Doctor Housecalls Blog

Healthcare related news and updates

It should come as no surpise that it is harder to fall asleep in an unfamiliar location, but a new study published in Current Biology is attempting to learn the science behind the reason why people sleep so poorly after they’ve moved into a new home. 

The reason for this first sleepless night has to do with one hemisphere of the brain staying awake as a way to watch for potential danger. The study showed that the brains of people who were sleeping in an unfamiliar location did not show the slow wave activity that brains typically showed when in deep sleep. One hemisphere always seemed to be awake and was able to induce wakefulness much faster at the first sign of any unusual signals from the environment.

An article in the “Health and Science” section of the Washington Post reports that suicide rates in the United States have risen 24 percent between 1999 and 2014 to 13 suicides per 100,000 people. The biggest increase has been found in middle-aged white people, particularly women.

There are of course several factors in the increase of suicide rates, but the primary factors are substance abuse, “gray divorce” and the rise in social media and the Internet. Economic stress also seems to be a factor as this increase also coincides with the recent recession.

The suicide rate among girls between the ages of five and 15 years old has also been increasing. Suicide within this population was a rare phenomenon before 1999, but suicide rates among young girls tripled between 1999 and 2014, with one suicide for every 6,660 girls.

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