Winchester Medical Center

WIN 2015

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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5 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m W I N T E R 2 015 S P I R I T O F W O M E N SHUTTERSTOCK H E A L T H C E N T R A L N E W S When silence isn't golden Lose weight, gain sleep If you're significantly overweight and not sleeping well, losing weight might help you snooze longer, according to a study presented at a recent international meeting of endocrinologists. Six months after you drop at least 5 percent of your body weight—10 pounds or more if you weigh 200 pounds—you may notice that you're getting a few more ZZZs, report researchers at the University of Penn- sylvania. The study participants who hit their magic weight-loss numbers reported that they gained 21.6 min- utes of sleep a night, compared with only 1.2 minutes for those partici- pants who lost less than 5 percent of their body weight. • Morning mentality Once a night owl, always a night owl? Not necessarily. As you age, you may find that mornings hold a lot more allure for getting things done. Older adults are more focused and perform better on cognitive tasks in the morning, according to a study published in the journal Psychology and Aging that compared younger adults ages 19 to 30 and the same number of adults ages 65 to 82 in afternoon memory tests. The older adults were more distracted and may have had a hard time focusing, according to brain scan results. But when the seniors were tested in the morning, their performance tended to be better. When you or an older loved one tackles mentally taxing chores, such as your income taxes, get started in the morning, say researchers. • I f giving your partner the "silent treatment" is the way you respond to friction, you could be jeopardizing the relationship. Shutting down when you're criticized or pressured or feel you've been insulted is a common habit in marriages and relationships. But it can do damage, according to a recent study in Communication Monographs. An analysis of 74 studies that included more than 14,000 volunteers showed that couples who engaged in the "demand-withdraw" pattern had lower relationship satisfaction, inferior communication and less intimacy. Women are more often demanding and men more apt to withdraw, say researchers, but both are affected. This unproductive way of relating may lead to anxiety as well as physiological conditions, including urinary or erectile dysfunction. So next time you're tempted to pull back, try talking it out with your partner instead. • Happy dieting? Losing weight won't necessarily make you happier, suggests new research from the United Kingdom published in PLOS ONE. Overweight or obese adults who lost at least 5 percent of their initial body weight over four years were in better physical health, but they were also more likely to be depressed than those who stayed within 5 percent of their original weight. Researchers sug- gest that the support provided during dieting may be uplifting, not the weight loss itself, and that dieters' emotional wellbeing should be addressed along with their physical health. •

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