Skip navigation


How Much Sleep Do Kids Need?

In a previous blog we discussed how important sleep is for kids. Here is some more information that you might find interesting regarding sleep and kids, from a report by researchers at Stanford University.Young girl sound asleep.

Adolescents need 9 hours and 15 minutes of sleep. Children need 10 hours and adults need 8 1/4 hours. Kids rarely get that much due to early school start time, inability to fall asleep until late at night, work, social life and homework.

PositiveTip for

Depression Can Make Chronic Kidney Disease Worse

Depression can increase the progression of chronic kidney disease.

Depression can increase the risk for hospitalization and death in patients with chronic kidney disease. A new study has examined this relationship in patients with early (predialysis) kidney disease. When adjusted for demographic and clinical variables, depressed patients were almost twice as likey as nondepressed patients to end up needing dialysis and hospitalization. 

PositiveTip: "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength" (Proverbs 17:22).

Adults & Video Games: What's the Risk?

Right now there is a ton of research emerging on the health and behavior risks of excessive Internet use and video game playing for young people and children. But what about adults? Are the risks the same?

Frustrated man playing video game.

A recent research article examined the potential health risks of adults who play online games. This was the first article ever published on video game playing among adults. 

This study, conducted in Washington State, followed 552 adults who play video games. Of these, 249 identified themselves as "video gamers", and more men than women called themselves gamers.

PositiveTip for

Mood Food: Is Chocolate Really Good for You?

Those eating more chocolate showed higher chance of depression.

Chocolate has been a hot topic - even in scientific literature - for a long time! Now a study of more than 900 men and women has found that those who screened positive for depression ate more chocolate (8.4 servings per month vs. 5.4 servings) than those without depression.

People with more severe depression consumed even more chocolate. These findings were not explained by changes in fat, carbohydrate or energy intake. (Note: a cross-sectional analysis like this does not prove causality.)

PositiveTip: Chocolate isn't necessary for nutrition. Maybe we should wait for more research before we fully embrace its goodness.

PositiveTip for

Problems with Excess Internet Use

Tracking your Internet time might surprise you!

Research shows that psychological and social problems such as depression and loneliness are directly associated with "problematic Internet use".

Excessive use of the Internet can cause deficient self-regulation. Try keeping a log of your daily use of the Internet at home and review the amount of time you spend browsing each week. What you learn may surprise you!

PositiveTip: Regulate the amount of time spent on the Internet to help avoid depression and loneliness.

PositiveTip for

Bullying: It is an Important Issue

Bullying: take it seriously. The consequences can be life threatening.

Schoolyard bullying has been on the rise. Lots of parents talk with great concern about their children being victims. Oddly, as the incidences of bullying have risen, you don't hear many parents sounding concerned that their kids are the bullies. But research shows that getting bullied and being a bully both have mental health consequences. Both bullies and victims are at risk for depression and suicide. Bullying is serious stuff.

PositiveTip: Seek professional intervention if your children are either bullying others or being bullied. Take it seriously!

Nutrients or Dietary Pattern and Depression

Many studies have examined the relationship between diet and depression. The studies largely look at individual nutrients rather than dietary patterns as a whole. In a recent study of 3485 men and women in England, a comparison was made between rates of depression of individuals eating a “processed food” diet and those eating a “whole food” diet.

PositiveTip for

Antidepressants Not as Helpful for Mild Depression as Thought

New meta-analysis questions the value of antidepressants for mild depression.

Antidepressants are one of the most commonly prescribed classes of medication. But do they really work? A new meta-analysis involving more than 700 patients for at least 6 weeks of treatment has revealed that for those with the most severe depression, there was "substantial" benefit. However, there was "little evidence" to support the use of these medications for those with mild to moderate depression.

PositiveTip: If you are feeling slightly down, lace up those walking shoes and go for a daily walk before you run to your doctor asking for an antidepressant. You'll be surprised at how much better will you feel!