Timing of Food Intake a Strategy for Treating Mood Disorders?

Shift workers who confine their eating to the daytime may experience fewer mood symptoms compared to those who eat both day and night, new research suggests. Investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, created a simulated nightwork schedule for 19 individuals in a laboratory setting. Participants then engaged in two different meal timing models … Read more

Why Do We Want to Tough It Out?

We physicians come to the noble profession to heal and help others. Over years of education and training, we learn to be compassionate and empathic not only toward our patients but also to people around us. Patients’ safety and care become our priority. And at some point, we forget about ourselves. We forget that we … Read more

Insomnia May Up the Risk of Memory Decline in Middle-Aged and Older Adults

Middle-aged and older adults with insomnia disorder may face increased odds of developing subjective memory decline compared with their peers who have only a few or no insomnia symptoms, an analysis of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging suggests. “Since sleep is important for memory consolidation and other cognitive functions, disrupted sleep is likely to … Read more

Sleep Loss Linked to Reduced Generosity, Even at a Neuronal Level

Sleep loss, ranging from the individual level of missing a night’s sleep to a societal level of losing an hour’s sleep because of Daylight Saving Time, is associated with reduced altruism or an inclination to help others, new research suggests. These effects were observed even at the neurologic level on brain MRIs, investigators report. “In … Read more

Waking Up at Night Could Be Your Brain Boosting Your Memory

We tend to think a good night’s sleep should be uninterrupted, but surprising new research from the University of Copenhagen suggests just the opposite: Brief awakenings may be a sign you’ve slipped well. The study, done on mice, found that the stress transmitter noradrenaline wakes up the brain many times a night. These “microarousals” were … Read more

Best Meds for Insomnia Identified?

Two drugs have emerged as the optimal medications for treating insomnia based on the “best-available evidence,” but there are caveats. In a comprehensive comparative-effectiveness analysis, lemborexant and eszopiclone showed the best efficacy, acceptability, and tolerability for acute and long-term insomnia treatment. However, eszopiclone may cause substantial side effects — and safety data on lemborexant were … Read more

Electroacupuncture Promising for Depression-Related Insomnia

Electroacupuncture (EA) may significantly improve sleep quality in patients with depression who also have insomnia, new research suggests. In a study of more than 200 adults with depression and comorbid insomnia, change from baseline to week 8 on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was 3 points greater in the group receiving EA vs a … Read more

Sleep a Potential Treatment Target for Schizophrenia?

A new analysis reveals a bidirectional relationship between sleep patterns and schizophrenia, leading researchers to suggest that sleep may be a potential treatment target for the disorder. Applying a Mendelian randomization (MR) approach, the investigators selected genetic variants from a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) conducted using data from UK Biobank and 23andMe. They … Read more

Hypervigilance and Helplessness in Facing Death of a Patient

It’s an early Friday morning during the pandemic. I arrive at my clinic to find my 8 o’clock slot booked with a same-day patient. As a clinical psychologist embedded within a primary care team, I meet with patients at varying frequency. I had just met with this patient on Monday — twice in one week … Read more

Sleep Tied to Objective and Subjective Cognition

Amy Costa Poor objective sleep efficiency may contribute to older adults overestimating their cognitive abilities, preliminary findings from a pilot study of objective and subjective cognitive measures have shown. The pilot study underscored the important role of objective sleep measures to better understand discrepancies when patients’ own reports of everyday cognitive function don’t align with … Read more