Are coffee drinkers short or do short people drink coffee?

Shelly Sloan is the health promotion coordinator and Ted Winkworth is the alcohol and other drug program coordinator. You can find them at The Lifestyles Center in Walker Health Center. Shelly received her master’s degree in community health education and is a certified in health education specialist. Ted received his master’s degree in counseling and is also a credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselor.

 

Dear Shelly and Ted,

My friend came out to me as gay and told me he has a crush on me. I don’t want to stop being friends, but it kind of freaks me out. What should I do?

Signed,

Lost in Translation

 

Dear Lost in Translation,

I think in situations like this it’s easy for straight people to give more attention to the gay/straight issue than to the real issue they are trying to deal with: You have a friend and he/she wants more than you are willing or able to offer. That being the case, I think it’s best to handle it the same way you would if it were a female. If this is a friend that you want to keep, you just need to be honest and explain flat out that you are not attracted to him or that you just do not find yourself attracted to guys. Most people will respect that boundary. Some people (men and women, gay and straight alike) cannot take that though and will aggressively push a boundary. At that point it’s on you to decide if you want to keep dealing with it or cut that person out of your life. Best of luck!

Ted

 

Dear Shelly and Ted,

I like to drink a lot of coffee. And I have always heard that coffee stunts your growth. Does coffee really stunt growth?

Signed,

Coffee Addict

 

Dear Coffee Addict,

Coffee may be my best friend. It’s the first thing I want in the morning. It makes me sad when 6 o’clock rolls around and I have to stop drinking it. I’m an addict like you. The good news is that being a coffee addict would not cause too many long-term problems for us. Science has not shown any link between caffeine and stunted growth. The bad news is that coffee and anything else with caffeine can really mess up your ability to get good sleep. You may think you are sleeping, but if you have caffeine in your system, your body cannot get into that really deep sleep zone. If that happens you are likely to have growth issues because growth hormones are secreted at night when you are sleeping. Really that’s just the beginning of your troubles. Not getting good sleep interferes with your ability to problem solve, make decisions, learn and generate muscle tissue. That is not to mention that people who get less sleep generally experience more stress. I’d suggest trying to keep coffee in the morning or at least cutting it out five to six hours before bedtime.

Ted

 

Dear Shelly and Ted,

My roommate snores a lot and this is keeping me up at night. What can my roommate do to stop snoring?

Signed,

Can’t Sleep

 

Dear Can’t Sleep,

There are a number of reasons why your roommate is snoring. They can range from sleep apnea to the way that the mouth/throat are shaped/formed. Perhaps your roommate does not know that they are snoring. I suggest that you talk to your roommate about their snoring first and maybe they can visit their doctor at home or the Mary Walker Health Center to pursue it. As far as stopping the snoring, depending on what is causing it, there may be a quick fix (having them change their sleeping position, changing pillows or avoiding alcohol) or it may be a little more complex (such as allergies or weight loss; it won’t happen overnight!). Talk, talk and talk with your roommate. Other good alternatives are earplugs, falling asleep to nature sounds or music to drown out the noise.

Shelly

 

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