How to Handle Your Kid’s Depression or Anxiety

We’ve all received that phone call, email or text from our young adult child who’s lamenting some crisis or another. Often our response is, “This too shall pass.” But what happens when one bad day slips into another and another? Americans are reporting more symptoms of depression, such as trouble sleeping and concentrating, than people typically did in the 1980s, according to a new study. The results were especially striking among young people. Compared to three decades ago, college students are …

Fights on Flights

Blanche DuBois may have always depended on the kindness of strangers, but it’s not an option on most airplanes these days. Manners at 30,000 feet are deteriorating, and strangers are starting mid-flight dustups over each others’ seats. You say you paid for a seat that reclines so why can’t you use what you paid for? Well, because it’s not that simple anymore. First of all, it’s not your imagination: The airlines have shrunk the seat you’re sitting in as well …

Wake Up and Go to Sleep

I have just returned from an all-night study of my sleep habits that should have been called an all-night study of my awake habits, because all during the study there’s no getting any sleep. You lie there as tense as death, hooked up to 17 electrodes that in turn are hooked up to electronic devices that study exactly how your body and your inner organs are doing while you are struggling to go to sleep, a struggle that keeps you …

Windows Help Workers Improve Their Health

Windows – and the light they let in – make us healthier. That’s the basic finding of two new studies, including one that found that employees who worked near windows during the day slept longer at night, got more exercise and had better quality of life than their colleagues toiling away in rooms without windows. A second study found that nurses whose workstations had natural light had lower blood pressure, communicated more with their colleagues, laughed more and were in …

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 …