Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Upset? Maybe It's Better Not to Sleep on It

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Upset? Maybe It's Better Not to Sleep on It

Article excerpt

SLEEP can help preserve but also enhance unpleasant emotional memories, research by the University of Massachusetts suggests.

The study, from the Journal of Neuroscience, found that people who stayed awake after witnessing an unsettling picture or traumatic event would find it far less upsetting than if they had slept soon after their experience.

aOur findings have significance for people with post-traumatic stress disorder, for example, or those asked to give eye-witness testimony in court cases,a neuroscientist Rebecca Spencer said.

aIt is common to be sleep-deprived after witnessing a traumatic scene, almost as if your brain doesn't want to sleep on it.a

LIFESTYLE is believed to have a greater effect on a person's intelligence in their old age than genetics.

Scientists in the UK and Australia have found that genes only account for 24% of changes to intelligence over the course of a human life, while the rest is linked to environmental factors.

The researchers, whose study was published in the journal, Nature, combined DNA analysis with data from about 2000 people who took intelligence tests at age 11 and again at 65 and 79.

aThe results also strongly suggest how important the environment is helping us to stay sharp as we age,a Australian co-author Professor Peter Visscher, from the University of Queensland, said.

NEWLY bereaved people are 21 times more likely to have a heart attack the day after their loss, a new has study shown.

Research by the Harvard Medical School found that even the week after the death of a asignificant othera, close relatives and friends were six times more at risk of a heart attack.

aGrief is known to cause feelings of depression, anger and anxiety, and those emotions can cause an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and blood clotting,a lead author of the study, Elizabeth Mostofsky, said.

aThose factors can in turn increase the chances of having a heart attack.a

The bereaved are also more likely to get less sleep, eat poorly and have higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, all of which contribute to an increased heart attack risk, the study of 1985 people found. …

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