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"Absolute joke": Hefty pay rise for traffic controllers met with outrage

<p>A new union pay agreement that would see junior labourers and traffic controllers working 36-hour weeks earn $120,000 a year has received mixed reviews. </p> <p>According to reports by the <em>Herald Sun</em>, the Construction, Forestry, Maritime Employees Union (CFMEU) was close to cementing a new pay agreement with the Victorian state government that will see its workers given “at least” a 5 per cent pay rise.</p> <p>The three-year agreement would guarantee that basic labourers and traffic controllers would earn more than $2000 per week plus another $260 a week in travel allowance, equating to 23 per cent more than the average full-time weekly income of $1838.</p> <p>Those working overtime or more than five days per week would earn much more than the $120,000 a year figure, which is for a basic 36-hour week.</p> <p>CFMEU boss John Setka told the publication that the rise was to help workers combat the rising cost of living. </p> <p>“It could be more than 5 per cent,” he said.</p> <p>“Everyone is allowed to increase the cost of everything but we are not allowed to increase wages — fair dinkum? We want a pay rise to keep up with the cost of living and we are not allowed? We are not going to be the sacrificial lambs.”</p> <p>The proposal was met with mixed reactions online, with some people on social media wondering how the labourers were able to make higher wages than those with valuable degrees. </p> <p>“Let me see. Get a tertiary education and become a teacher or a paramedic. Or hold up a pole all day and get paid 50 per cent more. Only in Victoria,” one person wrote.</p> <p>“Visit any of the train crossing removal sites around town and you’ll see dozens of people doing nothing but standing around and looking at their phones, and just a handful doing anything that could be described as work. It’s an absolute joke,” another said.</p> <p>A third added, “Who other than the union thinks it’s realistic for a labourer to earn $120,000 in the same state where a trained doctor earns $83,000 first year post grad and doesn’t get to $120,000 until five years post grad.”</p> <p>Despite the outrage, many came to the defence of workers, saying the pay rise is well overdue. </p> <p>“It’s called traffic control and it is dangerous, hard work,” one X user wrote.</p> <p>“We respect trades in this country do not try to be America about this. Also a field that’s becoming more and more female dominated I’m sure that plays no part in the righteous indignation of men who earn $200,000 a year to say things on radio.”</p> <p>Another said, “I dare anyone talking s**t about this job to do it for a single summer day.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Money & Banking

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How to navigate a parent’s cancer diagnosis – like Princes William and Harry will now have to do

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lydia-harkin-1510450">Lydia Harkin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/nottingham-trent-university-1338">Nottingham Trent University</a></em></p> <p>King Charles’ <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68209998">cancer diagnosis</a> means the royal family has joined the approximately 3 million families in the UK affected by the disease. His family has already gathered around in support. William, Prince of Wales, has taken over some public duties for his father. And younger son Harry, who lives in California, flew to the UK to visit after the diagnosis was announced.</p> <p>If you, like William and Harry, are navigating a parent’s diagnosis, you are not alone. Around 400,000 people are <a href="https://www.macmillan.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/research/cancer-statistics-fact-sheet">diagnosed</a> each year. This can be a <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.4287">frightening</a> and difficult time for families, and can change family dynamics.</p> <p>Adult children may find themselves offering emotional and practical support for a parent in a way that has not been required before, through managing medications and symptoms, travel to medical appointments, help with meal preparation and financial support.</p> <p>It can be rewarding to support a loved one and an important way to actively work together, but it can also be stressful. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.4056">Studies have found</a> that family caregivers are generally more anxious and more likely to hide their emotional distress when compared with their family member with cancer.</p> <h2>Being a supportive family, even in conflict</h2> <p>Family support can act as a <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2333">“social cure”</a> against the stress of a life-changing illness. The social cure theory proposes that being a part of a social group (or multiple groups) has benefits for our health and wellbeing. Social groups, particularly those with whom we strongly identify, like families, provide support and help us to combat times of stress.</p> <p>The key psychological component here is that people feel they belong to and identify with their groups. While undergoing cancer treatment, someone may not be able to participate in their usual social groups – through work or hobbies – as much as they used to. These groups may then become incompatible with a person’s new identity as a cancer survivor.</p> <p>Of course, not all families work together harmoniously, and may be in conflict through divorce, separation or estrangement. Social psychologists have <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12155">found that</a> “incompatible” social groups can lead to poorer mental health.</p> <p>Separated families can still come together and be a helpful social group, but they must offer the kind of support that their loved one needs. To figure this out, it is important to think about the person’s <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2333">identity</a> within the family.</p> <p>For example, a father may view his identity as an advisor, but a cancer diagnosis requires him to be cared for and to seek advice. He may feel a sense of loss for his typical family role, a loss of meaning and of control.</p> <p>However, if his family communicates openly about the difficulties they are all facing, the father may be able to continue to advise his family, in addition to receiving their advice. This can help to maintain his sense of identity as an advisor within his family, while navigating a new status as a cancer survivor.</p> <h2>Communication and support networks</h2> <p>Cancer throws patients and their loved ones into a complex health system, often for the first time, where medical decisions and terminology become important every day. Understanding <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejon.2014.03.012">the “language of cancer”</a> can help families feel more in control after a diagnosis.</p> <p>Equally important is communication within a family. Talking about the cancer, rather than treating it as a taboo topic, can improve <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejon.2020.101841">mental health for both patients and their families</a>. It may also be an opportunity to empower patients and their loved ones to seek outside support, such as counselling.</p> <p>Families spread across geographical distances (like the royal family) can offer emotional support through regular phone calls or online tools. During the pandemic, <a href="https://doi.org/10.2196/42172">I developed</a> and trialled an app to help older adults combat loneliness. The app allowed them to see a digital map of their social groups, including family members.</p> <p>Your family member with cancer may feel like a burden. This is a common fear in older adulthood generally. But reminding them of how many people are in their lives – and how many people they support – can combat this feeling.</p> <p>Social media is one way to get more involved in these reciprocal support networks. In my work, families affected by cancer have reported using online communities to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s11764-017-0616-1">better understand what their family is going through</a>. Private social media groups <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/2055207619898993">dedicated to illness</a> can be helpful spaces to meet other patients and families, share experiences and normalise cancer.</p> <p>Cancer communities exist on <a href="https://doi.org/10.4103%2Fijpvm.IJPVM_36_19">Instagram</a>, on <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s00345-018-2254-2">YouTube and X/Twitter</a> and through registered cancer charities like <a href="https://www.macmillan.org.uk/">Macmillan Cancer Support</a>. These online resources all provide a way to build a network following a cancer diagnosis.</p> <p>Just as group identification is important within families, having more groups to connect to can act as a buffer during stressful times and help you all cope with your new reality.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223214/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lydia-harkin-1510450"><em>Lydia Harkin</em></a><em>, Principal Lecturer in Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/nottingham-trent-university-1338">Nottingham Trent University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-navigate-a-parents-cancer-diagnosis-like-princes-william-and-harry-will-now-have-to-do-223214">original article</a>.</em></p>

Caring

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"I want answers": Simon Dorante-Day's cunning plan to prove royal connections

<p>The Queensland man claiming to be the son of King Charles and Queen Camilla has shared his new plan to prove once and for all that he has royal family connections. </p> <p>Simon Dorante-Day has long claimed through his 30 years of research, he discovered that he is the illegitimate son of the monarch, and has attempted to prove his theory through various means. </p> <p>Now, his new plan to get his hands on royal DNA to unequivocally prove his family heritage involves another member of the royal family. </p> <p>Speaking with <a href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/aussie-man-claiming-to-be-charles-son-drops-new-prince-harry-dna-bombshell-c-13488374" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a>, the 57-year-old said he and his wife have been told by a “trusted source” that Prince Harry could be amenable to helping them gather proof.</p> <p>“We got advice from a really good, really trusted source that we should approach Harry and make a connection there and ask for DNA,” Elvianna said.</p> <p>Simon added, “I was really taken aback when he said that. But it’s definitely something I’m going to do. I’ve long been a supporter of Harry and Meghan, I think it’s disgraceful the way they’ve been treated by the royal family."</p> <p>“The way they are treated on social media too, it’s just one big ‘Punch-Meghan-and-Harry-a-thon’, seriously. It’s really starting to annoy me."</p> <p>He said he is planning to "make contact with him and explore this as an opportunity," pointing out that the royal family's treatment of Harry could make him more willing to help.</p> <p>"At the end of the day, I feel like he just might be as keen as I am to expose what Charles and Camilla and the powers that be have done to me. The injustice."</p> <p>“It’s worth me pointing out that Charles and Camilla, Buckingham Palace, the entire royal family - not one of them has ever said my claims are not true. They’ve never denied what I believe, told me I’m wrong."</p> <p>Simon said “the wheels are in motion” in terms of making contact with Prince Harry, and that he’s hopeful of a positive outcome.</p> <p>“I want answers,” he said. “And I feel Prince Harry is the man to help me find them.”</p> <p>“And I think their silence speaks volumes.”</p> <p>Simon said “the wheels are in motion” in terms of making contact with Prince Harry, and that he’s hopeful of a positive outcome.</p> <p>“I want answers,” he said. “And I feel Prince Harry is the man to help me find them.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Getty Images </em></p>

