The Healthland Podcast: Nightmares, “Broken Heart Syndrome,” and Teen Sex

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This week we discuss new research showing that you can change your nightmares into good dreams — and sleep a lot better. Also, we talk about why breakups can literally break the heart, especially for women. And we dive into the controversial Dutch approach to teens and sex. Listen immediately by clicking the play button below, or listen via iTunes — and subscribe for free to get the podcast delivered every Friday morning.

Belinda took over hosting duties since John was traveling to report a story about new sleep research. He discussed Imagery Rehearsal Therapy — a treatment that has been shown to change nightmares to better dreams (or no dreams at all), even for severe PTSD patients. The Pentagon has put millions of dollars into this research because so many veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have nightmares that prevent them from sleeping enough to respond to daytime psychotherapy. Read some recent military research here, or — for a more practical perspective — read about how your own nightmares could be changed here.

Belinda discussed the aforementioned story on broken-heart syndrome, by Meredith Melnick, which describes a cascade of physical heart attack-like symptoms that occur, especially in women, after sudden, emotional events. And we got into a debate that Sora initiated about whether the Dutch are too liberal in their views on teen sex.

In our Field Notes, John mentioned new research on the incredible rise in prescriptions for mental illnesses. Sora talked about how medications may increase erectile dysfunction. And Belinda talked about some interesting findings on the habits of people who date online.

Thanks and see you next week.