Intelligent people are more likely to trust others, according to a new analysis of US public opinion poll data. This may be because more intelligent people are better judges of character.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, analysed data from the ‘General Social Survey’, which asks a nationally representative sample of Americans about their attitudes and characteristics (Carl & Billari, 2014).
The researchers focused on the idea of generalised trust: not trust of close friends and family, but of other unknown members of society.
People were asked: “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people?”
They found that people who were more trusting were also happier and had higher levels of physical health…
Previous research has found that people who are more trusting are:
Do you feel tired and lethargic as the cloudy days pile on and on during these cold winter months? Do you find it difficult to get going in the morning? Does your motivation, energy, and enthusiasm wane during the winter months?
Here are a few tips to help you live life to the fullest despite those cloudy days.
1. Stay physically active. Bundle up and take long walks during the daylight hours and get regular exercise. Get on your stationary bike as soon as the alarm goes off. This will also help improve your productivity in the morning.
Photo Credit: Debbie Schiel.
2. Stay socially active. Call and keep in touch with your friends who are far away. Get together with your local friends for a drink or two. Argue with them, play with them, or even fight with them!
Photo Credit: Andrew C.
3. Look at the light. Consider light therapy using a special lamp with a very bright fluorescent light (10,000 lux) that mimics light from the sun may also be helpful.
Follow your doctor’s instructions about how to use light therapy. A common practice is to sit a couple of feet away from the light box for about 30 minutes every day. This is usually done in the early morning, to mimic sunrise.
Keep your eyes open, but do not look straight into the light source.
Photo Credit: Michael & Christa Richert.
Symptoms of depression should improve within 3 – 4 weeks if light therapy is going to help.
People who take drugs that make them more sensitive to light, such as certain psoriasis drugs, antibiotics, or antipsychotics, should avoid light therapy.
A check-up with your eye doctor is recommended before starting treatment. Not sure which light box to buy? Here is a very helpful article from the Mayo Clinic.
4. Follow sleep hygiene instructions religiously. You can read my blog, 11 Tips for Deeper Sleep, to see the list of good sleep habits that we should be following all the time.
Photo Credit: Belovodchenko Anton.
What are the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder?
Symptoms are usually the same as with depression. They usually start in the late autumn and then build up slowly during the winter months:
Increased appetite with weight gain (weight loss is more common with other forms of depression)
Increased sleep and daytime sleepiness (too little sleep is more common with other forms of depression)
Less energy and ability to concentrate in the afternoon
Loss of interest in work or other activities
Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
Unhappiness and irritability
There is no real test for SAD. Your health care provider can make a diagnosis by asking about your history of symptoms.
The health care provider may also perform a physical exam and blood tests to rule out other disorders that are similar to SAD. Consult your physician to make sure you do not have thyroid disorder, sleep apnea, or other medical disorder causing some of these symptoms.
If you are interested in participating in clinical trials, please click here to get more information about National Institute of Health’s SAD trials.
It is absolutely important that you get treated for SAD, even if it is mild. Untreated SAD can rob you of your motivation, productivity, creativity, leadership, and life itself.
If you follow above tips, then you can turn SAD on its head, and have a blast despite these cold and cloudy days!
“In this month’s SLEEP journal, Blyton and colleagues report a series of three small studies of fetal activity in women with and without preeclampsia. They found objective evidence of reduced fetal movements in women with preeclampsia, many of whom had sleep disordered breathing (SDB), and improvement in fetal movements following intervention with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
… it raises the possibility that a simple, noninvasive therapy for SDB may improve fetal well-being.
These findings are clinically important and very timely.
There has been a marked rise in publications in recent years showing that the frequency of SDB is increased during pregnancy and is independently associated with gestational hypertension and preeclampsia. In addition, a large proportion of pregnant women with gestational hypertension and preeclampsia appear to have unrecognized SDB.”– Louise M. O’Brien, PhD, MSWhy does sleep apnea occur with greater frequency during pregnancy?
Hormonal changes of pregnancy relax your upper airway muscles causing a narrowing of the airway during inhalation, which in turn causes snoring and sleep apnea (repeated cessation of respirations lasting for ten or more seconds and robbing you of your deep sleep, causing severe daytime sleepiness and fatigue). Untreated, sleep apnea also increases the risk of gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and low birth weight.
How do you know if you might have sleep apnea?
You can watch my 90 sec video clip from PBS to learn about the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Answer the following questions; if you reply yes to two or more, you are at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea and should talk to your doctor.
S—Do you snore loudly?
T—Do you often feel tired, fatigued, or sleepy during the daytime?
O—Has anyone observed you stop breathing during sleep?
P—Do you have or are you being treated for high blood pressure?
A simple home sleep test can diagnose this serious disease. You can learn more about it by watching this 90 sec video clip from PBS.
There is a safe, easy, and very effective treatment called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). CPAP hooks to a nasal mask or cannula, which acts as a pneumatic splint that keeps the airway open, thus eliminating snoring, sleep apnea, sleep disruption, and the apnea-related complications. So, please get it diagnosed and treated promptly.
Sleep Well, Live Well. God Bless You.
Want safer, happier, healthier, and smarter teens? Set bedtimes.
A study from Flinders University of South Australia published in this month’s issue of journal Sleep shows that teens with parent-set bedtimes had earlier bedtimes, obtained more sleep, and experienced improved daytime wakefulness and less fatigue. Here are the top five reasons why you should set bedtimes for your teens this Summer.
1. Sufficient sleep improves memory consolidation. Your teen’s preparation for PSAT, SAT, or ACT would result in better scores.
2. Sound sleep improves reaction time and vigilance. Their performance in competitive sports will improve remarkably.
3. Your teens’ pleasant demeanor and optimistic atitude will surprise you.
4. Drowsy driving kills while alert driving saves lives. Teens who get sufficient sleep are much less likely to get into an accident.
5. Sleep deprived teens are less likely to exercise and are more likely to gain excess weight.
Hence, this Summer, set bedtimes for your teens. You will be surprised how happy, healthy, safe, and smart your teens are!