Family & Pets

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Harry Connick Jr shares tragic family update

<p>Harry Connick Jr has shared the tragic news that his father, Harry Connick Sr has passed away aged 97. </p> <p>The former <em>Australian Idol</em> judge's father, who was New Orleans’ district attorney for three decades, died peacefully at his home on Thursday surrounded by family. </p> <p>The cause of death has not been revealed. </p> <p>Harry Connick Jr greatly admired his father who he called his “hero and inspiration.”</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Harry Connick Sr </span>passed on his love for music to his son, as prior to his career in law he owned two record stores in New Orleans and regularly performed in bands around the city’s French Quarter, according to <em>People</em> magazine. </p> <p>He then began his career as a New Orleans district attorney from 1973 until his retirement in 2003. </p> <p>New Orleans’ current district attorney, Jason Williams, has shared his condolences to Connick's family. </p> <p>“Mr. Connick remains the longest tenured District Attorney, serving from 1973-2003. Such a longstanding public servant gives an enormous amount of themselves to their community — as do their families,” he wrote.</p> <p>“Our thoughts are with the Connick family during this difficult time.”</p> <p>Despite often travelling out of the US  for his music and acting commitments, Harry Connick Jr loved spending time with his father. </p> <p>One of the last few pictures he shared of them together was posted last October, where he described “hanging with my dad” as “my FAVOURITE thing in the world”.</p> <p>“I come to see him about once a month in New Orleans, and it’s still not enough!” he wrote on Instagram.</p> <p>“At 97, he continues to be my hero and inspiration ... I love you sooooo much, dad!!!”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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What happens to your liver when you quit alcohol

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ashwin-dhanda-1359529">Ashwin Dhanda</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-plymouth-717">University of Plymouth</a></em></p> <p>According to Greek mythology, Zeus punished Prometheus for giving fire to humans. He chained Prometheus up and set an eagle to feast on his liver. Each night, the liver grew back and each day, the eagle returned for his feast. In reality, can a liver really grow back?</p> <p>The liver is the largest internal organ in the human body. It is needed for hundreds of bodily processes, including breaking down toxins such as alcohol. As it is the first organ to “see” alcohol that has been drunk, it is not surprising that it is the most susceptible to alcohol’s effects. However, other organs, including the brain and heart, can also be damaged by long-term heavy alcohol use.</p> <p>As a liver specialist, I meet people with alcohol-related liver disease every day. It is a <a href="https://britishlivertrust.org.uk/information-and-support/liver-conditions/alcohol-related-liver-disease/">spectrum of disease</a> ranging from laying down of fat in the liver (fatty liver) to scar formation (cirrhosis) and it usually doesn’t cause any symptoms until the very late stages of damage.</p> <p>At first, alcohol makes the liver fatty. This fat causes the liver to become inflamed. In response, it tries to heal itself, producing scar tissue. If this carries on unchecked, the whole liver can become a mesh of scars with small islands of “good” liver in between – cirrhosis.</p> <p>In the late stages of cirrhosis, when the liver fails, people can turn yellow (jaundice), swell with fluid and become sleepy and confused. This is serious and can be fatal.</p> <p>Most people who regularly drink more than the recommended limit of 14 units of alcohol per week (about six pints of normal strength beer [4% ABV] or about six average [175ml] glasses of wine [14% ABV]) will have a fatty liver. Long-term and heavy alcohol use increases the risk of developing <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/alcohol-related-liver-disease-arld/">scarring and cirrhosis</a>.</p> <h2>Good news</h2> <p>Fortunately, there is good news. In people with fatty liver, after only two to three weeks of giving up alcohol, the liver can heal and looks and functions <a href="https://arcr.niaaa.nih.gov/volume/41/1/natural-recovery-liver-and-other-organs-after-chronic-alcohol-use">as good as new</a>.</p> <p>In people with liver inflammation or mild scarring, even within seven days of giving up alcohol, there are noticeable reductions in liver <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/5/1659">fat, inflammation and scarring</a>. Stopping alcohol use for several months lets the liver heal and return to normal.</p> <p>In heavy drinkers with more severe scarring or liver failure, giving up alcohol for several years reduces their chance of <a href="https://www.cghjournal.org/article/S1542-3565(22)01113-2/fulltext">worsening liver failure and death</a>. However, people who drink heavily can be physically dependent on alcohol and stopping suddenly can cause alcohol withdrawal.</p> <p>In its mild form, it causes shaking and sweating. But if severe, it can cause hallucinations, fits and even death. Going “cold turkey” is never recommended for heavy drinkers, who should seek medical advice about how to safely give up alcohol.</p> <h2>Other benefits</h2> <p>Giving up drinking also has positive effects on <a href="https://alcoholchange.org.uk/blog/benefits-of-dry-january-and-when-you-can-expect-to-see-them">sleep, brain function and blood pressure</a>.</p> <p>Avoiding alcohol for long periods also reduces the risk of several types of <a href="https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/alcohol-and-cancer">cancer</a> (including liver, pancreas and colon) and the risk of <a href="https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/medical/effects-of-alcohol-on-your-heart">heart disease and stroke</a>.</p> <p>However, alcohol is not the only cause of ill health. Giving it up has many health benefits, but it is not a panacea. It should be seen as part of a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular physical exercise.</p> <p>So, to answer the question posed by the myth of Prometheus, the liver has an amazing power to repair itself after it has been damaged. But it cannot grow back as new if it was already severely scarred.</p> <p>If you stop drinking and only have a fatty liver, it can quickly turn back to normal. If you had a scarred liver (cirrhosis) to start with, stopping alcohol will allow some healing and improved function but can’t undo all the damage that has already been done.</p> <p>If you want to look after your liver, drink in moderation and have two to three alcohol-free days each week. That way, you won’t have to rely on the liver’s magical self-healing power to stay healthy.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/220490/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ashwin-dhanda-1359529"><em>Ashwin Dhanda</em></a><em>, Associate Professor of Hepatology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-plymouth-717">University of Plymouth</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-happens-to-your-liver-when-you-quit-alcohol-220490">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

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9 beauty hacks for when you’re running late

<p><strong>Spritz on dry shampoo</strong></p> <p>When you don’t have time to wash or blow-dry your hair, dry shampoo is your new best friend. One quick spritz is a shortcut to volume and oil-free hair. Simply spray the dry shampoo directly at the roots and massage in for a clean, tousled look. Beauty expert and blogger, Jeanette Zinno, shares her special trick, “Use a dry shampoo at night to wake up with fresh textured hair. It has all night to work and absorb.”</p> <p>If you’re in a pinch and don’t have any dry shampoo on hand, run a dryer sheet across your hair, suggests Rochelle Maribojoc from Spa Pechanga. Though it sounds strange, it effectively picks up static, dirt, and oil; even if you plan on throwing your hair into a ponytail or messy bun, it’ll look leagues better.</p> <p><strong>Stock up on travel-size products </strong></p> <p>If you’re constantly running late (hey – no judgments!), having a to-go makeup bag full of mini hair and makeup products at the ready is a lifesaver. On those harried mornings, simply grab this trusty tote and do your beauty routine on the fly (on the train or when you get to your office).</p> <p>Makeup artists, Sam &amp; Nic Chapman, share, “Travel-ready products are fantastic in a bind. If you haven’t had enough time to perfect your look in the morning, you’ll have the tools to freshen it up throughout the day.”</p> <p><strong>Take advantage of multipurpose products </strong></p> <p>Multi-purpose products help reduce the number of products you use and can be applied in less time. For example, a colour stick the can be used for cheeks, eyes, and lips. “I love it because it’s also very small, so you can take it on-the-go too,” Zinno says.</p> <p><strong>Dry nail polish fast with ice water</strong></p> <p>We’ve all been there – you’re going to an event or getting ready for a date, and you didn’t have time for a manicure. Of course, there’s no such thing as speedily painting your nails, as polish requires ample drying time, except, that is, if you use this brilliant trick from Zinno.</p> <p>“Soak your freshly-painted nails in a bowl of ice water for a minute; the cold will dry them quickly. Make sure you have the bowl ready before you paint your nails so you don’t mess them up!”</p> <p><strong>Skip the foundation</strong></p> <p>Unless your skin has a lot of unevenness, you really don’t need foundation 24/7. When you’re in a hurry, you can get away with dabbing concealer under eyes, down the bridge of the nose, on your chin, and on any problem areas like dark spots or pimples.</p> <p>“Using your concealer for spot-concealing is the best time-saver as it provides evenness of tone, while giving your complexion a natural, not-fussy look,” says CEO of Veil Cosmetics, Sébastien Tardif, who adds that you want to pick a concealer that matches your skin tone for the most flattering finish.</p> <p><strong>Apply eyeliner on the "negative space"</strong></p> <p>While cat liner and smoky eyes require a time commitment, filling in the negative space (the area of skin on your eyelid between your lashes and eye) is extremely easy and gives instant definition and make your lashes look fuller without any mascara.</p> <p><strong>Smudge eyeliner for an instant smoky eye </strong></p> <p>For the quickest smoky eye, “Simply line your eyes using a creamy eyeliner and smudge with your ring finger (it’s the weakest, so it’s the best for blending without pulling your delicate eyelid skin),” shares beauty expert and professional makeup artist, Sona Gasparian, “In just a few seconds, you’ll have a simple Parisian look!”</p> <p><strong>Blush is a must</strong></p> <p>Although contouring your full face will eat up too much time, blush is too important to skip, especially in the morning when most of us tend to roll out of bed looking pasty or sallow. If you’re super tight on time, dab a tinted lip balm on your cheeks and blend for a creamy blush alternative.</p> <p>“A little bit of colour on our cheeks can go a long way – the colour makes you look more alive without barely even trying,” says BH Cosmetics.</p> <p><strong>Swipe on a dark lip colour</strong></p> <p>A red, plum, or sophisticated brown lip hue can elevate your look and make others think you dedicated a whole lot of effort on your appearance, even when you didn’t.</p> <p>Choose a lip stain and you won’t even have to re-apply throughout the day, says Liz Fuller from Makeup Artistry Inc, “One quick pat on the lips in the morning as you’re running out the door, and you can forget about it for the remainder of the day.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/beauty/9-beauty-hacks-for-when-youre-running-late" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Harry and Meghan named "2023's biggest losers"

