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Sleep Disorders Blog

'Sleep Drunkenness' Is Common and Linked to Other Behavior Issues

Posted 2 days 5 hours ago by

MONDAY, Aug. 25, 2014 – "Sleep drunkenness" is more common than previously thought, affecting about one in 15 Americans, according to a new study that looked at the sleeping habits of more than 19,000 adults. Also called confusional arousal, the condition causes people to wake up in a confused state, not knowing where they are. In the most severe cases, they can injure themselves or others, explained lead researcher Dr. Maurice Ohayon, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. "There was a case of a man on a ship who awoke in a confused state and fell off the deck to his death," Ohayon said. In addition to such extreme cases, there have been cases where waking up in a confused state led to the person striking a bedmate. Most people can't remember the incident afterwards. Ohayon noted that these episodes can occur even while taking a nap. "This happens to most ... Read more

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Employees Benefit From Natural Light, Study Finds

Posted 13 days ago by

THURSDAY, Aug. 14, 2014 – Natural light during the work day may benefit employees by improving their sleep and quality of life, according to a new study. "There is increasing evidence that exposure to light, during the day – particularly in the morning – is beneficial to your health via its effects on mood, alertness and metabolism," study senior author Dr. Phyllis Zee, professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said in a university news release. "Workers are a group at risk because they are typically indoors often without access to natural or even artificial bright light for the entire day. The study results confirm that light during the natural daylight hours has powerful effects on health," she said. The study included 49 day-shift office workers – 22 in workplaces ... Read more

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Study Hints at Link Between Poor Sleep, Suicide Risk

Posted 14 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 – Sleeping difficulties may increase the risk of suicide in older adults even when other symptoms of depression aren't present, a new study suggests. The study focused on adults 65 and older, and poor sleep included difficulty falling or staying asleep, waking up early in the morning, experiencing daytime sleepiness and not feeling fully rested after a night's sleep. "These findings suggest that sleep disturbances stand alone as a valid risk factor – independent of depressed mood – and worthy of focus as a potential [suicide] risk factor, screening and intervention tool," said lead researcher Rebecca Bernert, an instructor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. "Compared to many other known suicide risk factors, sleep disturbances are arguably less stigmatizing and may be undone, and are highly treatable." Among the 20 study participants who ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia

Many Shift Workers Use Drugs to Sleep, Stay Awake, Study Finds

Posted 14 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 – Many shift workers take drugs to sleep or stay awake despite lingering questions about their benefits and risks, researchers report. The study authors analyzed the findings of 15 clinical trials that included a total of 718 people. Nine of the trials found that the over-the-counter hormone drug melatonin helped shift workers sleep about 24 minutes longer during the night or day, but did not help them get to sleep quicker. One study looked at the hypnotic drug zopiclone (similar to eszopiclone which is available in the U.S.), and found that it was no more effective than an inactive placebo at helping shift workers sleep during the day. The other five studies assessed the effects of caffeine and the drugs modafinil and armodafinil, which are prescribed for sleepiness during night shifts. Caffeine reduced sleepiness during night shifts when workers also took ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Nuvigil, Caffeine, Provigil, Melatonin, Lunesta, Alert, Modafinil, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Eszopiclone, NoDoz, Stay Alert, Armodafinil, Vivarin, No Doz, Valentine, Bio-Melatonin, NoDoz Maximum Strength

Sleep Woes for Astronauts May Pose Risks in Space: Study

Posted 19 days ago by

FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 – Lack of sleep is common among astronauts before and during spaceflight, and their widespread use of sleeping pills could pose a safety threat, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed the sleep habits of 64 astronauts on 80 space shuttle missions and 21 astronauts on International Space Station missions before, during and after their time in space. In total, the team examined more than 4,000 nights of sleep on Earth and more than 4,200 nights of sleep in space, according to the study in the Aug. 8 issue of The Lancet Neurology. NASA schedules 8.5 hours of sleep per night for crew members while in space, but astronauts' average amount of sleep per night was just under six hours on shuttle missions and just over six hours on space station missions. Only 12 percent of sleep sessions on shuttle missions and 24 percent of space station missions lasted seven hours or ... Read more

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Health Tip: Seeing a Doctor About Sleep

Posted 4 Aug 2014 by

-- Along with regular exercise and a healthy diet, sleep is essential for good health. If you're not getting enough zzzs, you should talk with your doctor. The says a doctor visit is in order if: You frequently have difficulty sleeping and can't find relief. You wake during the night, gasping for air. Your partner tells you that while you sleep, you stop breathing for short periods. You snore loudly. You wake in the morning not feeling refreshed. You frequently fall asleep during the day. Read more

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Bed-Sharing Linked to SIDS

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by

MONDAY, July 14, 2014 – Risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) appear to change with the age of the infant, researchers say. They found that younger babies are more likely to die when they're sharing beds, while older babies face a higher risk of sudden death when there are objects in the crib with them, such as pillows and toys. "This study is the first to show that the risks during sleep may be different for infants of different ages," said lead author Dr. Rachel Moon, associate chief of Children's National Medical Center's division of general pediatrics and community health, in Washington, D.C. "Parents of infants under 4 months of age should be aware that bed-sharing is a huge risk factor." Parents should also be careful to make sure their infants sleep without objects around them, she said. "Parents often forget that as the infant gets older and nothing bad has ... Read more

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Parents' Sleep May Affect Child's Risk of Obesity: Study

Posted 11 Jun 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, June 11, 2014 – The amount of sleep parents get may affect whether their children get enough sleep to protect them from becoming overweight or obese, according to a new study. "We viewed how long parents slept and how long children slept as part of a household routine and found that they really did go together," study author Barbara Fiese, director of the Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois in Urbana, said in an university news release. Researchers assessed the weight of 337 preschool children and their parents, as well as factors that could protect against overweight and obesity. The protective factors assessed in parents included adequate sleep (more than seven hours a night) and family mealtime routine. The factors assessed in children included adequate sleep (10 or more hours a night), family mealtime routine, not having a television in the bedroom, ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Obesity

Health Tip: Can't Sleep?

