Dr. Wendy After Dark

Dr. Wendy After Dark

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Fun Facts About People and Psychology

Friends making a selfie together at party

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1. Intergenerational Trauma is Physical! A new study has shown that hardship experienced by mothers during their own childhood or during pregnancy is reflected in the composition of their 2-year-old children's gut microbiome. This can affect a child's socioemotional development.

2. Older Folks who Volunteer, stay sharper! Volunteer activities -- such as supporting educational, religious, health-related or other charitable organizations -- allow older adults to be more physically active, increase social interaction and provide cognitive stimulation that may protect the brain. Volunteering in late life is associated with better cognitive function -- specifically, better executive function and episodic memory. Those are the findings of a new study from UC Davis Health presented this week at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2023 in Amsterdam.

3. Good Sleepers are Resilient! The study, led by researchers at the University of York, highlights that chronic stress is a major risk factor for a number of mental health disorders, including depression and pathological anxiety, but high-quality sleep and coping strategies -- such as the ability to reframe a situation to see the positive side -- can help to prevent poor mental health when faced with negative or stressful experiences.

4. Social Isolation Linked to Smaller Brain Volume. Older people who have little social contact with others may be more likely to have loss of overall brain volume, and in areas of the brain affected by dementia, than people with more frequent social contact, according to a study published in the July 12, 2023, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

5. A Case for Flossing Regularly! Although most people don't associate oral disease with serious health problems, increasing evidence shows that oral bacteria play a significant role in systemic diseases like colon cancer and heart disease. Now, new research shows a link between periodontal (gum) disease and the formation of amyloid plaque, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

6. Deep Sleep Can Regulate Blood Sugar! Researchers have uncovered a potential mechanism in humans that explains how and why deep-sleep brain waves at night are able to regulate the body's sensitivity to insulin, which in turn improves blood sugar control the next day. It's an exciting advance because sleep is a modifiable lifestyle factor that could now be used as part of a therapeutic and painless adjunct treatment for those with high blood sugar or Type 2 diabetes. Nearly 40% of Americans have pre-diabetes and 80% of them are unaware that they have it!

7. Relationships improve your odds of survival by 50 percent! Research from Brigham Young University reports that social connections -- friends, family, neighbors or colleagues -- improve our odds of survival by 50 percent. Here is how low social interaction compares to more well-known risk factors:

• Equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day

• Equivalent to being an alcoholic

• More harmful than not exercising

• Twice as harmful as obesity

8. The Biggest thing that keeps people in bad relationships? Low Self Esteem. People with low self-esteem are more likely stay in unhappy relationships, suggests new research. Sufferers of low self-esteem tend not to voice relationship complaints with their partner because they fear rejection.

9. In Praise of a Pink Bassinette! Fathers with daughters live longer. “We show for the first time that number of daughters was positively related to a longer life span of their fathers, increasing their longevity on average by 74 weeks per daughter born, while number of sons did not have a significant effect on paternal longevity.”

10. ‘Catching a yawn’ shows empathy. Yawning upon seeing someone else yawn is a common occurrence, despite not feeling tired nor sleepy. One theory on its contagiousness is that people ‘catch’ it to show empathy. Hence, toddlers and young people with autism are less likely to have the symptoms as they have yet to learn compassion.

11. Smart people tend to depreciate themselves. On the other hand, less intelligent people think they are excellent. This psychology fact would make you take a second look at the people that you know and how they present themselves.

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