<p>Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been crowned "the biggest losers of 2023" by highly influential entertainment magazine <em>The Hollywood Reporter</em>. </p> <p>The publication released its annual list of winners and losers, with celebrities like Taylor Swift, Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig making the winners list. </p> <p>The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the other hand topped this year's list of losers, which included Twitter/X/Elon Musk, and the streaming series <em>Yellowstone</em>.</p> <p>The publication wrote that this year's list reflected "some of the industry’s biggest success stories — and most embarrassing missteps." </p> <p>Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter said<em> </em>that this is a huge blow for the royal couple, as <em>The Hollywood Reporter </em>is considered an "industry bible that people pay attention to".</p> <p>"It is humiliating in Meghan's home town and they refer to the couple's - and I quote this - 'whiney documentary', that 'whiney biography' and the horrible South Park episode," she said in an interview with Nine's <em>Today</em>.</p> <p>Despite being crowned this year's biggest losers, Arbiter said that the couple are looking forward to a better year ahead. </p> <p>"It is time to leave the royal family behind and really establish what it is they want to do and make positive steps forward if they plan to be successful in 2024," she said.</p> <p>"We've been promised a number of different things via rumours over the past year, with talk of Meghan's website The TIG relaunching and she was going to launch a lifestyle brand similar to Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop.</p> <p>"Netflix paid $3 million pounds for rights to a book Harry and Meghan said they would turn into a rom-com, however we haven't had further development on those plans."</p> <p>The royal commentator added that Harry and Meghan will need to build consumer trust and avoid "negative, scandalous headlines that follow them everywhere", as they approach the new year.</p> <p>"Hollywood doesn't do well with negativity," she said.</p> <p>Check out the full list <a href="https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/hollywood-winners-losers-2023-1235712279/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

TV

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Readers respond: What is your go-to movie when you need a good cry?

<p>There's an abundance of movies out there, but not many that can bring you to tears. </p> <p>While <em>The Notebook </em>and <em>Beaches </em>are clearly the fan favourites for our readers, here are a few other recommendations that you can watch this holiday season. </p> <p>Get those tissues ready! </p> <p><strong>Carol Wardley </strong>- Its a wonderful life</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLR3gZrU2Xo" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>, and stream the movie on Stan.</p> <p><strong>Denyse Galle</strong> - Me Before You and A Walk to Remember </p> <p>Watch the trailer for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh993__rOxA" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Me Before you</a> and stream it on YouTube, Apple TV or Amazon Prime Video.</p> <p>Watch the trailer for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3B2XBcp7vA" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A Walk to Remember</a> and stream it  on Apple TV or Amazon Prime Video</p> <p><strong>Kerrie Anne</strong> - The Remains of the Day</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jALmEb72beg" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on <em>Netflix</em>.</p> <p><strong>Ken Smyth </strong>- Dancer in the Dark. That ending...</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53vr9EiOH7g" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on <em>Apple TV</em>.</p> <p><strong>Michael Kopp</strong> - Bambi</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDGv4GIR7A4" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on <em>Disney+.</em></p> <p><strong>Anne Connolly Finnegan</strong> - The Bridges of Madison county </p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up-oN4NtvbM" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on YouTube.</p> <p><strong>Leone Mitchell </strong>- Love Story with Ryan O’Neal and Allie MacGraw beautiful</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYhS8q66L38" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on Foxtel Go,  Binge or YouTube</p> <p><strong>Julie B</strong> - The Colour Purple</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFMCW5-jdqM" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on Netflix. </span></p> <p>Are there any other movies that make you cry? Let us know. </p> <p><em><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Image: Getty </span></em></p> <p> </p>

Movies

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Harry Connick Jnr finally comes clean on feud with Kyle

<p>Kyle Sandilands and Harry Connick Jr. have hashed out their rumoured ongoing feud, calling a truce live on air. </p> <p>The radio shock jock welcomed the singer on <em>The Kyle and Jackie O Show</em> on Wednesday morning to discuss his upcoming Australian tour, when Sandilands brought up their long-running beef. </p> <p>“You know what I admire about Harry, and I’ve watched Harry too,” he told co-host Jackie O when Connick Jr. was on the line.</p> <p>“When you think some doesn't like you, you watch them, you, over-analyse them and you start getting in your head, ‘I wonder why he doesn’t like me?’”</p> <p>Kyle then discussed some lessons he had learned from Harry during their time on Australian Idol together, “What I do know about Harry, and he told the Idol contestants this last year, is read the room. You’ve got to perform to whoever is there, whether it’s an auditorium or it’s to three people on a TV show.”</p> <p>Rather than welcoming the compliment, Connick Jr. thought Sandilands was being sarcastic and "tricky" by stirring the pot. </p> <p>“I see how tricky you are, slipping in there that I don’t like you,” the star said on air. “I don’t know where you got that from. I do like you very much and I really enjoyed our time together. So I see you trying to flip that in there, but you’re not gonna get that past me, pal.”</p> <p>Henderson said Sandilands may have been “paranoid”, while he agreed he “misread” the situation.</p> <p>“So this whole time, I should’ve maybe asked,” he told Connick Jr, who replied: “I love my wife and kids, and I’ve been very lucky in may career. Life is too short for any kind of … I just love life. So when you say I don’t like you, I’m not sure where that comes from, but for the record, I do like you very much and so everything is cool from my end.”</p> <p>While he accepted the explanation, Sandilands also remained slightly sceptical because Connick Jr “is a very good actor” after all, he said.</p> <p>“But Kyle the thing about actors is we don’t lie – we tell the truth,” replied Connick Jr.</p> <p>“You gotta tell the truth in the scene because, if you’re lying, you’re not being true to your character.”</p> <p>Sandilands then urged listeners to forget “everything I’ve ever said about Harry”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: KIIS FM / Getty Images</em></p>

TV

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Not all beer and pokies: what Australians did with their super when COVID struck

