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July 2019 Newsletter

July 2019 Newsletter

Sleeping too much affects mind and body

While the health effects of insomnia are widely studied and discussed, the subject of oversleeping does not get as much attention. Given how important sleep is, some of us wonder if we get away with spending excess hours in bed. Now, according to guidelines, most adults who are aged 18 to 64 should aim for a sweet spot of sleeping between 7 to 9 hours each night. Of course, one could exceed this range from time to time due to something like jet lag or a particularly busy week. But if you find yourself overly dependent on the snooze button, you may want to stop and take a closer look.

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Train the brain to form good habits through repetition

You can hack your brain to form good habits — like going to the gym and eating healthily — simply by repeating actions until they stick, according to new psychological research involving the University of Warwick. Dr Elliot Ludvig from Warwick’s Department of Psychology, with colleagues at Princeton and Brown Universities, have created a model which shows that forming good (and bad) habits depends more on how often you perform an action than on how much satisfaction you get from it.

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People who have a good sense of smell are also good navigators

We may truly be led by our noses. A sense of smell and a sense of navigation are linked in our brains, scientists propose. Neuroscientist Louisa Dahmani and colleagues asked 57 young people to navigate through a virtual town on a computer screen before being tested on how well they could get from one spot to another. The same young people’s smelling abilities were also scrutinized.

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