Trey Songz, Mariah Carey, Bon Jovi, Bieber, what?  What's the "get it on" playlist?

Think music isn't important?  Through fMRI research we've learned that music hits the same pleasure center in the brain as food and sex.  While music itself is not directly linked to increased sexual pleasure- it begs the question, if they are both pleasure producing- isn't two better than one?

And don't just tell us go to the Buzz on Spotify facebook page for a chance to win a 12 pack of free condoms from Sir Richards Condoms Company! Chances to enter end Friday, 11/25!



Sleep WELL tip: Maintaining a regular routine in the evening can help your body and mind transition into sleep mode at night. This allows for a more peaceful night of sleep and a more rested mind to function with the next day. Some elements of a sleep routine might include taking a warm shower, brushing one's teeth, setting an alarm for the next day, and taking about 5 minutes to drift to sleep. Others may include a hot cup of herbal tea, listening to music (usually something calming, like Coldplay or your own mix), or some light reading- leaving the deeper-intense thoughts for a better time of day. Do you have a sleep routine? If so, come tell us about it or learn from others on the Breezeway from 1-3 today!

Quit on Monday tip: If a smoker is in the routine of having a cigarette before bed they could actually be doing more harm to their sleep cycle than they realize. Smoking before going to sleep can result in a lighter sleep cycle leaving the person less rested in the morning. Instead of an evening smoke, try a hot cup of herbal tea to increase the chances of a more restful night's sleep. 

Mellow Out Monday tip: Are you a regular at Mellow Out Mondays in the MSE? Is getting a back rub part of your Monday sleep routine? If so, that's awesome! If not, and you're feeling stressed, check out Mellow Out Monday for a 5-7 minute back-rub from Stressbusters as a great way to relieve some immediate stress and tension, allowing you to fall into bed with ease tonight.


Sip Tip: To be caffeinated or not


A 2010 study on caffeine found that people who consume caffeine do so in many different ways.  The intake happens at different rates and for different reasons which ultimately affected the individual's behavior.  Some were considered high soda users and typically had their first caffeinated drink in the evening.  While others who considered themselves mixed caffeine users tended to use a variety of caffeinated beverages and consumed them at different rates throughout the day.  This group was also likely to report using caffeine as a method to get through the day.  They also felt more dependence and energy enhancement from their beverages.

What happens at Hopkins?

If you consume caffeine, do you consider yourself to be a:

  1. low-caffeine user
  2. moderate-caffeine user
  3. high-caffeine user

And what sort of caffeine do you tend to consume?

  1. Caffeinated soda
  2. Energy Drinks
  3. Coffee
  4. Tea
  5. A combination of the above

What effects have you felt from using caffeine? Positive effects? How about any unfortunate side effects or negatives?

We love hearing from you!  Thanks for sharing!


Happy Great American Smoke-Out!


Today we celebrate the people who have made the brave and life-saving decision to transition to a life free of tobacco.Those who quit today for a 24 hour period will need support to keep the healthy lifestyle change moving.  Please take the time to connect with those who are quitting and offer your assistance, whether it's directing them to nicotine replacement medications, checking in on their quit attempt progress, or just offering up words of encouragement (source: Bacchus Network).

Click here to check out the short video from the White House congratulating those making a quit attempt.

If you're in support of creating a smoke-free JHU - Homewood campus be sure to sign HKB's online petition.


Hump Day: Relationship Soup


You know that you can eat your fruits and veggies to be healthier, but what does it take for a relationship to become healthy? Here are some key ingredients for a healthy relationship:

·         Mutual respect. Respect in a relationship means that each person values who the other is and understands — and would never challenge — the other person's boundaries.
·         Trust. Jealous feelings may arise, but what one does with those actions counts the most. Remember you're both in this relationship, right?
·         Honesty. This one goes hand-in-hand with trust because it's tough to trust someone without honesty. 
·         Support. For the good and the bad- a supportive partner is there to cheer you on or cheer you up.
·         Fairness/equality. Have some give and take in a relationship.  Balance and equality help each other feel like each of you are valued the same.
·         Separate identities. Remember you were attracted to each other because of who you are and what you brought to the table- don't lose that.  Remain who you are and keep your own interests while learning about the other person and developing new interests, friends, and hobbies.
·         Good communication. Talk to each other!  If you are concerned about something or want to know what's really going on, just ask.  Open lines of communication do wonders for relationships.

So how do you know if you or a friend are in an unhealthy relationship?  

Does someone in the relationship...
·         get angry when their partner won't drop everything for him/her?
·         criticize the way their partner dresses?
·         threaten their partner?
·         keep their partner from seeing friends or from talking to any other guys or girls?
·         encourage their partner to quit an activity they enjoy? 
·         Ever threaten to hit or strike their partner?
·         Ever force sexual activity that is unwanted?

If you or someone you know has exhibited or experienced these behaviors, consider calling the JHU Counseling Center for further advice or an appointment.  Go online to: http://www.jhu.edu/ccenter/.


SEE For Yourself on Monday - Exercise WELL


So You Think You Can Plank?

