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 …

Relationship Test: How Close Do You Sleep?

Do you spoon with your honey to fall asleep? Or do you sleep more than an arm’s length away? A new British study finds that a couple’s sleeping position says a lot about their relationship. Researchers who asked more than 1,000 people to describe their preferred sleeping position and rate the quality of their relationship found that the closer together people slept, the happier they were as a couple. “One of the most important differences involved touching,” lead study author …

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 …