This Week in Health: Want to avoid the common cold? Get more sleep
Location of study: U.S.
Study subjects: 164 healthy adults
Results:People who regularly skimp on their sleep might be significantly increasing their odds of catching the common cold, according to new research out of UC San Francisco, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. When compared to those who get at least seven hours of sleep per night, those who catch six hours or less are four times more likely to catch the common cold virus.
Significance: Researchers say that getting insufficient sleep does a number on your physical health. “We also tried to control, or hold constant, all these other factors like people’s age, gender, race, body mass index, socioeconomic indicators, their personality characteristics; even their level of stress, which has previously been shown to predict a cold,” says lead author Aric Prather, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at UCSF. He adds that short sleep duration still won out over all else.
Location of study: U.K.
Results: New research out of University College London suggests that parents who are less controlling are more likely to raise happy kids. “We found that people whose parents showed warmth and responsiveness had higher life satisfaction and better mental wellbeing throughout early, middle and late adulthood,” lead author Dr. Mai Stafford of UCL said in a press release. “By contrast, psychological control was significantly associated with lower life satisfaction and mental wellbeing. Examples of psychological control include not allowing children to make their own decisions, invading their privacy and fostering dependence.”
Significance: Stafford added that while warmth and responsiveness are thought to promote healthy social and emotional development, psychological control is thought to negatively impact independence and behavior regulation. In the context of the study, warmth and responsiveness were linked to parents who made their children feel understood and loved.
Location of study: U.S.
Study subjects: Over 2,000 older adults
Results:Prior to the onset of dementia, most people also experience a decline in awareness of their memory loss. On average, this decline begins about two to three years before the disease sets in. Researchers say that this loss of awareness of memory impairment is an inevitable part of late-life dementia that’s shown in nearly all patients during some point of the disease.
Significance: “So it’s a central part of the syndrome; it’s not a neuropsychiatric symptom that some patients have and others don’t,” says study author Robert S. Wilson, Ph.D. of Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center.“There’s a genuine loss of awareness. This problem is also sometimes referred to as denial of memory problems, and I think we showed that it’s really not an active denial. It’s a loss of awareness.”
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