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Sleep Disorders Blog

Could a Bad Night's Sleep Make You Eat More Fatty Food?

Posted 4 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, 2015 – Skipping just a single night of sleep leads to a shift in brain activity that seems to spark a desire to consume more fat the following day, a new study suggests. The study offers potential insights into the relationship between lack of sleep and the risk of obesity, researchers said. "The main finding of this study is that one night of sleep loss altered function within the brain's 'salience network,' " explained study senior author Hengyi Rao. The salience network is a pathway in the brain thought to guide decision-making, according to Rao. He is an assistant professor of cognitive neuroimaging in neurology and psychiatry within the division of sleep and chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. What's more, Rao added, a brain scan analysis revealed exactly how the network changed in response to sleep loss, which ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Obesity

Health Tip: Talking in Your Sleep

Posted 6 days ago by

-- While talking during sleep may not be harmful to your health, it can be disruptive to partners and may be embarrassing. The National Sleep Foundation mentions these possible triggers for sleep talking: Feeling depressed or stressed. Running a fever. Drinking alcohol. Having sleep deprivation or daytime sleepiness. Having family members who talk in their sleep. Sleep talking may also be associated with a psychiatric disorder, seizures, sleep apnea, nightmares and REM sleep behavior disorder. Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia

Small Study Links Lack of Sleep to Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Posted 10 days ago by

THURSDAY, Feb. 19, 2015 – A new study helps explain why getting too little sleep might boost diabetes risk. Researchers say lack of sleep can lead to increased levels of substances called free fatty acids in the blood. These substances interfere with the ability of the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. The researchers said these findings suggest that high rates of obesity and diabetes could be reduced by something as simple as having people get more sleep. "At the population level, multiple studies have reported connections between restricted sleep, weight gain and type 2 diabetes," said study senior author Dr. Esra Tasali in a University of Chicago news release. She is an assistant professor of medicine at the university. The study included 19 healthy men. They were between the ages of 18 and 30. The volunteers participated in two sleep scenarios. In one, they got a full ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Diabetes, Type 2

Preschoolers May Not Need Naps, Review Reports

Posted 12 days ago by

TUESDAY, Feb. 17, 2015 – A daytime nap may not be the best idea for preschoolers, concluded a recent review of dozens of previous studies on napping. Children over 2 years old who napped during the day tended to go to bed later and get less sleep than those who gave up a mid-day snooze, the researchers found. "Given that sleep is such an important issue for the well-being of children and their parents, we were surprised to find so few studies on the costs and benefits of naps in early childhood," according to the study's lead authors Karen Thorpe and Sally Staton. Both are researchers at the Queensland University of Technology School of Psychology and Counseling in Australia. "The most significant finding from our study is that there is not support in the current body of research for enforcing naps in preschool children to improve their health and well-being," the authors said. ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia

Sleep Group Updates Shuteye Guidelines

Posted 12 days ago by

TUESDAY, Feb. 17, 2015 – For the youngest and oldest, the National Sleep Foundation has new guidelines on what constitutes a good night's rest. Newborns (0 to 3 months) need 14 to 17 hours of sleep per day, while infants (4 to 11 months) need 12 to 15 hours, according to the new guidelines. Previous recommendations were 12 to 18 hours for newborns, and 14 to 15 hours for infants. On the other end of the age spectrum, the sleep foundation added a new category – 65 and older. The experts now recommend that seniors sleep for 7 to 8 hours a night. The updated guidelines also widen sleep ranges for older children: Toddlers between 1 and 2 years need 11 to 14 hours of sleep every night (previously 12 to 14 hours) Preschoolers between 3 and 5 years should get 10 to 13 hours each night (previously 11 to 13 hours) School-aged children, 6 to 13 years old, need 9 to 11 hours nightly (previously ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia

Parents Split on Later School Start Time for Teens

Posted 13 days ago by

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 – About half of American parents support a later start to the school day for teens, a new survey shows. The poll of parents with teens aged 13 to 17 whose schools start before 8:30 a.m. found that half favored a later school start time. Forty percent said doing so would allow their teens to get more sleep, and 22 percent believed doing so would help their teen do better at school. However, 22 percent of the parents thought later school start times would mean there wasn't enough time for after-school activities, and 14 percent said later start times might hamper teens' ability to get to school. Twenty-seven percent of the parents said they would support a later school start only if it didn't affect the school's budget, and 24 percent said they would support it no matter how it affected the budget, according to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders

'Mindfulness' May Help Ease Sleep Problems for Seniors

Posted 13 days ago by

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 – Mindfulness meditation may help older adults get a better night's sleep, a small study suggests. Researchers found that among 49 older adults with sleep problems, those who learned mindfulness practices started sleeping better within six weeks. In fact, they did better than their counterparts who were given conventional lessons on good sleep habits, the study authors said. Experts said the findings, published online Feb. 16 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, are encouraging. On average, the effects of the mindfulness program were comparable to what's been seen in studies of sleep medications and "talk therapy," said study leader David Black, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. According to Black, that means older adults can feel comfortable opting for "mind-body" practices as a way to ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia

U.S. Teens Getting Less Sleep Than Ever

Posted 13 days ago by

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 – American teens don't get enough sleep, and the problem has only gotten worse since the 1990s, new research shows. Just 63 percent of 15-year-olds reported getting seven or more hours of sleep a night in 2012. That number is down from 72 percent in 1991, according to the study. Regardless of the time period studied, the number of teens reporting seven or more hours of sleep nosedives between the ages of 13 and 18, the study showed. At 13, roughly two-thirds of teens get at least seven hours of sleep a night; by 18 that percentage drops to about one-third. "After age 16, the majority are not meeting the recommended guidelines," said study author Katherine Keyes, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. Sleep experts have noted that too little sleep boosts the risk of weight gain, poor school ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders

