MIND & BODY AFTER 50

How's Your Sleep?

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Do you have sleep problems? If you’re saying ‘yes’, you’re certainly not alone!

Women often experience disturbed sleep during the perimenopausal years, and, by the age of 60, almost half say their sleep is a problem, at least from time to time.  

Usually, this is just occasional sleeplessness — maybe caused by a work deadline, or a noisy neighbour, or a headache, or too much coffee, etc. etc. The woman feels tired, but, eventually her mind-body rebalances, and she’s back to regular restorative…

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What about sleeping pills?

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People should avoid using most types of ‘sleeping pill’ for longer than 4 weeks. Sleep medications should be temporary.

That’s the standard instruction for best medical practice in most of Europe and North America. Official medical treatment guidelines recommend limited use only.

But, in reality, doctors and patients usually ignore this advice! More than half of patients use their prescribed sleeping pills for longer than than 4 weeks, and 20% continue beyond a year.  

Patients say they keep …

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Hyperarousal, Sleep and Mindfulness

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What is ‘Hyperarousal’?

Hyperarousal is a common mind-body state — so common that people often experience hyperarousal as ‘normal’! But science shows us that habitual hyperarousal is unhealthy for mind and body.

Hyperarousal refers to stress reactivity — especially the physical side of stress reactivity.  When people get stressed, their body goes into hyperarousal. 

The body is ‘on alert’ — with muscle tension, changes in blood pressure and heart activation patterns, characteristic effects on…

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Sleep more -- Lose weight!

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Here’s a surprise:  Getting more sleep can help people lose weight!

In this well-designed study, people who usually sleep less than 6.5 hours lost weight by sleeping longer.

This research was published February 2022 in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association - Internal Medicine.

Researchers recruited 80 overweight adults who had a habit of sleeping fewer than 6.5 hours per night.

Half the group (40 people) were randomly assigned to attend sleep counselling sessions. In th…

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Sleeping less than 6 1/2 hours?

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Sometimes people ask me:  “How much sleep should I be getting?”

That’s a hard question. Science usually depends on the statistics of what’s true for many people — but you’re a unique individual. No law can be applied to you. You sleep as you sleep! 

But here’s a study that will help you consider if your body needs more sleep.

The Study

This research paper was published last year in the respected Journal of the American Medical Association - Neurology. It’s from a large multinational study th…

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Mindfulness Reduces Brain Aging

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Science continues to show the remarkable benefits of yoga practice — and these benefits likely start with your first class!

These days, scientists usually investigate the ‘hatha’ form of yoga — the yoga practice of mindful awareness during certain body postures. 

For example, in programs of MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction), participants are guided in awareness of their inner physical experience as they recline on the floor or sit quietly.  They’re not moving, but they are practicing…

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Ageism vs. The Wisdom of the Elders

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Wisdom or Ageism?

Do you know this word: ‘Ageism’? 

‘Ageism’ is a word first coined in 1969 by American psychiatrist, Robert N. Butler. He was referring to systematic stereotyping or discrimination against people because they are old. 

Through the years, the definition of ‘ageism’ has evolved to mean prejudice against other age groups too, but ageism is still most commonly recognized as prejudice and discrimination against older people. 

This can be a serious social problem — seniors denied …

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Do You Want More Optimism?

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OPTIMISTIC WOMEN LIVE LONGER & HEALTHIER - How About You?

Optimism supports women’s good health — especially in aging. That’s the evidence of dozens of research studies. People with an optimistic attitude tend to have better health outcomes and more years of healthy life. In fact, if optimism were a drug, your doctor would gladly write a prescription! 

This article will highlight 2 recent studies that confirm the better health of optimistic women, and then we’ll consider: What is optimism? How…

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Woman's Natural Power After Menopause - The Message of Evolution

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Women often underestimate the value of post-menopausal life. I’ve been practicing medicine for 40 years, and many times women have told me of their self-doubt after menopause. 

They say: “The best part of life seems over…” “I feel irrelevant…  nonexistent…” “I’m not important…” “I don’t matter…” 

This is too common. Our culture habitually overlooks the significance of older women. 

But human evolution shows us something entirely different. For thousands of years, post-menopausal women were ma…

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Your body and mind are one!

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First, an explanation:

When you have a worrying, anxious mind, your body is anxious too. Your mind and body affect each other, moment by moment. Your body experiences your emotions, but it influences your emotions too.

This dynamic interplay between mind and body is a crucial new understanding of modern psychology. We now realize that being aware of your body can help you to rebalance your emotional life -- even help you to overcome the psychological legacy of trauma!  

And science shows the …

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