Exercise WELL tip: Come show us your plank at the Breezeway today from 1-3 pm. If you hold the longest plank you will win a prize. The plank is a great core strength exercise that improves strength, balance, and endurance. Plus it doesn't require any equipment or much time, making it a convenient form of strength training if you're on a small budget or are traveling.The most common plank is the front plank which is held in a push-up position with the body's weight borne on forearms, elbows, and toes. improving your strength, balance and endurance. The exercise is so-named because, when done properly, you straighten your entire body and maintain it rigidly, just like a plank of wood.

Quit on Monday tip: If weight gain due to smoking cessation is something you fear you can take steps to build your metabolic rate back up in ways that benefit your health rather than destroy it, as smoking does. Strength training is a great way to build muscle mass and slow bone loss while boosting metabolic rate.

Mellow Out Monday tip: If you're busy with school, you may feel like you can't afford spending any extra time exercising. But the truth is, you can't afford not to. Not only will exercise give you more energy to accomplish things and help you relieve stress, it can improve your overall health. Research suggests that physical activity may be linked to lower physiological reactivity toward stress. Simply put, those who get more exercise may become less affected by the stress they face in the future. If that's not a great reason to get more active, I don't know what is! A weekly 5-7 minute back-rub at Mellow Out Monday from Stressbusters is another great way to relieve some immediate stress and tension.


Sip Tip: Assess Yourself


Are you someone that likes to take quizzes online?  Maybe you do it to learn more about yourself- like taking a good long look in the mirror.  Maybe you do it with friends to see how you compare with each other.  Or maybe you just do it as another way to procrastinate from that 10 page paper.  Whatever your reason is we have a self assessment for you. 

The Mayo Clinic developed a self-assessment on alcohol use and is available here for you to assess yourself: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alcohol-use/MH00123

Once you've completed the assessment consider how you answered the questions.  Do you feel that you remembered your drinking behavior accurately?  Sometimes it is tough to remember specific events.  Was this quiz easy, tough, upsetting, or what you anticipated?

This and many other alcohol assessments cannot diagnose anyone with a drinking problem, but it can highlight your drinking habits.  If you would like to talk to someone JHU has many resources on campus, including the Counseling Center, the Student Health and Wellness Center, the Residential Life staff, the Center for Health Education and Wellness, and many others who are interested in supporting and listening to you.  Come talk to us- we're here for you.


Hump Day: Sexiled?


The old "sock on the door" sign... could mean fun for someone, but trouble for another, especially if they are the one that's been "sexiled".   The word "Sexiling" comes from the clever combination of sex and exile.  It's what we've come to call being locked out of your room by your roommate in order to hook up with their boyfriend/girlfriend/partner for the moment.

So what do you do if you're the one being sexiled?

Ideally, you and your roommate can plan ahead if you know this situation is likely to occur.

  • Determine how long this might last. Will it be the whole weekend, during the daytime hours only, one day of the weekend, etc?  This can help you plan an alternative, like visiting friends or family if you want.
  • Agree on how many nights the person should be able to stay overnight.
  • Make the best of your time outside of your room.
    • If it's a nice day out, spend sometime outside.
    • Meet up with friends you don't get to see often.
    • Catch up on the reading for the class you're falling behind in.
    • Take the weekend to visit a friend in a neighboring city (NYC, Philadelphia and DC are both train/bus rides away!)
If it wasn't a situation where planning ahead happened, consider all of your options.  Do you have a place to go for the time it might take- an hour, 20 minutes, overnight?  Consider if the roles were reversed what you would want your roommate to do. The next day, try having a conversation about what happened and how to best prepare in case something like it happens again.

And if you're the sexiler- here are some Do's and Don'ts to enjoy the moment while maintaining a harmonious roommate relationship.

Do: If you think there's a chance that you may be hooking up and needing the room to yourself, talk to your roommate as much in advance as possible.  If given enough time, they can find an alternative place to go and allow you some private time.

Don't: If your roommate leaves the room to go to the bathroom, don't lock the door and avoid answering the door.

Do: Consider how long you will be having a guest in the room.  And respect the overnight guest policy that you and your roommate have discussed.

Don't: Make it more complicated than it needs to be.  If your roommate will be at Tutorial Project on Thursday afternoons and you and your partner have that time open, perhaps you can schedule that time there so everyone wins.

Do: Find a way to communicate with your roommate that some personal time is needed.  Perhaps a key word, or a simple text message that includes an "I owe you one".

Don't: Forget that you also need to attend classes.  While sexiling can have it's benefits- academics are why you are here; don't forget.

Do: Give anf get Respect. Respect the rights of your roommate to the space.  If an agreement cannot be made, try talking to a mediator, like your RA or a friend who can help figure out a compromise.  Or find another place to enjoy a private moment with your partner.

Don't: Forget to clean up the room after. 

Do: Consider how you would feel if your roles were reversed and you were being asked to leave.  Remember, your roommate's grades, sleep, and general well-being may be affected by your actions- so be considerate.

