Study subjects: 230 female university students
Results: Being hit with a case of the post-sex blues isn’t as weird as many women might think. New research is shining a light on the mystery known as postcoital dysphoria (PCD). In a recent study, 46 percent of women surveyed had experienced PCD symptoms at some point in their lives. Over 5 percent reported experiencing post-sex blues within a month of the survey.
Significance: “I think the important finding is that there is now robust data indicating that a proportion of women consistently experience some level of dysphoria following sexual intercourse within consensual sexual–and probably loving–relationships,” says lead author Dr. Robert Schweitzer.
Location of study: U.S.
Study subjects: 51 people who washed dishes for six minutes
Results: While household chores are often viewed as a source of stress, researchers from Florida State University say they could be transformed into stress-reducing activities. In a recent study, people who were asked to wash dishes mindfully (a.k.a. paying special attention to sensory experiences like the feel of the water temperature and the scent of the soap) enjoyed decreased nervousness and increased inspiration afterward.
Significance: “My thinking is that approaching any activity intentionally disrupts the mental chatter that we often get caught up in,” says Adam Hanley, first author and doctoral candidate in FSU College of Education’s Counseling/School Psychology. “So instead of using the time at the sink ruminating over things that have gone wrong or planning for the future—which are both stressful activities—taking that time to be present with your sensory experiences and bringing your attention to the moment is kind of like a little vacation from all that mental chatter.”
Study location: U.S.
Study subjects: Over 3,300 youths and young adults
Results: It turns out that your bedtime may have something to do with weight gain. According to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, teens and adults who stay up late have a better chance of packing on the pounds. A recent study revealed that each hour of lost sleep translates to a 2.1-point increase in BMI index. Study subjects experienced this weight gain over a five-year period.
Significance: Researchers say the results highlight the important role that adolescent bedtime may play in future weight gain. More specifically, teens who get to bed earlier might very well be setting themselves up for healthy weight management as adults.
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