Brain and Behavior

Sleep and Light Exposure

The information and research findings on sleep are coming fast and furious these days. There seems to be a backlash to the cult of productivity and the former “badge of honor” for functioning on the least amount of sleep. There is a recurrent theme, which is that by not making restorative sleep a priority, there are both short-term and longer term negative consequences.

The negative impact of too much artificial light has become increasingly more relevant, as many of us are using multiple light-emitting devices right up until when our head hits the pillow. If you are interested in the optimal functioning of the human organism, it’s time to evaluate your sleep quantity, quality, and routine, as well as your exposure to both natural and artificial light.
Continue Reading


Psychology Around the Net: September 13, 2014

What happens when you and your partner are on different sleep-wake schedules? Do you experience anxiety when waiting on a text reply? What about social media -- how is it affecting both your brain and your body? Find out within this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Couples on Different Sleep Schedules Can Expect Conflict -- and Adapt: If "[e]xperts think couples tend to have more stable sleep-wake routines and help co-regulate each other," what happens when the two have sleep-wake schedules completely out of whack with one another?

Continue Reading


Psychology Around the Net: September 6, 2014

From nude celebrity photos to learning how to up your happiness on the job, we have all the latest psychology-related news around the 'net today.

Psychology Behind Hacking and Sharing Nude Celebrity Photos: Why the reasons might seem obvious, the appeal actually has a psychological basis.

Reframing Your Way to Happiness at Work: Could a few subtle shifts in your mindset change your happiness and productivity levels at work?

Poor Sleep Linked to Suicide: Stanford researchers have found that poor sleep might be an independent suicide risk factor in adults over 65 years old.

Continue Reading


Psychology Around the Net: August 30, 2014

Do you care for a person with Alzheimer's Disease and wonder how you can better help them -- and yourself -- make it day by day? What about a fear of asking for advice? Ever heard of sleep drunkenness? We have it all and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Risky Situations At Work Lead Women To Feel More Anxiety Than Men, Says Study: A new study recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association found that women are more likely than men to fold under the pressure of risky situations at work and, thus, perform worse than they would during normal situations.

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

We All Need to Take it Easy Sometimes

This past few weeks has been pretty chaotic for me.

Money has been an issue, I moved to a new city, my nephew was born, I got a new writing job, I had my 29th birthday, I had to housesit for a while and on top of everything else I’ve been working myself into a tizzy over a potential relationship which may or may not work out.

All said and done, I came to the realization last night that yes, I had done it, I had overwhelmed myself wholly and completely.
Continue Reading


Life in Balance?

Is your life in balance? By identifying stressors and associated feelings, evaluating lifestyle habits, engaging in relaxation activities, and monitoring self-care, balance is achievable.

Identify what your stressors are: work, relationships, juggling multiple demands, or a personal belief system. What is it that’s stressing you out? What can you change and what can you improve?

Continue Reading

Ways to Combat Insomnia

If you find yourself tossing and turning for hours, unable to go to sleep or stay asleep, you could be suffering from insomnia. Nearly 40 percent of Americans report some symptoms of insomnia in a given year. It can take a toll on one’s emotional, psychological, and physical well-being.

Chronic lack of sleep not only causes stress and depression, but has been linked to a cluster of disorders such as diabetes, memory loss, obesity, elevated blood pressure, an increase in bad cholesterol, and accumulation of dangerous abdominal fat hugging one's internal organs.

Continue Reading


Psychology Around the Net: August 16, 2014

This week's Psychology Around the Net explores suicide and depression, happiness, and finding your life's purpose.

Robin Williams Death Spotlights The Growing Risk Of Suicides Among Baby Boomers: Not only has Robin Williams' suicide shined a spotlight on depression and how it can take hold of even those who make us happy, but also it highlights statistics not may are familiar with, such as the suicide rates among middle-aged Americans has climbed 30% in the last decade.

15 Myths About Suicide and Depression: Even though it's more prevalent than AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined, many people just don't understand depression and the suicide risk.

Continue Reading


Psychology Around the Net: August 9, 2014

This week's Psychology Around the Net is all about older adults and sleep, depressed children, and -- thank goodness -- tips for happiness!

How Sleep Changes as You Age, and Why You'll Need Even More of It: As we get older, we don't sleep as much as when we were younger; however, as our bodies change, we need that sleep. Learn more about this Catch-22.

Pope Francis Issues Top 10 Tips for Happiness: Our favorites? Could be a tie between "live and let live" and have a "healthy sense of leisure."

StubHub Increases Sales By Playing To A Simple Game Of Psychology With "All In Pricing": Find out how the major ticket re-seller's "All In Pricing" method has increased sales and, as Chief Marketing Officer Michael Lattig puts it, works to offer the "best experience possible."

Continue Reading


5 Practices for Calming Racing Thoughts

Racing thoughts may be a daily reality for you or an occasional annoyance. Racing thoughts are common for people with anxiety when they're facing a stressor. They're also common in bipolar disorder, ADHD and other medical conditions, according to Marla Deibler, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety disorders.

For instance, anxious thoughts may be a string of worries. Deibler shared this example:

"I don't have a date for the party tomorrow. I can't go by myself. What will everyone think? What's wrong with me? Why don't I have a date? That's it. I'm not going. But everyone will wonder where I am. I should go. Oh, I don't know what to do."

Racing thoughts can be overwhelming, confusing and distressing, Deibler said. They can hinder your ability to concentrate and accomplish daily tasks. They can hinder your memory and sleep, she added.
Continue Reading


New Study Suggests Audio Hypnosis Could Help With Deep Sleep

A new study suggests that listening to audio hypnosis just before bed may help some people reach a state of deep sleep and remain there for a longer period of time. The research, published in the journal Sleep, is the first to observe the connection between hypnosis and sleep through the measurement of brain wave activity.

Deep sleep, or slow-wave sleep, is the most restorative state of rest. When you enter into a deep sleep, your brain is able to process the day’s experiences and help you recover. As people begin to age, however, deep sleep is harder to obtain, and many older adults say they feel less rested or refreshed in the morning.

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

How to Deal with Burnout

We all know what it feels like when you’ve had enough. It’s that listless, weary feeling of not wanting to proceed but knowing that you have to.

Some refer to it as ennui; others simply call it burnout.

It happens when the stress of performing a certain task overrides its enjoyment. It can take place in every facet of your life, from your job to your home life to your relationships.
Continue Reading