Health Advice



Sleepless and Alone

Scott LaFee on

A new study of 9,430 adults aged 50 and older found a significant link between loneliness and insomnia symptoms, such as difficulty falling and staying asleep or waking up too early in the morning.

Loneliness can spark insomnia symptoms through different pathways, such as increased stress, anxiety and heightened vigilance (an elevated state of constantly assessing potential worries or threats).

Body of Knowledge

Saliva production has a circadian rhythm, with the most spit produced in late afternoon and least at night. Salivation consists of five phases, reports Mental Floss. Most are triggered by the passage of food through the body; not all are good.

The first phase is cephalic, which occurs when you see or smell something delicious. The buccal phase is the body's reflexive response to the actual presence of food in the mouth (which aids in swallowing). The esophageal phase involves the stimulation of the salivary glands as food moves through the esophagus. The gastric phase occurs if something irritates your stomach, such as just before vomiting. The intestinal phase is triggered by a food that doesn't agree with you passing through the upper intestine.



1 in 6 -- Ratio of parents who say they have a child who at some point tells them their stomach hurts at least once a month

1 in 3 -- Ratio of parents of children, 3 to 10 years old, who said they were confident when such complaints were serious and required a doctor's visit and when they were not

Source: University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health

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