General

Sleep & Enter Sandman: More Than Just a Song

“You need to improve your sleep hygiene?” my counselor admonished me in her straightforward tone.

“Sure, I probably need to floss more frequently. But I brush my teeth a couple of times a day and always -- always -- before bed,” I cheekily responded.

She was too diplomatic to say what she was truly thinking. I knew.

She furrowed her brow and continued. “Matt, you need to sleep. You can’t function on your current schedule.”
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General

Trouble Sleeping? Your TV, Computer or Phone May Be the Cause

Sleep is the foundation of good health, including your mental health. A poor night's sleep starts the day off at a deficit. It's like a boxer fighting with one hand tied behind his back.

The problem is that most people don't know what's causing their poor sleep. They may think it's stress, or feeling over-worked, or troubles in a relationship. All of those things could very well contribute to a poor night's sleep.

But an overlooked aspect of poor sleep is the proliferation of computer screens in our daily lives. Your phone, TV or computer may be the cause of your sleeplessness.

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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: January 16, 2016


Hey, Psych Central readers!

So, a lot of stuff happened this week. Some of it, pretty exciting (we finally got a few Powerball winners!); some of it, downright heart-wrenching (rest in peace, Alan Rickman and David Bowie).

For our purposes (which I have to admit, was a nice distraction from losing Professor Snape and Ziggy Stardust in one week), I've dug up some pretty interesting little psychology bits for you to feast on this morning.

Keep reading for information on how winning the lottery probably won't make you happier, working long hours doesn't always negatively affect relationships, the ways in which dogs recognize human emotions, and more!

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Brain and Behavior

Workplace Environment Affects Mental Health

The workplace environment you spend 40 or 50 hours in per week has a very real and substantial impact on your mental health, according to multiple studies and expert opinions from psychologists all around the world.

According to a 2011 research study on how workplace design contributes to mental health and well-being, the average person spends 33 percent of their waking time in their workplace on a weekly basis. As such, the physical workplace environment has a major impact on everything from happiness and mood to productivity and focus. The study concludes that “good working conditions enable employees to work effectively” and that “investments in the physical workplace that create those conditions pay back quickly.”

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Caregivers

5 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Spouse after Baby

If you’re a new or expectant parent, you’re probably relishing all of the joy, excitement and memories your new baby will bring. You’re also probably fretting over the changes and challenges that will occur, too.

No one prepares us for the relationship struggles that happen after a baby arrives. We don’t realize how taxing sleep deprivation, uncertain parenting roles, money worries and everyday stressors can be on our marriage. You soon realize that your precious arrival has set off a bigger cascade of problems between you and your spouse than you ever knew possible.

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ADHD and ADD

Should You Be Concerned About ADHD Meds?

A few weeks ago, we published an article that described the sleep problems that children and teens may experience while taking a medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Most people who are diagnosed with ADHD or attention deficit disorder usually wind up on a stimulant medication.

While we know that such medications help most people who take them, like all medications they also come with some unwanted side effects. One of those side effects for stimulants is disruption of a person's sleep.

So how bad a problem is it? And is it something you should consider taking your kid off of these meds?

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Marriage and Divorce

Why Going to Bed Angry Actually Works


Fighting late into the night is just disaster waiting to happen.

Sometimes, when it comes to relationship advice, what we take as common sense is really just a bunch of pie-in-the-sky crap! I call it crap because it's too idealistic or just ignorant of how people's minds, bodies and hearts really work.

For example: Take the whole idea that couples should never go to bed angry.

Now, I'll be honest with you, I used to believe this is a great rule to live by. But, that was back when I was in a relationship that lacked passion -- including the passion to argue.

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ADHD and ADD

6 Additional Ways to Reduce or Stop Racing Thoughts that Stall Sleep

It’s really frustrating when you’re lying in bed, and your thoughts just won’t stop. It might be thoughts about what you need to do tomorrow or thoughts about what went wrong today. Your brain is lit up like a Christmas tree. Your body feels like a firecracker -- about to explode with energy and restlessness.

Recently, we shared five tips to reduce or stop racing thoughts – everything from listening to guided meditations to processing the...
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Anxiety and Panic

5 Ways to Reduce or Stop Racing Thoughts that Stall Sleep

I can’t forget to bring that paperwork with me tomorrow! I can’t forget to pay that bill! I need to call the bank! I can’t believe she said that to me. What did he mean by that? What am I going to do about that meeting tomorrow? How can I fix my presentation? There’s no way I can make that deadline! How can I fit everything in???

Maybe these thoughts sound familiar. Or maybe your racing thoughts take on a different theme. But one thing is for certain: They stop you from falling asleep.
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Depression

What Mild Depression Really Is and What Can Help

We often think that mild depression isn’t that serious and doesn’t require treatment. It is mild, after all. People also confuse mild depression with “subclinical” depression.* That is, they assume it’s not full-blown, true-blue depression. They might assume it doesn’t meet diagnostic criteria for the illness (the criteria laid out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which clinicians use to diagnose disorders.)

However, in actuality, a person with mild depression does meet criteria for a major depressive episode. They do have depression. But their symptoms are mild in intensity and impairment, said Melanie A. Greenberg, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist in Marin County, Calif., who specializes in managing mood, stress and relationships.

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ADHD and ADD

3 Surefire Strategies that Don’t Work for ADHD

If you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it’s really frustrating when the strategies you’re trying aren’t working. You might assume that the problem is you. What’s wrong with me? How is it that I still can’t get this right?

However, the real issue often lies with the technique or approach – which you might unwittingly think is helpful and yet is anything but. That’s why we asked ADHD experts to share strategies that don’t work for ADHD (and what does). Below, you’ll find three ineffective strategies.
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