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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sleep Loss -- and Possible Consequences

In a BBC interview with James Fletcher, neuroscientist Matt Walker raised many interesting points about the diminishing amount of sleep we seem to get these days. In the 1940s, people apparently slept a shade over four hours per night, where the average at present seems to be somewhere between 6.7 and 6.8 hours per night: a 20% drop.

Walker sounded even more alarms about potential consequences: “Every major disease that is killing us in the developed world: Alzheimer’s, cancer, obesity, diabetes, anxiety, depression, suicidality. All of them have direct ... and very strong causal links to deficient sleep.”
The short article is worth reading in its entirety:

"Why We Lie" -- a fascinating article

“Why We Lie: The Science Behind Our Deceptive Ways,” by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, appeared in the June, 2017 issue of National Geographic. The article offers fascinating insights into this extremely common behavior so often observed in a great many people.

A complete synopsis of the article is beyond the scope of this entry, but I must mention one description I found particularly amusing. The issue cited is pseudologia fantastica, "a tendency to tell stories containing facts interwoven with fantasy." I wonder if the disorder appears in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Journaling by Hand: Strongly Recommended

I have long encouraged clients to journal, preferably by hand (rather than on computer screen). In fact, I believe that one may also benefit from writing at least one-third of the time with the non-dominant hand. Thus, I advise a right-handed client who journals fifteen minutes a day to write roughly five minutes per day with the left hand.