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nathan-wang-ly-1380895">Nathan Wang-Ly</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ben-newell-46">Ben Newell</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>What happens when people withdraw their retirement savings early?</p> <p>We’ve just found out.</p> <p>During the first year of COVID Australians who faced a 20% decline in their working hours (or turnover for sole traders) or were made unemployed or were on benefits were permitted to take out up to <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Withdrawing-and-using-your-super/COVID-19-early-release-of-super-(closed-31-December-2020)/">A$10,000</a> of their super between April and June 2020, and a further $10,000 between July and December.</p> <p>Five million took up the offer. They withdrew <a href="https://www.apra.gov.au/covid-19-early-release-scheme-issue-36">$36 billion</a>.</p> <p>Most of those surveyed by the Institute of Family Studies said they used the money to cover <a href="https://aifs.gov.au/sites/default/files/publication-documents/2108_6_fias_superannuation_0.pdf">immediate expenses</a>. But definitions of “immediate” can vary.</p> <p>Real time transaction card data appeared to show early withdrawers boosted their spending by an average of <a href="https://www.illion.com.au/buy-now-pay-later-winner-of-stimulus/">$3,000</a> in the fortnight after they got the money.</p> <p><a href="https://www.stptax.com/emergency-super-withdrawal-spent-on-pokies-beer-and-uber-eats/">One interpretation</a> said they spent the money on “beer, wine, pokies, and takeaway food, rather than mortgages, bills, car debts, and clothes”.</p> <p>In order to get a more complete picture, we obtained access to millions of anonymised transaction records of customers of Australia’s largest bank, the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0313592622001060?via%3Dihub#bfn3">Commonwealth Bank</a>.</p> <p>The data included 1.54 million deposits likely to have been money withdrawn through the scheme including 1.04 million we are fairly confident did.</p> <h2>Who dipped into super?</h2> <p>The data provided by the bank allows us to compare circumstances of withdrawers and non-withdrawers including their age, time with the bank, and banking behaviour before COVID.</p> <p>We find withdrawers tended to be younger and in poorer financial circumstances than non-withdrawers before the pandemic. Six in ten of the withdrawers were under the age of 35, a finding consistent with data reported by the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-25/coronavirus-early-access-superannuation-young-people/12282546">Australian Taxation Office</a>.</p> <p>Withdrawers tended to earn less than non-withdrawers, even non-withdrawers of the same age. Only 17% of withdrawers for whom we could identify an income earned more than $60,000 compared with 26% of non-withdrawers. And withdrawers had lower median bank balances ($618 versus $986).</p> <p>For those with credit cards and home loans, withdrawers were about twice as likely to be behind on repayments as non-withdrawers (9.7% versus 5.8% for credit cards, and 8.2% versus 3.4% for home loans).</p> <p>These characteristics suggest that, despite concerns of the scheme being exploited due to the application process <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-03/-are-people-being-allowed-to-access-their-super-without-scrutiny/12618002">not requiring any documentation</a>, most of those using the scheme genuinely needed the money.</p> <h2>Where did the money go?</h2> <p>Compared to non-withdrawers, those who withdrew increased their spending (on both essential and discretionary items), paid back high-interest debts, boosted their savings, and became less likely to miss debt payments.</p> <p>Withdrawers spent an average of $331 more per month on debit cards in the three months after withdrawal, and $126 per month in the following three months.</p> <p>They spent an extra $117 per month on credit cards during the first three months, which shrank to an extra $13 per month in the following three months.</p> <p>The average withdrawer spent 7% more per month on groceries than the average age and income matched non-withdrawer, 12% more on utilities such as gas and electricity, 16% more on discretionary shopping, and 20% more on “entertainment,” a Commonwealth Bank category that includes gambling.</p> <h2>Less debt, less falling behind</h2> <p>In the three months that followed withdrawing, withdrawers also averaged $437 less credit card debt and $431 less personal loan debt than age and income matched non-withdrawers, differences that shrank to $301 and $351 in the following three months.</p> <p>They also became less likely to fall behind on credit card and personal loan payments, a difference that vanished after three months.</p> <p>Our interpretation is that the scheme achieved its intended purpose: it provided many Australians in need with a financial lifeline and helped buoy them during uncertain and turbulent times.</p> <h2>Lessons learned</h2> <p>At the same time, our <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0313592622001060?via%3Dihub#bfn3">findings</a> identify areas of concern. The fact that most withdrawals were for the permitted maximum of $10,000 highlights the need to carefully consider the withdrawal limit.</p> <p>While these sums might simply reflect the true amount of money individuals needed to sustain themselves, it might be that many withdrawers were unsure of how much to <a href="https://cepar.edu.au/sites/default/files/Determinants%20of%20Early%20Access%20to%20Retirement%20Savings_Lessons%20from%20the%20COVID19%20Pandemic_BatemanDobrescuLiuNewellThorp_July21.pdf">withdraw</a> – not knowing how long the pandemic would continue.</p> <p>Another consideration is how to best support withdrawers after they have taken out the money. More than half were under the age of 35, and might find themselves with a good deal less super than they would have in retirement.</p> <p>The government has already introduced <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/super/apra-regulated-funds/in-detail/apra-resources/re-contribution-of-covid-19-early-release-super-amounts/">tax concessions</a> for withdrawers who contribute funds back into their retirement savings accounts. Super funds might also be able to help, by sending targeted messages to those who have withdrawn.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/190911/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nathan-wang-ly-1380895"><em>Nathan Wang-Ly</em></a><em>, PhD Student, School of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ben-newell-46">Ben Newell</a>, Professor of Cognitive Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/not-all-beer-and-pokies-what-australians-did-with-their-super-when-covid-struck-190911">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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When it comes to weight, your ‘diet’ is much more than what you eat

<p>Atkins, keto, palaeo, gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat, high-fat, raw, vegan, vego, pescatarian – phew, that’s a lot of different diets!</p> <div class="copy"> <p>And it’s by no means an exhaustive list.</p> <p>The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ has come to be a mantra for good diet and health. It was originally coined by 19th-century German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach, himself drawing on commentary by an earlier French gourmand Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.</p> <p>Increasingly, science is finding new connections between diet and our overall picture of health. You may have heard how our gut microbiome acts as a second brain, or that avoiding unprocessed foods can lead to all-cause mortality.</p> <p>But when it comes to many fad diets that promise quick weight loss or improved health, the science can sometimes be skimp. This can change over time as researchers test the influence of diet on general health, weight management and as a medical treatment.</p> <p>The <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/mediterranean-diet-heart-dementia/">Mediterranean diet</a> is probably closest to the mark as a lifestyle of choice, in terms of overall health, nutrition, and diet science. It emphasises <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/nutrition/plant-based-diets-could-prevent-type-2-diabetes/">fruit and vegetable</a> consumption, with some wholegrain breads and cereals, legumes, nuts, seeds and fish, with olive oil as a primary fat source.</p> <p>This diet is either explicitly endorsed by many health authorities around the world such as the <a href="https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/mediterranean-diet" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">American Heart Association</a>, the <a href="https://www.racgp.org.au/clinical-resources/clinical-guidelines/handi/handi-interventions/nutrition/mediterranean-diet-for-reducing-cardiovascular-dis" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Royal Australian College of General Practitioners</a> as a diet for lowering cardiovascular disease risk, or used as a basis for other recommendations. The World Health Organization also <a href="https://www.who.int/europe/news/item/07-05-2018-fostering-healthier-and-more-sustainable-diets-learning-from-the-mediterranean-and-new-nordic-experience" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">advises</a> on ways for the Mediterranean and similar New Nordic diets to be implemented as <a href="https://iris.who.int/bitstream/handle/10665/326264/9789289053013-eng.pdf?sequence=3" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">health policy</a>.</p> <p>But diet might be better considered about more than what goes in one’s mouth.</p> <p>Dr Evangeline Mantzioris, Program Director of the Nutrition and Food Sciences Degree at the University of South Australia, says a truer interpretation of the world extends beyond merely food and drink.</p> <p>“The word diet actually derives from the Greek word <em>diaita</em>, which means the way you choose to live your life,” Mantzioris told the <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/tag/debunks/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><em>Debunks</em> podcast.</a></p> <p>“So it’s not just about the food, it’s about the exercise, it’s about the social interaction, it’s about the rest. It’s about the sleep. It’s all of that.”</p> <p>The WHO’s 2019 Health Evidence Network Synthesis Report also acknowledges both social and sleep components of the lifestyle, noting shared eating practices, post-meal siestas and lengthy meal times all contribute to positive health effects.</p> <p>In terms of the nutritional component, Mantzioris notes that adherence to the diet requires not just an uptake of olive oil, but cutting down on less beneficial foods and an active lifestyle.</p> <p>“It’s not just the olive oil, it’s dropping down the meat, it’s mainly a plant food diet, it’s purposeful exercise,” she says.</p> <p>“I’m always a little bit nervous when people just talk about the diet and the food without considering the rest of it.</p> <p>“In the 60s, when the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet were seen […] they were out there harvesting, growing their food, preparing their food, doing all that sort of purposeful exercise in the outdoor environment, often in quite steep terrain. So that is just as important.</p> <p>“The Mediterranean diet continues to be shown to be quite healthy and beneficial in terms of improving chronic disease risk, even without weight loss.”</p> <p>Mantzioris says that the diet has also been shown to improve cognitive and mental health outcomes.</p> <p>Diet is the focus of the latest episode of <em>Debunks</em> from Cosmos and 9Podcasts, where we dive not simply into what makes a good diet, but the principles that dieticians and nutritionists look for when recommending one for a patient to consider.</p> <p><iframe title="Weight: Do diets actually work?" src="https://omny.fm/shows/debunks/weight-do-diets-actually-work/embed?style=Artwork" width="100%" height="180" frameborder="0"></iframe> <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=287991&amp;title=When+it+comes+to+weight%2C+your+%E2%80%98diet%E2%80%99+is+much+more+than+what+you+eat" width="1" height="1" loading="lazy" aria-label="Syndication Tracker" data-spai-target="src" data-spai-orig="" data-spai-exclude="nocdn" /></div> <div class="copy"> </div> <div><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></div> <div> </div> <div><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/body-and-mind/diet-is-much-more-than-what-you-eat/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/matthew-agius/">Matthew Ward Agius</a>. </em></div>