Do: Use your head- use protection.  Keep yourself sexually safe by using a form of protection against STIs and pregnancy.  
Try Our Condom Sense Program for a discount on brand name Condoms!


Guest Bloggers: Understanding Behavior Change Students!

Want a smile with your breakfast?  Head to the FFC tomorrow (November 8th) from 8am-10am!

Want to win a gift card just for eating breakfast? Every 25th person to swipe in to the FFC between the hours 8:00-10:00am on Tues. Nov. 8th will win a gift card to either Donna's, One World, Carma's or Freshies! For more information email jhunutrition@gmail.com.

Power Down at Night to Wake Up Refreshed

We all know the temptations of using gadgets before bedtime.  You might think that watching your favorite sitcom, scrolling through Facebook, and playing a video game or two can help you wind down to sleep. But, studies have shown, that using technologic devices before bed can actually worsen your quality of sleep and can sometimes even lead to insomnia. To ensure you get a good night’s rest, power down your electronics one hour before bed. 

Make sure to check out tabling outside of Levering each Tuesday and Wednesday of November from 12-2 for the Power Down Tuesday to Wake Up Wednesday campaign—turn off electronics at 12 AM on Tuesdays to see how you feel on Wednesday. 

Come to Nolan's Tuesday, 11/8 at 8pm for a reading by "The Shush lady" and Sleep Trivia!

SEE for Yourself on Monday - EAT WELL!

EAT WELL tip: Snacking has gotten a bad rap, thanks to our tendency to choose empty-calorie snack foods like candy or chips to ease between-meal cravings. But when your stomach starts growling hours before your next meal, a healthy snack is actually a good idea, to hold off hunger and keep energy levels high. A healthy snack should have enough calories to be satisfying, but not so many that the snack becomes a meal; less fat and saturated fat than other similar snacks; whole grain and fiber, protein, and/or other nutrients that give them staying power. Trail mixes are easy to make and store well in a sealed container or ziploc bag. Items to include: low-fat granola, whole grain cereals, peanuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and dried fruits like raisins, apricots, apples, pineapple, or cranberries. Stop by the Breezeway today from 1-3 pm to make a healthy snack pack to go!

QUIT on MONDAY tip: Quitting smoking may increase your snacking so instead of choosing unhealthy snack foods try eating healthy snacks, like cut up veggies, fruit, or almonds or pistachios (in limited amounts).


MELLOW OUT MONDAY tip: Often when we are stressed many of us turn to high calorie comfort foods such as ice-cream, cookies, mac n' cheese, and chips. Next time try healthier alternatives such as almonds, blueberries, cottage cheese, or fish that not only contain vitamins and nutrients but some studies have suggested can help relieve stress as well. Stop by the MSE Library, Q-level, from 8-10 pm tonight and get a free back-rub from Stressbusters.


Weekend Sip Tip: We like Big Brains and we cannot lie...


Ever feel like your brain is shrinking?  Probably not, but it could be happening according to a study by Boston University.  If you drink alcohol, the study found that it can actually reduce the size of your brain!  The study was trying to see if moderate amounts of alcohol protected the brain from developing dementia, but found that even moderate alcohol consumption caused brain shrinkage and offered no protection against brain deterioration.

If you think you may drink this weekend, feed your brain first and try to keep it safe.  Try having a meal before you begin drinking or while you are drinking.  Alternate your drinks with water or other non-alcoholic drink.  Spend time talking to friends or venting about that awful exam from earlier this week.  You'll enjoy the night more and keep a bigger brain for next week's big paper.

UPDATE: Due to some feedback, we want to clarify the results of the study for those that did not click on the link.  The BU study found that brain shrinkage did occur in those who chose to drink, with smaller brain volume in heavier drinkers and larger brain volume in abstainers.  

While use of alcohol can effect the brain's functioning, the actual size or volume of one's brain has not been linked to more or less functioning in the brain.  The researchers continue to see if the volume of a person's brain has any implications for functioning.  


Open House


Check out the Student Health & Wellness and Counseling Centers' new digs! They will be hosting an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, to celebrate the opening of their beautiful new facilities. Light refreshments will be served.

Both centers are located on the second floor of the Homewood apartments, 3003 N. Charles St. The Counseling Center entrance is the southernmost entrance to the Homewood apartments (the entrance closest to 30th Street). The Health Center entrance is on 31st Street under the overhang just past Maxie's pizza.


Hump Day: Get Lubed


Have you seen these commercials?  KY Intense, KY Warming Sensation, KY His and Hers, and the list goes on.  There are a number of different lubricants and lubricant manufacturers out there.  They are all trying to do the same thing- help increase sexual pleasure.  Lubricant or "Lube" is a product used to increase sexual pleasure by making sex more comfortable with an added glide.

Most condoms come with some lubrication already applied, but if the sexual act goes beyond 15 minutes more lubrication is likely needed.   If using a lubricant with a condom be sure to use a water-based one to prevent condom breakage which can happen with oil-based ones, such as Vaseline or lotion.  Flavored lubes are also available, but look for sugar-free varieties if it is being used for more than oral sex.  And remember, a few drops goes a long way!