11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Ants can eat the equivalent of 60,000 hot dogs a year. (Learn more at Washington Post) 2. You can buy Girl Scout cookies online. (Learn more at Huffington Post) 3. Diabetes can age your memory five years. (Learn more at AARP) >> 2015 Technology Gear Guide 4. Prince Harry has stage fright. (Learn more at Mashable) 5. A senior living in an RV might pack your Amazon gift shipment. (Learn more at Mashable) 6. German bosses are forbidden from interrupting an employee’s …

Rock-a-bye Grandma: The Insomnia Song

If you’re among America’s 40 million “older adults” troubled by insomnia, you probably suffer from depression, memory deprivation, frequent falls, constipation and a tendency to repeat the same old stories over and over again. I haven’t included hearing problems in which you say, “What?” or “Huh?” 200 times a day, because that’s a category all its own. But I will offer the advice that if you’re one of the aforementioned, you need a big dose of Billy Joel. He is not …

Sleep Patterns in Midlife Can Affect Memory Later

Like most Americans, I rarely get the doctor-recommended eight hours of sleep every night. Usually, I get too little sleep. Occasionally, I get too much. So I worried when I saw a new study that found that how much women sleep in middle age can affect their memory later in life. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston evaluated the link between sleep duration and memory in more than 15,000 women age 70 and older who were  stroke and …

Is Curing Insomnia Key to Curing Depression?

A New York Times editorial called it possibly “the most dramatic advance in treating depression in decades.” Psychologist and sleep specialist Michael Breus, writing in the Huffington Post, said it could “dramatically change and broaden treatment for millions of people who suffer the debilitating effects of depression.” The excitement is over a new report that found that treating insomnia along with depression could double a person’s chance of overcoming the mood disorder. Even more surprising, patients’ insomnia was treated not …

5 Beauty Secrets of Good Sleepers

Getting beauty sleep is no fairy tale. Sleep deprivation accelerates aging according to a new study sponsored by Estee Lauder at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Bad sleepers showed more wrinkles, saggier skin and uneven pigmentation than good snoozers. Funny thing. Many women 50 and older say they hardly sleep. We doze on and off between other night activities such as reading, snacking, sex, checking our emails and shopping online. Here are five tricks to outsmarting the …

ER Visits Soar for Older Adults Taking Ambien

The number of emergency room visits by people taking the sleep medication zolpidem (the active ingredient in Ambien and other drugs) more than tripled between 2005 and 2010, with nearly three out of four visits from adults age 45 or older, according to a new federal report. Adverse reactions to the sleep drug that required emergency assistance rose from 6,111 ER visits in 2005 to 19,487 in 2010, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found. In 2010, …