Body

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Meg Ryan is back after a "giant break"

<p>Meg Ryan is back and she has spilled it all, ahead of her first rom-com release in nearly 15 years. </p> <p>In an interview with <em>People Magazine,</em> the <em>When Harry Met Sally </em>star revealed the reason why she took a step back from her career. </p> <p>"I took a giant break because I felt like there's just so many other parts of my experience as a human being I wanted to develop," she told the outlet. </p> <p>"It's nice to think of it as a job and not a lifestyle. And that is a great way of navigating it for me."</p> <p>The 61-year-old also shared the inspiration behind her first rom-com <em>What Happens Later, </em>which she directed, wrote and starred in. </p> <p>"It came to me during lockdown," she gushed. </p> <p>"The essence of it is these two people who are stuck together. I just love that idea that we're held in a space, even if it feels conflicted, maybe for reasons that heal them."</p> <p>This is the first rom-com that she has acted in for over a decade, with her last film in that genre being <em>Serious Moonlight</em> back in 2009.</p> <p>In another another conversation with <em>Interview</em> <em>magazine's</em> Carol Burnett, she opened up about the process of making her film. </p> <p>"Truly, the easiest part was acting in it," she told the publication. </p> <p>"I want to direct again just so I can sit in the chair, because I’m sure there’s a lot of things I missed."</p> <p>"I hadn’t done a role in a really long time, but it was fun with David," she added, referring to co-star David Duchovny, known for his role as Fox Mulder in <em>The X Files</em>.</p> <p>"A lot of it was done in two shots. I’m proud of that. I set up everything beforehand so that once we were there, it was just David and I trying to tell the truth."</p> <p>She revealed that the film was assembled together with a very "deliberate" process and a budget of only $3 million. </p> <p>"We had to do it really quickly. A lot of those extras weren’t even ours, they were real people," she said. </p> <p>"We went back in post and made everybody the same palette. There’s a lot of stuff you can do digitally now, thank god." </p> <p>The actress first shot to fame in 1980 for her girl-next-door image, after playing the love interest in iconic films like the original <em>Top Gun </em>and <em>When Harry Met Sally. </em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty Images/ Edward Berthelot/WireImage</em></p>

Movies

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Aussie Harry Potter star undergoes heart surgery

<p>In a world where magic wands and spell-casting reign supreme, it seems like Miriam Margolyes, the famous <em>Harry Potter</em> actress, decided to make her own foray into the world of enchantment. Move over, Hermione, because Miriam's latest adventure involved a heart procedure that could only be described as "udderly" extraordinary.</p> <p>The actress recently revealed on the Table Manners podcast that she had a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), and here's the twist – it involved a cow's valve!</p> <p>Margolyes, at the young age of 82, stunned us all by the recent disclosure of her "bovine" transformation. "I've got a cow's heart now," she declared to the curious hosts, Jessie and Lennie Ware.</p> <p>"Well, not the whole heart. I've had an aortic valve replaced by a cow's aortic valve," she reassured everyone. </p> <p>Our beloved <em>Little Shop of Horrors</em> star then proceeded to spill the beans on this refined procedure, which, as it turns out, is nothing short of remarkable. It's an operation that prevents you from having to undergo open heart surgery, something she was quite grateful for, saying, "I don't know how common it is. I'd never heard of that operation."</p> <p>But the question that remained on everyone's lips was, "Was it a keyhole operation?" Miriam, never one to shy away from details, explained that the procedure required doctors to place "two little holes in your groin."</p> <p>If you're wincing at the thought, she didn't stop there. "One in each groin and then they shoved this thing through," she continued. "And I don't know how they pull it up, but they sort of pull it up with stereos." </p> <p>The idea of having bovine body parts might raise a few eyebrows, but in Margolyes' world, it's just another tale to add to her eclectic life experiences. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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All the reasons you might be having night sweats – and when to see a doctor

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/siobhan-banks-18473">Siobhan Banks</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/linda-grosser-1461631">Linda Grosser</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em></p> <p>You’ve finished a workout, so you’re hot and drenched with perspiration – but soon you begin to feel cool again. Later, it’s a sweltering summer evening and you’re finding it hard to sleep, so you kick off the covers.</p> <p>Sweating is a normal part of the body’s cooling system, helping to release heat and maintain optimal body temperature. But regularly waking up during the night, soaked through from excessive sweating is not.</p> <p>Night sweats are <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/night-sweats/basics/definition/sym-20050768">repeated episodes</a> of excessive or intense sweating at night. They are an unpleasant part of life for many people.</p> <p>Many conditions and factors can trigger night sweats by changing the body’s tightly regulated temperature set point, at which the body attempts to maintain its <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.4161/temp.29702">core temperature</a>. Some triggers are harmless (a hot bedroom) or even related to positive lifestyle changes (exercise). Others have an underlying cause like menopause, infection, disease or medication.</p> <h2>Temperature control and sweating</h2> <p>The hypothalamus, located in the brain, is part of the <a href="https://www.hormones-australia.org.au/the-endocrine-system/">endocrine system</a> and the temperature control centre for the body. It contains <a href="https://www.statpearls.com/point-of-care/29920#ref_19631766">temperature sensors</a> that receive information from nerve cells (thermoreceptors) located centrally (in the organs) and peripherally in the skin.</p> <p>Thermoreceptors detect changes in body temperature, sending signals back to the hypothalamus. These <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876034111000256">signals</a> will either activate sweating to cool the body or shivering to warm the body.</p> <h2>Hormones and night sweats</h2> <p>Anyone, regardless of age or gender, can experience night sweats. But women experience night sweats more often than men, largely because menopause and associated changing hormone levels are <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/13697137.2011.608596">a leading cause</a>.</p> <p>Approximately 80% of women experience <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00737-007-0209-5">hot flashes</a> (also called hot flushes) or night sweats after <a href="https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/what-is-menopause">menopause</a> (when periods have ceased for 12 months) and during <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/perimenopause">perimenopause</a> (the time leading up to it).</p> <p>While both hot flashes and night sweats produce a feeling of overheating, they are different experiences associated with menopause. Hot flashes occur during the day, are transient episodes of flushing and may involve sweating. Night sweats occur at night and involve an intense period of <a href="https://www.proquest.com/docview/2821423865?accountid=14649">sweating</a>. Changing oestrogen levels are thought to impact norepinephrine and serotonin levels, two neurotransmitters that influence <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6459071/#:%7E:text=%5B21%5D%20Estrogens%20stimulate%20the%20production,norepinephrine%20which%20disturbs%20hypothalamic%20thermostat">temperature regulation</a> in the hypothalamus.</p> <p>Hormones also influence night sweats in men, particularly those with low <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/testosterone">testosterone</a> levels, known as <a href="https://www.hormones-australia.org.au/endocrine-diseases/hypogonadism/">hypogonadism</a>. Around 38% of men aged 45 years or older have low testosterone <a href="https://www.scielo.br/j/ibju/a/RZqqfTn5tY6BFpV6rp3GMxJ/">levels</a> but it can affect men at any age.</p> <h2>Infections, disease and medications</h2> <p>When fighting infection, our body temperature often <a href="https://europepmc.org/article/nbk/nbk562334">rises</a>. This can stimulate sweating to cool and decrease body <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876034111000256">temperature</a>.</p> <p>Minor infections like the common cold can cause night sweats. They are also a symptom of serious infections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and diseases such as <a href="https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2020/0101/p34.html">Hodgkin’s</a> and <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00002018-200831020-00002">non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma</a>. However, night sweats are rarely the only symptom present.</p> <p>Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), corticosteroids, thyroid hormone replacement and methadone can cause night sweats. These medications affect parts of the <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00002018-200831020-00002">brain</a> and neurotransmitters that control and stimulate sweating.</p> <p>Regular alcohol (particularly alcohol dependence) and recreational drug use can also <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00002018-200831020-00002">increase the risk</a> of night sweats.</p> <h2>Stress, snoring and strenuous exercise</h2> <p>Night sweats are commonly reported by people with <a href="https://karger.com/spp/article-abstract/26/2/92/295722/Psychological-Sweating-A-Systematic-Review-Focused?redirectedFrom=fulltext">anxiety</a>.</p> <p>Psychological stress activates the body’s fight or flight system releasing neurotransmitters that increase heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. This causes the body to heat up, at which point it starts sweating to cool the body back down. Night sweats may also increase anxiety, causing more sweating which in turn leads to less sleep and more anxiety.</p> <p>If anxiety causes night sweats and this causes distress, it’s best to get up, move around and engage in a <a href="https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/night-sweats">calming routine</a>, preferably in a dark or dimly lit room.</p> <p>Night sweats have similarly been connected with sleep disorders like <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/obstructive-sleep-apnoea">obstructive sleep apnoea</a>, where the airway is repeatedly blocked during sleep and there is loud snoring. About one third of people with obstructive sleep apnoea regularly <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11325-011-0502-4">experience night sweats</a>. The exact cause is undetermined but research shows it is linked with low blood oxygen levels (<a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11325-022-02701-3">hypoxemia</a>) and/or <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2869.2009.00743.x">high blood pressure</a>.</p> <p>People can experience night sweats after high-intensity workouts. Vigorous exercise can stimulate the thyroid, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK500006/#:%7E:text=Thyroid%20hormone%20increases%20the%20basal,respiration%20rate%2C%20and%20body%20temperature">increasing basal metabolic rate</a> and body temperature for up to <a href="https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2011/09000/A_45_Minute_Vigorous_Exercise_Bout_Increases.6.aspx">14 hours post exercise</a>. So night sweats can occur even after a vigorous morning workout.</p> <p>Night sweats can indicate overtraining and/or under-fuelling. If not enough calories are consumed to support the increase in training, blood sugar could drop and you could experience <a href="https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2003/0301/p1019.pdf">hypoglycaemia</a>, which can cause night sweats.</p> <h2>When to seek help and 5 things to try</h2> <p>There are <a href="https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2020/1001/p427.html">numerous</a> health conditions and medications that can cause night sweats and interfere with sleep.</p> <p>If night sweats are regular, distressing, interfere with sleep or are accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue or weight loss (not related to lifestyle or diet changes) talk to a doctor to help determine the cause. They might suggest alternative medications to any you’re taking or recommend tests or investigations.</p> <p>In the meantime, you can try the following ideas:</p> <p><strong>1.</strong> sleep in a cool room and use a fan if needed</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> don’t overdress for bed. Wear breathable cotton or linen pyjamas</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> choose lightweight bedding you can kick off. Avoid synthetic fibres and flannel bedding</p> <p><strong>4.</strong> consider a cooling mattress or pillow and avoid those (such as foam ones) that can limit airflow</p> <p><strong>5.</strong> avoid spicy foods, caffeine or alcohol before bed.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/211436/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/siobhan-banks-18473"><em>Siobhan Banks</em></a><em>, Research professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/linda-grosser-1461631">Linda Grosser</a>, , <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/all-the-reasons-you-might-be-having-night-sweats-and-when-to-see-a-doctor-211436">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