Depression After Stroke Linked to Troubled Sleep

Posted 18 days ago by

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – Stroke survivors with depression may be at increased risk for sleep problems, a new study suggests. According to experts, sleep problems are common after stroke and associated with poor health. In the new study, a team of researchers in Korea looked at nearly 300 people hospitalized with stroke. They found that more than a fifth of them got less than six hours of sleep a night while they were hospitalized. Three months later, 44 percent of the 199 patients who completed the follow-up still had nighttime sleep problems, such as frequent nighttime awakenings and too little sleep, the team said. Although the study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, depression was the main factor associated with sleep problems. The researchers, led by Smi Choi Kwon of Seoul National University, also found that 39 percent of the patients had more daytime sleepiness than they did ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Sleep Disorders, Ischemic Stroke

Naps May Improve Your Health

Posted 19 days ago by

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – Brief daytime naps might protect you against the harmful health effects of a poor night's sleep, a new study suggests. Specifically, naps appeared to restore hormones and proteins involved in stress and immune function to normal levels in the study. The small study included 11 healthy men between the ages of 25 and 32. Researchers restricted the volunteers' sleep to only two hours for a night. The next day, they had a 2.5-fold increase in levels of norepinephrine, a stress hormone that increases heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar. They also had lower levels of a protein called interleukin-6, which fights viruses. On another night, sleep was limited to two hours again. However, the next day they were allowed to take two 30-minute naps. After napping, the men's norepinephrine and interleukin-6 levels were normal. The study was published in the Journal of ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders

Electronic Devices May Disrupt Teen Sleep, Study Reports

Posted 3 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 3, 2015 – Spending too much time using electronic devices during the day harms teens' sleep, a new study suggests. The research included nearly 10,000 Norwegian teens, aged 16 to 19, who were asked how much screen time (computer, smartphone, tablet, video game console, television, MP3 player) they got during the day outside of school, and about the amount and quality of their sleep. The use of any electronic device during the day and in the hour before bedtime was associated with an increased risk of taking longer than 60 minutes to fall asleep. In particular, the use of a computer, smartphone or MP3 player in the hour before bedtime was strongly linked with taking longer to fall asleep. It's important to note, however, that although the study tied use of these devices to sleep problems, it wasn't designed to prove whether or not the devices actually caused the sleep ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders

Tablets and E-readers May Disrupt Your Sleep

Posted 22 Dec 2014 by

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 – People who receive a tablet or e-book reader for the holidays might wind up spending some sleepless nights because of their new gadget. That's because the light emitted by a tablet like an iPad can disrupt sleep if the device is used in the hours before bedtime, according to a new Harvard study. People who read before bed using an iPad or similar "e-reader" device felt less sleepy and took longer to fall asleep than when they read a regular printed book, researchers found. The morning after reading an e-book, people found it harder to wake up and become fully alert than after reading a regular book – even though they got the same amount of sleep. The bright light from these devices appears to suppress melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone that normally increases during the evening and reaches its highest levels as you sleep, said lead researcher Anne-Marie ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders

Almost All U.S. Teens Are Sleep Deprived, Study Finds

Posted 11 Dec 2014 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 – More than 90 percent of American high school students are chronically sleep-deprived, putting their health and academic performance in jeopardy, a new report finds. The study, based on U.S. national data, finds that most teens don't get the minimum 9 to 10 hours of sleep per night that's recommended by standard guidelines. Teenagers do face a number of challenges as they try to get adequate sleep, experts say. "I don't believe there's one culprit," said the study's lead author, Charles Basch, a professor of health and education at the Teacher's College at Columbia University in New York City. "For some children it's too much homework, for some it's health problems like asthma," he explained. "For others it may be anxiety or depression, or the prescription medications they are taking for such conditions. Recreational drugs can be a factor, as can having ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Fatigue

How Well You Sleep May Depend on Your Genes, Study Suggests

Posted 3 Dec 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 2014 – How much sleep you get each night may depend to some extent on your genes, a new study suggests. "Sleep patterns are influenced by genetic differences," said study co-author Dr. Daniel Gottlieb, a sleep researcher and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "This study is one of the first to begin identifying these genetic differences, and will hopefully help us better understand the causes of sleep disorders and their relation to other important diseases." The findings suggest that certain genetic variations make a difference of a few minutes' sleep a night. But the research may ultimately point to a wider picture of how certain genes affect conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and diabetes, said Gottlieb. Scientists believe several aspects of sleep – including when and how long people sleep – are inherited to some ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders

Babies Still Sleeping With Soft Bedding Despite SIDS Risk: CDC

Posted 3 Dec 2014 by

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 – Although soft bedding has been linked to an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), more than half of American parents continue to use such bedding for their sleeping babies, according to a new study. Use of soft bedding among parents declined sharply from 1993 through 2000, but has mostly leveled off since the early 2000s, the study found. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended since 1996 that infants be placed in sleeping environments without any soft surfaces or objects that might trap air, the study noted. "Soft bedding has been shown to increase the risk of SIDS. Soft objects and loose bedding – such as thick blankets, quilts and pillows – can obstruct an infant's airway and impose suffocation risk," said lead author Carrie Shapiro-Mendoza, a senior scientist in the Maternal and Infant Health Branch of the U.S. Centers for ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders

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