Medical Watch Digest for Aug 30.

Kids & Sleep

When kids get enough sleep it reduces impulsive behavior.   

Research from the University of Georgia documents the importance of sleep for adolescent attention, performance and behavior.

An NIH-sponsored adolescent brain cognitive development study revealed children who got less than nine hours of sleep per night were more likely to act without forethought, not persevere when tasks became challenging and succumb to stress more easily.

The study highlights sleep’s role in cognitive and behavioral development.

As we begin a new school year, doctors say it is critical parents learn the importance of sleep for their child’s success.

Sleep & Women

Sleep is also important for older women.

Stress and insomnia is linked to irregular heart rhythms for menopausal women.

One in four women will develop the dangerous heart problems with poor sleep and stressful life events according to the journal of the American Heart Association.

The results are based on a study of more than 83,000 women ages 50-79.

Added stress and trouble sleeping led to atrial fibrillation which increases the risk for stroke and heart failure.

Doctors recommend women seek out mental health help and stress reduction to help them sleep to reduce the heart threat.

Smoking increases risk of depression

Smoking may snuff out moods. 

Smoking significantly increases the risk for depression according to Aarhus University researchers. 

Although many believe smoking provides an immediate feeling of calm and relaxation, study authors say long term it changes the brain. 

Prior research revealed the danger to the lungs and an increased risk of cancer from smoking. 

This new research ties smoking to an increased threat of mental illness, including depression and bipolar disorder. 

Study authors say there is no question that smoking impacts the mind and mood. 

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