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When King Charles is planning to visit Australia

<p>King Charles is preparing to make his first visit to Australia as a monarch. </p> <p>According to reports from the British Media, King Charles and Camilla are expected to head Down Under in late 2024. </p> <p>The reports of the visit comes after many have accused the royal family of snubbing Australia, after there was no offical visit from the royal family during the late Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, despite other royal family members travelling to Commonwealth countries. </p> <p>Prince William has also been called out for not travelling to Australia for the FIFA Women's World Cup final that took place in Sydney, which saw England take on Spain.</p> <p>While Buckingham Palace has yet to officially announce a visit by King Charles and Queen Camilla to Australia, the <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/royals/article-12606099/Charles-monarchy-Australia-King-Sydney-trip.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Mail on Sunday</em></a> has reported that royal aides are busy preparing for a trip to Sydney to coincide with the King's first attendance as the head of the Commonwealth at its meeting in Samoa.</p> <p>A senior Australian government minister told the publication that a royal visit would lead to a "renewed conversation" about the country having its own head of state.</p> <p>Assistant minister for the republic Matt Thistlethwaite said, "The King will always be welcome in Australia and greeted fondly by the Australian people."</p> <p>"But in modern-day Australia his visit will trigger a renewed conversation about having our own head of state who lives with us, represents us and is an Australian."</p> <p>However, shadow defence minister Andrew Hastie said, "The King will be very welcome on his first visit. There is a renewed enthusiasm for the Crown down-under and a sense that we share in something special and historic."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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World mourns the passing of one of the true greats of cinema

<p>Renowned British-Irish actor, Sir Michael Gambon, celebrated worldwide for his iconic portrayal of Albus Dumbledore in the beloved Harry Potter film series, has passed away at the age of 82.</p> <p>In an official statement relayed by his publicist, it was confirmed that he succumbed to pneumonia, leaving his family and fans heartbroken. The statement issued by his family reads, "We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon. Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in the hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus by his side."</p> <p>Michael Gambon's acting journey spanned more than half a century, with one of his most significant milestones being his assumption of the role of Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series, succeeding the late Richard Harris in 2004. In characteristic humility, Gambon downplayed his performance, often remarking that he merely portrayed himself "with a stuck-on beard and a long robe".</p> <p>The Harry Potter franchise expressed its grief, stating, "He brought immeasurable joy to Harry Potter fans from all over the world with his humour, kindness, and grace. We will forever hold his memory in our hearts."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Michael Gambon. He brought immeasurable joy to Harry Potter fans from all over the world with his humour, kindness and grace. We will forever hold his memory in our hearts. <a href="https://t.co/1CoTF3zeTo">pic.twitter.com/1CoTF3zeTo</a></p> <p>— Harry Potter (@harrypotter) <a href="https://twitter.com/harrypotter/status/1707371391866028071?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 28, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>James Phelps, known for his portrayal of Fred Weasley in the series, shared a touching anecdote on Instagram, recounting how Gambon generously helped him rehearse a script during the filming of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". Phelps hailed Gambon as both a legend on and off the camera, describing him as funny and always willing to share his knowledge.</p> <p>Gambon embarked on his acting career in the early 1960s, initially treading the boards of the stage before transitioning to television and film. His filmography boasted remarkable performances, such as his portrayal of a psychotic mob leader in Peter Greenaway's <em>The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover</em> in 1989 and his portrayal of the elderly King George V in Tom Hooper's <em>The King's Speech</em> in 2010.</p> <p>Despite an early start in engineering apprenticeship, Gambon's passion for acting remained unwavering. He recounted to <em>The Herald</em> newspaper in 2004 that he always knew he would become an actor. His breakthrough came in 1962 when he auditioned for the legendary Laurence Olivier, who subsequently appointed him as one of the founding members of the National Theatre at the Old Vic, alongside emerging talents like Derek Jacobi and Maggie Smith.</p> <p>Gambon's reputation soared on the stage, with his portrayal of Galileo in John Dexter's <em>Life of Galileo</em> in 1980 being a standout moment. In the 1980s, his lead role in the TV series <em>The Singing Detective</em> garnered widespread acclaim, earning him one of his four BAFTA Awards. Additionally, he clinched three Olivier Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for ensemble cast performances in <em>Gosford Park</em> (2001) and <em>The King's Speech</em>.</p> <p>Acknowledged for his contributions to drama, Gambon was honoured as a Commander of the British Empire in 1992 and subsequently knighted in 1998. Despite these prestigious titles, he often displayed a mischievous side, weaving tales such as showing fellow actors a forged signed photograph of Robert De Niro, among other playful antics.</p> <p>In 2015, Gambon retired from the stage due to long-term memory issues, yet he continued to grace the screen with his talent until 2019. In a 2002 interview, he expressed that his work made him feel "the luckiest man in the world".</p> <p><em>Images: Getty / Instagram</em></p>

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Harry Potter star's delightful baby name has fans enthralled

