How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Not getting enough sleep has huge effects on our health — from foggy thinking to heart problems to weight gain — but just how much sleep is considered enough? That’s the question the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) tackled with a panel of scientists who reviewed more than 300 sleep-duration studies and came up with new guidelines, including one for people age 65-plus. “This is the first time that any professional organization has developed age-specific recommended sleep durations based on a …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Yes, men are idiots. (Learn more at AARP) 2. Drinking alcohol to fall asleep can have the opposite effect. (Learn more at University of Missouri via Futurity) 3. The myth that eating carrots improves your eyesight stems from a World War II espionage ruse. (Learn more at Washington Post) 4. If you feel younger, you’ll live longer. (Learn more at AARP) 5. Watson, the IBM computer, is becoming a leading expert on post-traumatic stress …

5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick This Winter

It’s that season again. The one with lots of coughing, sneezing, sniffling, aching and carrying around large wads of tissues. So how do you protect yourself from colds and the flu, other than staying home from now through May? Obviously, getting a flu shot should be first on your list. Although no one can predict whether this flu season will be as severe as last year’s, a new study that looked at flu rates among those age 60-plus for the …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Nearly half of people surveyed wrongly believe that their dogs are as smart as 3- to 5-year-old children. (Learn more at Time) 2. A big white rat is the newest star on Broadway. (Learn more at NY Times) >> 12 Foods That Sabotage Your Sleep 3. People do a terrible job of predicting how long they’ll live. (Learn more at Discovery) 4. Sixty-five percent of women say they favor sleep over sex. (Learn more from Today) …

Soothing the Savage Newborn, and Other Grandmother Tricks

As I reimmerse myself in the world of newborns (seven weeks and counting) after three decades off, I’m constantly amazed by the cool new inventions that make baby care so much easier the second time around. How did we boomer parents survive without resealable diaper tabs? Velcro swaddler blankets? Strollers with cup holders? >> 23 Fabulous and Famous Grandmas But the resource I prize above all others, the thing that has truly made a difference in the quality of my …

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 …