7. What is a sedative hypnotic?

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Dr. Kripke uses the phrase 'hypnotic prescriptions'. What does that mean?

'Hypnotic' is a technical word that refers to a sleeping pill. The most usually prescribed sleeping pills are classified as 'sedative hypnotics'.

A 'hypnotic prescription' is a prescription for this type of sleeping pill.

Here's Dr. Kripke's quotation again:

Receiving hypnotic prescriptions was associated with greater than threefold increased hazards of death even when prescribed fewer than 18 pills/year. This asso…

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Yoga is good medicine!

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Yoga has been popular in health & fitness for decades. Maybe there’s a yoga studio in your neighbourhood, or yoga classes at the gym or community centre.  

But you might not realize that yoga is more than just relaxation and fitness. Yoga is a potential therapy. Yoga is good medicine!

That was highlighted in a significant research review published in 2017:  Yoga for improving health-related quality of life, mental health and cancer-related symptoms in women diagnosed with breast cancer”.


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Yoga feedback!

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Thank you for all the feedback about last week’s post “Yoga is good medicine!”. It seems many of us are interested in yoga! Here’s some of your comments and my replies too.

Yes, I’d say yoga is a self-care practice supporting mental health. It’s been part of my life for many years, and I’ve seen many patients benefit from yoga in our MBSR programs. That’s why I highlighted the research in last week’s email. 

One member emailed to say she’s cautious about COVID so she’s not at the yoga studio…

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Want more purpose?

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In recent emails, you read that research shows people who score low on ‘purpose in life’ tests are at higher risk for cognitive decline & dementia. Clearly, we all want to feel a strong ‘purpose in life’!

Several of you sent reply emails, asking: What is 'purpose in life'?  Where can I find it?

Here below are two recent research papers that offer clues for finding more 'purpose in life'. These studies involved several hundred research participants, so they could be relevant for you too.


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More about purpose!

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Thank you for all your feedback! I was glad to share such surprising research -- especially since I know many of you are especially interested in cognitive health.

This research seems to show that living with a sense of purpose is good for the health of your brain.

It's part of a research review published in Ageing Research Reviews -- a summary of studies that investigated positive psychological factors that influence brain health.  

The authors concluded: “Having purpose in life was signific…

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Do you have purpose?

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Your cognitive health is important, isn't it? We all want to support our memory and clear thinking. Fortunately, science now gives us many clues on how best to preserve cognitive clarity. 

Certainly, your overall physical health, especially your brain health, is important in this.  Whatever is good for your brain is good for your cognitive health. 

For example, adequate sleep and certain habits of diet and activity are known to reduce the risk of cognitive decline. In last week’s email, I even…

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Let's move!

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Maybe you don’t like to ‘exercise’?

Usually I don’t advise women to exercise. Why would I?

If a woman likes to go to the gym or visit with a personal trainer, or she enjoys jogging or swimming or using exercise equipment, etc. — she doesn’t need my advice. This is something she likes to do. She feels happy and yes, she gets health benefits too. 

On the other hand, I’ve found that recommending exercise is often counterproductive. Many women just don’t like ‘exercise’ activities. If they do …

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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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8. 2023 research reports risk

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Here I'm sharing a most concerning research paper just published in 2023. It gives us still more evidence that sleeping pills carry serious risks with prolonged use. 

This research study was very large and well-designed, based on analysis of government data.  

More than 480,000 people were followed in a health screening program in Taiwan. Information about their general health data had been collected, including the average length of their nightly sleep, and their use of sleeping pills.


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9. Self-Enquiry Questions for Sleeping Pill Users

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Self-Enquiry Questions for Sleeping Pill Users

Here's standard questions intended to help people recognize problems of medication dependency and withdrawal. 

SUGGESTION: If you’re concerned about your sleeping pill prescription, discuss this with your prescribing doctor.  Maybe consider these questions:


 >  your sleeping pill prescription is extending beyond 3 weeks

>  you take a sleeping pill for most of the times when you want to sleep

>  when the medication feels less effective, you…

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