<p>Bonnie Wright, renowned for her role as Ginny Weasley in the 'Harry Potter' film series, has welcomed a baby boy with husband Andrew Lococo. The 32-year-old British actress joyfully shared the wonderful news with her fans via Instagram, expressing the overwhelming love she and Andrew feel for their newborn son.</p> <p>Elio Ocean Wright Lococo, the couple's pride and joy, made his entrance into the world at home on Tuesday, September 19th. Bonnie marked the occasion by posting an endearing picture of their newborn, along with the heartwarming caption:</p> <p>"Say hello to Elio Ocean Wright Lococo," wrote the proud new mum. "Born at home on Tuesday 19th September. We’re all healthy and happy. Andrew and I are so in love with our sun 🌞!</p> <p>"So grateful for our birth team that have held our hands throughout and made the journey so joyous and expanding. Birth is the wildest experience! Our perfect and loving midwives Tiffany and Taylor @dosmidwifery our wise and wonderful doula Patti @umamother our doctor Phabby if we had needed to transfer @phabulouscare 🕊️</p> <p>"During these healing postpartum days we’ve been visited by some angels thank you @meaghan_snider_ @motherbees and @themilkywaymamas 🕊️ and thank you @ccmeyer for your incredibly informative course I took in the early weeks of pregnancy. Birth workers are amazing 🕊️ !</p> <p>"Lastly thanks to Andrew my rock throughout birth quite literally as I squeezed onto you so tight and you never wavered. Elio has the most tender loving papa. Ok hormonal emotional extra long caption over!"</p> <p>Prior to welcoming their bundle of joy, Bonnie and Andrew took some time to relax and enjoy a babymoon in Laguna Beach, California. Bonnie cherished these moments, captioning one of her posts, "Our last quiet holiday as just two".</p> <p>Throughout her pregnancy, Bonnie proudly displayed her growing baby bump in various photos, captioning one of them, "A summer of growth".</p> <p>Bonnie Wright and Andrew Lococo exchanged vows in a heartwarming ceremony in March of the previous year. Reflecting on their special day, Bonnie shared her happiness with a caption beneath a picture of their wedding rings, writing, "Yesterday was the best day of my life 💙, Thanks to my husband!!"</p> <p>Many well-wishes poured in, including a heartfelt message from Tom Felton, known for his portrayal of Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter's rival at Hogwarts. The 34-year-old actor wrote, "Congratulations B x."</p> <p>Bonnie Wright's journey in the world of entertainment began at the age of 11 when she made her on-screen debut in the first Harry Potter film, <em>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone</em>, released in 2001.</p> <p>In recent years, Bonnie has garnered recognition for her passionate environmental activism – a definite nod to the "Ocean" element of her newborn's name. She now resides in San Diego, having moved there in February 2020 to be with her now-husband, Andrew Lococo.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Is it normal to forget words while speaking? And when can it spell a problem?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/greig-de-zubicaray-1468234">Greig de Zubicaray</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p>We’ve all experienced that moment mid-sentence when we just can’t find the word we want to use, even though we’re certain we know it.</p> <p>Why does this universal problem among speakers happen?</p> <p>And when can word-finding difficulties indicate something serious?</p> <p>Everyone will experience an occasional word-finding difficulty, but if they happen very often with a broad range of words, names and numbers, this could be a sign of a neurological disorder.</p> <h2>The steps involved in speaking</h2> <p>Producing spoken words involves several <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190672027.013.19">stages of processing</a>.</p> <p>These include:</p> <ol> <li> <p>identifying the intended meaning</p> </li> <li> <p>selecting the right word from the “mental lexicon” (a mental dictionary of the speaker’s vocabulary)</p> </li> <li> <p>retrieving its sound pattern (called its “form”)</p> </li> <li> <p>executing the movements of the speech organs for articulating it.</p> </li> </ol> <p>Word-finding difficulties can potentially arise at each of these stages of processing.</p> <p>When a healthy speaker can’t retrieve a word from their lexicon despite the feeling of knowing it, this is called a “tip-of-the-tongue” phenomenon by language scientists.</p> <p>Often, the frustrated speaker will try to give a bit of information about their intended word’s meaning, “you know, that thing you hit a nail with”, or its spelling, “it starts with an <em>H</em>!”.</p> <p>Tip-of-the-tongue states are relatively common and are a type of speech error that occurs primarily during retrieval of the sound pattern of a word (step three above).</p> <h2>What can affect word finding?</h2> <p>Word-finding difficulties occur at all ages but they do happen more often as we get older. In older adults, they can cause frustration and anxiety about the possibility of developing dementia. But they’re not always a cause for concern.</p> <p>One way researchers investigate word-finding difficulties is to ask people to keep a diary to record how often and in what context they occur. <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01190/full">Diary studies</a> have shown that some word types, such as names of people and places, concrete nouns (things, such as “dog” or “building”) and abstract nouns (concepts, such as “beauty” or “truth”), are more likely to result in tip-of-the-tongue states compared with verbs and adjectives.</p> <p>Less frequently used words are also more likely to result in tip-of-the-tongue states. It’s thought this is because they have weaker connections between their meanings and their sound patterns than more frequently used words.</p> <p>Laboratory studies have also shown tip-of-the-tongue states are more likely to occur under <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13825585.2019.1641177">socially stressful</a> conditions when speakers are told they are being evaluated, regardless of their age. Many people report having experienced tip-of-the-tongue problems during job interviews.</p> <h2>When could it spell more serious issues?</h2> <p>More frequent failures with a broader range of words, names and numbers are likely to indicate more serious issues.</p> <p>When this happens, language scientists use the terms “anomia” or “<a href="https://www.aphasia.com/aphasia-library/aphasia-types/anomic-aphasia/">anomic aphasia</a>” to describe the condition, which can be associated with brain damage due to stroke, tumours, head injury or dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.</p> <p>Recently, the actor Bruce Willis’s family <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2023/02/16/health/frontotemporal-dementia-definition-symptoms-wellness/index.html">revealed</a> he has been diagnosed with a degenerative disorder known as primary progressive aphasia, for which one of the earliest symptoms is word-finding difficulties rather than memory loss.</p> <p>Primary progressive aphasia is typically associated with frontotemporal or Alzheimer’s dementias, although it can be associated with other <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3637977/">pathologies</a>.</p> <p>Anomic aphasia can arise due to problems occurring at different stages of speech production. An assessment by a clinical neuropsychologist or speech pathologist can help clarify which processing stage is affected and how serious the problem might be.</p> <p>For example, if a person is unable to name a picture of a common object such as a hammer, a clinical neuropsychologist or speech pathologist will ask them to describe what the object is used for (the individual might then say “it’s something you hit things with” or “it’s a tool”).</p> <p>If they can’t, they will be asked to gesture or mime how it’s used. They might also be provided with a cue or prompt, such as the first letter (<em>h</em>) or syllable (<em>ham</em>).</p> <p>Most people with anomic aphasia benefit greatly from being prompted, indicating they are mostly experiencing problems with later stages of retrieving word forms and motor aspects of speech.</p> <p>But if they’re unable to describe or mime the object’s use, and cueing does not help, this is likely to indicate an actual loss of word knowledge or meaning. This is typically a sign of a more serious issue such as primary progressive aphasia.</p> <p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroimaging">Imaging studies</a> in healthy adults and people with anomic aphasia have shown different areas of the brain are responsible for their word-finding difficulties.</p> <p>In <a href="https://direct.mit.edu/jocn/article-abstract/35/1/111/113588/Neural-Correlates-of-Naturally-Occurring-Speech">healthy adults</a>, occasional failures to name a picture of a common object are linked with changes in activity in brain regions that control motor aspects of speech, suggesting a spontaneous problem with articulation rather than a loss of word knowledge.</p> <p>In anomia due to primary progressive aphasia, brain regions that process word meanings show a loss of nerve cells and connections or <em><a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0148707">atrophy</a></em>.</p> <p>Although anomic aphasia is common after strokes to the left hemisphere of the brain, the associated word-finding difficulties do not appear to be distinguishable by <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010945215003299">specific areas</a>.</p> <p>There are <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02687030244000563">treatments</a> available for anomic aphasia. These will often involve speech pathologists training the individual on naming tasks using different kinds of cues or prompts to help retrieve words. The cues can be various meaningful features of objects and ideas, or sound features of words, or a combination of both. <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002199241730014X">Smart tablet</a> and phone apps also show promise when used to complement therapy with home-based practice.</p> <p>The type of cue used for treatment is determined by the nature of the person’s impairment. Successful treatment is associated with changes in activity in <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0093934X14000054">brain regions</a> known to support speech production. Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for primary progressive aphasia, although <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13607863.2019.1617246">some studies</a> have suggested speech therapy can produce temporary benefits.</p> <p>If you’re concerned about your word-finding difficulties or those of a loved one, you can consult your GP for a referral to a clinical neuropsychologist or a speech pathologist. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/212852/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/greig-de-zubicaray-1468234">Greig de Zubicaray</a>, Professor of Neuropsychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty </em><em>Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-it-normal-to-forget-words-while-speaking-and-when-can-it-spell-a-problem-212852">original article</a>.</em></p>

