The new world of dual users

Dr. Daniel Seidman

Combining smoking with all kinds of new nicotine products such as patches, gum, or e-cigarettes is a newer phenomenon and increasingly common. These smokers are called “dual users.” The Royal College of Physicians recently recommended switching to electronic cigarettes to help reduce the harm and addiction to conventional cigarettes. By contrast, the U.S Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is more cautious, preferring to learn more about the promise and perils of e-cigarette technology before recommending it in any therapeutic way. This is, no doubt, based on a history of misguided physicians endorsing various kinds of cigarettes in the past. Instead, the … Read More

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Why sleep matters to every workplace

Dr. Michael Breus

Sleep affects every aspect of our waking lives, and our working lives, from our attention span and decision making, to our occupational safety, to our health-care utilization. Yet, spend some time in a U.S. workplace—or take a look around your own—and you’ll most likely see no trace or mention of sleep. The lack of attention to sleep in the workplace comes at profound costs—to organizations’ bottom lines, to employees’ productivity, health, commitment to their organizations, and morale. Most Americans spent the great bulk of their waking hours at work or otherwise engaged with work when they’re not at their workplaces. … Read More

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Today’s smokers are having a harder time quitting. What changed?

Dr. Daniel Seidman

Over the last 25 years, cigarette consumption by smokers in the United States decreased by almost one third. Over that same period, however, many tobacco companies reengineered cigarettes to more efficiently deliver the nicotine that keeps their customers coming back (1,2). This is called the “yield.” Increased yield means smokers, even if they smoke fewer cigarettes per day, still get plenty of nicotine. In other words, most of today’s cigarettes are not the same ones your mother or father smoked. Not only are today’s cigarettes different – so are smokers. They are more likely to experience stress, worry, and depression … Read More

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Sleep is a turn on

Dr. Michael Breus

Are you looking to invigorate your sex life? “Date nights” are one good idea, but getting to bed—and to sleep—early might be an even better one. New research suggests that getting enough sleep can have a positive effect on sex drive for women. We’ve seen studies linking poor and insufficient sleep to diminished sexual desire in women and in men. But overall there’s been a lack of investigation into the influence of sleep over sexual desire and sexual function. Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School examined the impact of sleep on the sexual behavior of 171 women. After collecting baseline data in … Read More

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Mindfulness and Charlie Hebdo: Je Suis Tout le Monde

Stephan Bodian

At the recent antiterrorism rally in Paris in response to the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, participants wore signs saying “I am Charlie Hebdo” and “I am a Jew” in solidarity with those who were targeted by Islamic extremists. At the same time, France was rocked by anti-Muslim violence in retaliation for the attacks. It’s so tempting to reduce events of this kind to a simplistic us vs. them rhetoric, as if this makes the situation easier to address and resolve, which of course it does not. But there’s a deeper opportunity here, an invitation to look beneath the surface and find … Read More


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The one and only New Year’s resolution you need to make

Stephan Bodian

For many years I spent New Year’s eve reflecting on the events of the year drawing to a close and New Year’s day clarifying my plans and aspirations for the year ahead. Eventually, I recognized that my aspirations were the same year after year: to be more present for my life, to open my heart even more fully to love and connection, to be of benefit to others. Over the years I discovered that I could affect the circumstances of my life to a limited degree, but I always had the power to find happiness in the midst of any … Read More


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Practicing presence at the holidays

Stephan Bodian

As much as we may love the holidays and enjoy being with family and friends, they also have a unique ability to seduce us into believing the thoughts and stories that make us unhappy. As the old adage goes, if you think you’re enlightened, go home to mom and dad and the rest of the family and see what happens. If you haven’t completely released the grip of the past, it will surely come back to haunt you now. The holidays are an especially good time to sit quietly and welcome the full range of your experience with mindful awareness. Here … Read More


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The paradox of addiction

Dr. Daniel Seidman

Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the Great American Smokeout. This tradition was started by the American Cancer Society in 1976 to challenge smokers to stop using tobacco and educate about the many tools they can use to quit and avoid relapsing. To mark this annual tradition, which this year is on Thursday November 20, I would like to discuss some of the paradoxes of smoking and quitting. In China one of the major brands of cigarettes is called Long Life. What better example of what I call the paradox of … Read More

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Sleep-deprived employees and your bottom line

Mickey Beyer-Clausen

Mental Workout today released a special report for wellness directors entitled ‘How sleep-deprived employees impact your bottom line and what you can do about it’, describing the economic consequences sleep has for businesses. More than half the U.S. population doesn’t get enough sleep to function effectively. This hidden problem is likely costing companies $3,200+ per employee every year. Tackling it will lower healthcare costs, boost productivity, and increase profits. The special report examines the most commonly-used sleep solutions and shows why they aren’t working. Instead, it suggests companies go beyond nap rooms and flex-time to offer a more comprehensive program … Read More


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Is seven hours of sleep ideal?

Dr. Michael Breus

Eight hours. That’s the nightly sleep recommendation you hear most frequently, the gold standard for a healthy sleep routine. But what if it isn’t? I read this article in the Wall Street Journal with great interest, for it points to recent research that suggests the eight-hour model may not be the ideal one for most healthy adults. Although eight hours is the number most often associated with a full night’s sleep, sleep experts know that there is some degree of variation when it comes to individual sleep needs. Most often, the recommendation for sleep times comes in a range of 7-9 hours, depending on … Read More

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