King's in the news - January 2018 

With many people’s minds turning to health and well-being at the start of the year, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see King’s world-leading health research hitting the headlines. Here we’ve gathered together a few interesting stories in case you missed them.

Understanding the importance of a good night’s sleep

King’s research that links sleeping for longer to a reduced intake of sugary foods was picked up by a whole range of publications from The Times and The Telegraph to New Scientist and TIME.

A team of King’s researchers looked at the impact of increasing sleep time on the types and amounts of food people eat. They found that extending sleep patterns through improved sleep hygiene behaviours (such as avoiding caffeine and establishing a routine) resulted in a reduction in reported intake of sugars.

The principal investigator, Dr Wendy Hall, from King’s Department of Nutritional Sciences observed: ‘The fact that extending sleep led to a reduction in the intake of free sugars … suggests that a simple change in lifestyle may really help people to consume healthier diets.’

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A quarter of pregnant women have mental health problems

Back at the start of the year the BBC and the Metro were amongst those reporting on King’s research into the prevalence of mental health problems in pregnant women. One in four pregnant women were found to be suffering from a range of conditions including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder.

With the known link between mental health conditions and adverse outcomes for women, the study sought to establish the best approach to identifying problems.

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Shortage of nurses in UK is affecting patient care

Professor of Nursing Policy Anne Marie Rafferty reported on her research into how the shortage of nurses in the UK is affecting patient care in this The Conversation

Last year for the first time the number of nurses leaving the profession outnumbered the number coming in. At a point when an ageing population is putting increasing pressure on the NHS, this is leading to higher workload and faster burnout.

It’s been known for more than a decade that not having enough nurses has a detrimental effect on patient care, including patient mortality, and Professor Rafferty is calling for the Government to do something about it.

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The Duchess of Cambridge visits King's

Lastly, the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IOPPN) was very pleased to welcome the Duchess of Cambridge to the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute. The Duchess came to find out more about the pioneering ‘bench to bedside’ perinatal mental health research being undertaken at King’s, leading to possibly E! News’s first ever article on research into post-partum depression. Such visits can be an effective way of raising the profile of important research to a wide range of audiences.

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