Mind

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What do people think about when they go to sleep?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/melinda-jackson-169319">Melinda Jackson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hailey-meaklim-151642">Hailey Meaklim</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>You’re lying in bed, trying to fall asleep but the racing thoughts won’t stop. Instead, your brain is busy making detailed plans for the next day, replaying embarrassing <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@ryanhdlombard/video/7052464974324583681?q=sleep%20thoughts&amp;t=1693536926124">moments</a> (“why did I say that?”), or producing seemingly random thoughts (“where is my birth certificate?”).</p> <p>Many social media users have shared <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@komasawn/video/7267320333613419818">videos</a> on how to fall asleep faster by <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@lilslvrtt/video/7225272823562997000">conjuring</a> up “<a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@ekai.is.okay/video/7169530076143439131?q=fake%20scenario%20fall%20asleep&amp;t=1693537172625">fake scenarios</a>”, such as a romance storyline where you’re the main character.</p> <p>But what does the research say? Does what we think about before bed influence how we sleep?</p> <h2>How you think in bed affects how you sleep</h2> <p>It turns out people who sleep well and those who sleep poorly have different kinds of thoughts before bed.</p> <p><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1087079219302217">Good sleepers report</a> experiencing mostly visual sensory images as they drift to sleep – seeing people and objects, and having dream-like experiences.</p> <p>They may have less ordered thoughts and more hallucinatory experiences, such as imagining you’re participating in events in the real world.</p> <p>For people with insomnia, pre-sleep thoughts tend to be less visual and more focused on planning and problem-solving. These thoughts are also generally more unpleasant and less random than those of good sleepers.</p> <p>People with insomnia are also more likely to stress about sleep as they’re <em>trying</em> to sleep, leading to a vicious cycle; putting effort into sleep actually wakes you up more.</p> <p>People with insomnia often <a href="https://bpspsychub.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1348/014466500163284">report</a> worrying, planning, or thinking about important things at bedtime, or focusing on problems or noises in the environment and having a general preoccupation with not sleeping.</p> <p>Unfortunately, all this pre-sleep mental activity can prevent you drifting off.</p> <p>One <a href="https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/27/1/69/2707948">study</a> found even people who are normally good sleepers can have sleep problems if they’re stressed about something at bedtime (such as the prospect of having to give a speech when they wake up). Even <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17884278/">moderate levels of stress at bedtime</a> could affect sleep that night.</p> <p>Another <a href="https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/full/10.5664/jcsm.6704">study</a> of 400 young adults looked at how binge viewing might affect sleep. The researchers found higher levels of binge viewing were associated with poorer sleep quality, more fatigue, and increased insomnia symptoms. “Cognitive arousal”, or mental activation, caused by an interesting narrative and identifying with characters, could play a role.</p> <p>The good news is there are techniques you can use to change the style and content of your pre-sleep thoughts. They could help reduce nighttime cognitive arousal or to replace unwanted thoughts with more pleasant ones. These techniques are called “cognitive refocusing”.</p> <h2>What is cognitive refocusing?</h2> <p>Cognitive refocusing, developed by US psychology researcher <a href="https://artsandsciences.syracuse.edu/people/faculty/gellis-phd-les-a/">Les Gellis</a>, involves distracting yourself with pleasant thoughts before bed. It’s like the “fake scenarios” social media users post about – but the trick is to think of a scenario that’s not <em>too</em> interesting.</p> <p>Decide <em>before</em> you go to bed what you’ll focus on as you lie there waiting for sleep to come.</p> <p>Pick an engaging cognitive task with enough scope and breadth to maintain your interest and attention – without causing emotional or physical arousal. So, nothing too scary, thrilling or stressful.</p> <p>For example, if you like interior decorating, you might imagine redesigning a room in your house.</p> <p>If you’re a football fan, you might mentally replay a passage of play or imagine a game plan.</p> <p>A music fan might mentally recite lyrics from their favourite album. A knitter might imagine knitting a blanket.</p> <p>Whatever you choose, make sure it’s suited to you and your interests. The task needs to feel pleasant, without being overstimulating.</p> <p>Cognitive refocusing is not a silver bullet, but it can help.</p> <p>One <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2022.2109031">study</a> of people with insomnia found those who tried cognitive refocusing had significant improvements in insomnia symptoms compared to a control group.</p> <h2>How ancient wisdom can help us sleep</h2> <p>Another age-old technique is mindfulness meditation.</p> <p>Meditation practice can increase our self-awareness and make us more aware of our thoughts. This can be useful for helping with rumination; often when we try to block or stop thoughts, it can make matters worse.</p> <p>Mindfulness training can help us recognise when we’re getting into a rumination spiral and allow us to sit back, almost like a passive observer.</p> <p>Try just watching the thoughts, without judgement. You might even like to say “hello” to your thoughts and just let them come and go. Allow them to be there and see them for what they are: just thoughts, nothing more.</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-021-01714-5">Research from our group</a> has shown mindfulness-based therapies can help people with insomnia. It may also help people with <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-022-01370-z">psychiatric conditions</a> such as bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia get more sleep.</p> <h2>What can help ease your pre-sleep thoughts?</h2> <p>Good sleep starts the moment you wake up. To give yourself your best shot at a good night’s sleep, start by getting up at the same time each day and getting some morning light exposure (regardless of how much sleep you had the night before).</p> <p>Have a consistent bedtime, reduce technology use in the evening, and do regular exercise during the day.</p> <p>If your mind is busy at bedtime, try cognitive refocusing. Pick a “fake scenario” that will hold your attention but not be too scary or exciting. Rehearse this scenario in your mind at bedtime and enjoy the experience.</p> <p>You might also like to try:</p> <ul> <li> <p>keeping a consistent bedtime routine, so your brain can wind down</p> </li> <li> <p>writing down worries earlier in the day (so you don’t think about them at bedtime)</p> </li> <li> <p>adopting a more self-compassionate mindset (don’t beat yourself up at bedtime over your imagined shortcomings!).<img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/207406/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> </li> </ul> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/melinda-jackson-169319"><em>Melinda Jackson</em></a><em>, Associate Professor at Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, School of Psychological Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hailey-meaklim-151642">Hailey Meaklim</a>, Sleep Psychologist and Researcher, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-do-people-think-about-when-they-go-to-sleep-207406">original article</a>.</em></p>

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What not to say when someone comes out as LGBTQ+ (and what to say instead)

<p><strong>"Are you sure?"</strong></p> <p>People who identify as LGBTQ+ often struggle a great deal with their own feelings before they make the nerve-wracking decision to come out. Despite your best intentions, responding to this by asking, “Are you sure?” may be seen as calling into question the emotional journey that brought them to that point.</p> <p>Instead of expressing what might be interpreted as doubt, you could perhaps say, “It’s always good to know what you like and want. Thanks for coming out to me.”</p> <p><strong>"It must have been tough for your parents"</strong></p> <p>Yes, it could have been tough for the parents. But guess what? It was harder on the individual for even longer – and in more intense ways than you can imagine. Staying in the closet is not a very comfortable position for a self-accepting person, but it’s an even harder journey to get to that point of self-acceptance. LGBTQ+ individuals have battled real fears of being attacked, abandoned, discriminated against and disadvantaged.</p> <p>In fact, LGBTQ+ youth are three times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. Although it’s reasonable to show empathy for their parents, it’s poorly-timed here. Instead, try, “I hope you are coping well with your parents’ response. I am here to talk if you need to. Thanks for coming out me.”</p> <p><strong>"Why didn't you tell me before?"</strong></p> <p>Well, it’s likely because they were afraid. It’s not because you are a monster, but because they love you and feared losing you as a result of coming out. The important thing is to not take it personally. When a loved one comes out, you are being called on to show targeted and urgent empathy. While your pain of being “left out” is real, it can wait a day or two.</p> <p>Right now, your focus should be how to celebrate your loved one’s life and the choices they’ve made, including the one of having just come out to you. Kick off the celebration by saying, “I am so proud that you have chosen to live your truth in front of me. Thanks for being authentic with me.”</p> <p><strong>"Are you the man or the woman in the relationship?"</strong></p> <p>More than anything, this question demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of the concept of same-sex love. It also misplaces the focus on the sexual act (rather than on identity) at a time when they’re in a vulnerable state. When a person comes out, they’re opening their hearts to you and sharing the emotional reality of who they are as individuals.</p> <p>Instead of asking this question, reinforce how grateful you are that the person has had the courage to come out to you, and say, “I accept you for who you are. Thank you for coming out to me.”</p> <p><strong>"Would you be my gay bestie?"</strong></p> <p>People who identify as LGBTQ+ can be good (or insufferable) company just like any other human being, but the point is, they are human beings and not objects or accessories as the pop culture depiction of the “gay bestie” might have you believe.</p> <p>Instead of this response, take this opportunity to reaffirm your loving, supportive relationship: “You are brave and honest, and this makes me respect you even more. Thanks for coming out to me.”</p> <p><strong>"I knew it!"</strong></p> <p>This particularly hurtful response is generally remarked when a “feminine” man or “butch” woman comes out. Many gender non-conforming individuals try very hard to either tone-down or manage their sexuality in public for fear of homophobia.</p> <p>By saying “I knew it!,” you’re inadvertently suggesting that their sexuality or gender non-conformity was being gossiped about behind their back in a sneaky, judgmental manner, which could, in turn, lead the person to feel that staying in the closet was a safer option than coming out. To avoid this situation, stick with a response of, “I’m honoured you chose to come out to me. Thank you.”</p> <p><strong>"But you're so masculine!"</strong></p> <p>On the opposite end of the spectrum lies this response, indicating disbelief that a “manly” man could be gay, or that a “feminine” woman could be lesbian. Being in the closet is an alienating experience; responding to an individual’s coming-out with a comment that suggests they don’t conform to their “new” sexual identity either can be just as alienating.</p> <p>A better response could be, simply, “I didn’t know, but I’m so grateful you came out to me. Thank you.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/relationships/what-not-to-say-when-someone-comes-out-as-lgbtq-and-what-to-say-instead" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p> <p> </p>

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