Posted 8 Jun 2014 by

-- Most everyone has occasional trouble falling asleep and sleeping through the night. But certain things can worsen the problem. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute mentions these risk factors for insomnia: Being under heavy stress. Being depressed or going through an emotionally troubling experience, such as a divorce or death of a loved one. Working unusual shifts that change frequently. Traveling across time zones. Getting insufficient exercise. Read more

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More Americans Kept Awake by Fido, Fluffy

Posted 5 Jun 2014 by

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 – Dogs whimpering that they need to "go outside," cats with medical needs, even pets that snore – it's all adding up to sleepless nights for many Americans, a new report finds. Overall, the percentage of people reporting sleep-time trouble with their pets rose from 1 percent in 2002 to 10 percent by 2013, according to a small study by Mayo Clinic researchers in Phoenix. "While the majority of patients did not view their pets intolerably disturbing their sleep, a higher percentage of patients experienced irritation [and] this may be related to the larger number of households with multiple pets," study lead author Dr. Lois Krahn, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist, said in a clinic news release. "One patient owned a parrot who consistently squawked at 6 a.m.," Krahn noted. "He must have thought he was a rooster." The study, slated for presentation at this week's annual ... Read more

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New Campaign Seeks to Help Sleep-Deprived Americans

Posted 25 May 2014 by

FRIDAY, May 23, 2014 – Everyone knows that to be healthy you should eat right and exercise. But now a new campaign is adding one more thing to that list: get a good night's sleep every night. "The urgency of our message cannot be overstated: Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury, and the pursuit of healthy sleep should be one of our top priorities," Dr. Safwan Badr, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), said in an academy news release. "Sufficient sleep is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle – as important as good nutrition and regular exercise. There's no avoiding it or catching up: You must sleep well to be well," Badr added. The importance of sleep is the central message of the "Sleep Well, Be Well" campaign. The campaign is part of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, a partnership between the AASM, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ... Read more

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More Evidence Ties Poor Sleep to Obesity in Kids

Posted 19 May 2014 by

MONDAY, May 19, 2014 – Young children who get too little sleep are more likely than others to be obese by age 7, according to a new study. Previous research has suggested insufficient sleep before age 4 raised the risk of obesity. But the new study, published online May 19 in Pediatrics, observed the link from infancy to mid-childhood. "Insufficient sleep is an independent and strong risk factor for childhood obesity and the accumulation of total fat and abdominal fat," said study researcher Dr. Elsie Taveras, chief of general pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston. "The main strength of this study is we looked at sleep at multiple periods," she added. Excess body fat in childhood sets the stage for serious health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Taveras and her team studied more than 1,000 children. Curtailed sleep was defined as fewer than 12 ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Obesity

Health Tip: How Many Zzzz's Do You Need?

Posted 8 May 2014 by

-- Sufficient sleep is essential to help you feel sharp, focused and well. So, are you getting enough? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these guidelines by age: Newborns need 16 hours to 18 hours of sleep each day. Children in preschool need 11 hours to 12 hours of sleep per day. School-aged children should get a minimum of 10 hours of sleep per day. Teens should get a minimum of nine hours of sleep each day. Adults, including seniors, need seven hours to eight hours of sleep daily. Read more

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Many Parents Not Following Safe Sleeping Practices for Babies

Posted 6 May 2014 by

SATURDAY, May 3, 2014 – As many as half of infants in some parts of the United States aren't being put to sleep on their backs, new research finds, even though it would reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Overall, two-thirds of infants born at term sleep on their backs, and the rate is lower among babies who were born prematurely, found researchers who looked at data on nearly 400,000 infants. "Given that supine [on the back] sleep positioning significantly reduces an infant's risk for SIDS, it is worrisome that only two-thirds of full-term infants born in the U.S. are being placed back-to-sleep," study author Dr. Sunah Hwang said in an American Academy of Pediatrics news release. "More concerning is that adherence to safe sleep positioning is even lower for preterm infants who are at even greater risk for SIDS compared to term infants," added Hwang, a neonatologist ... Read more

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Helmets Not Helpful for Babies With 'Flat Head' Syndrome: Study

Posted 2 May 2014 by

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014 – Some babies develop a flat area on their head from lying in the same position for long periods of time, but special helmets are ineffective in treating the condition, a new study finds. About one in five babies aged younger than 6 months has this problem, experts say. It has become more common in the wake of campaigns urging parents to place babies on their backs when they sleep, to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The use of these expensive helmets to treat flattened heads is controversial and there has been little research into their use, the study authors noted. The new study was published May 1 in the online edition of BMJ. Researchers in the Netherlands looked at 84 babies who had moderate to severe flattening of the head. Starting when they were 6 months old, half of the babies wore a custom-made, rigid, closely fitting helmet for 23 ... Read more

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Insomnia, Narcolepsy, Sleep Apnea, Hypersomnia, Drowsiness, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Sleep Paralysis, Jet Lag, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder