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Washington State University
WSU Research Health and Wellness

Individual health and wellness

Building health literacy and a healthful diet

What factors tip the scales from health to disease? Biology and environment, as well as social and behavioral influencers, all play a role. But if you know how to protect your own health and eat right, your odds of staying well go way up.

WSU researchers share vital information about health maintenance with individuals, families, and communities. They seek to optimize ways in which foods are produced, processed, and distributed—so you get the most benefit from every bite.

Research areas

  • Healthful foods and nutrition
  • Health literacy
  • Behavioral, social, and cultural influencers of health
  • child in rem sleep REM sleep vital for young brains

    Sleep’s final stage key to development

    A recent study of the role of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in the development of young brains suggests that it makes experiences “stick” in the brain. The discovery was published in Science Advances by Professor of Medicine Marcos Frank and his former graduate student Michelle Dumoulin Bridi.

    Frank said their findings emphasize the importance of REM sleep in early life and point to a need for caution in giving young children REM-suppressing medications like antidepressants and stimulants for ADHD.

    The idea for Frank’s study came from earlier research that suggested a relationship between sleep and developmental brain … » More …

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  • A group photo of two women and a man talking Happier humans

    Across cultures, introverts benefit from social behavior

    Humanity can be roughly divided into 2 personality camps: introverts and extroverts. Generally speaking, introverts prefer small groups of friends, enjoy stretches of solitude, and may feel drained by the expansive socializing that fuels the more numerous extrovert camp.

    There’s a common stereotype that assumes introverts are antisocial or fundamentally unhappy. But studies show that introverts aren’t antisocial; like extroverts, they experience higher levels of happiness when they engage in outgoing behaviors. However, those studies were done in the U.S. and other Western countries with similar cultural values.

    WSU professor Timothy Church wanted to see if these personality-related … » More …

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  • A photo of an old woman sitting with a bunch of medications on a table Improving hospital care outcomes

    Managing medications after discharge

    Being released from the hospital seems like the end of an ordeal. But when her mother came home from a stay in the intensive care unit, WSU College of Nursing professor Cindy Corbett saw for herself how perplexing, even dangerous, the transition can be.

    Despite her education and experience as a nurse, Dr. Corbett found herself struggling to straighten out which medications her mother needed at what dosage and when they had last been administered. Each of the care providers she contacted had only a partial picture of what her mother needed. She knew that if she was having trouble … » More …

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