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Sleep Disorders Blog

Ban Electronics in Kids' Bedrooms, Expert Says

Posted 1 day 22 hours ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 26, 2014 – Electronic devices can keep kids up at night and should be banned from the bedroom, according to experts from Stony Brook Children's Hospital in New York. Devices like tablets, smartphones and video games can prevent children and teens from falling asleep, which can have a negative effect on their school performance. Even if kids are not using them, backlit electronics can interfere with a good night's sleep, the experts said. "The burst of light from a phone [even if it's just to check the time] can break a sleep cycle," Dr. Jill Creighton, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Stony Brook, said in a university news release. "A regular alarm clock is best," she added. Although every child may have different sleep needs, the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends that preschoolers get about 11 to 12 hours of sleep each day. Meanwhile, ... Read more

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A Good Night's Sleep May Mean a Good Day's Work

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Sept. 14, 2014 – Getting enough sleep each night may mean you're less likely to take time off from work due to illness, a new study suggests. The study included more than 3,700 people in Finland, aged 30 to 64, who were followed for an average of seven years. Those who slept less than six hours or more than nine hours a night were much more likely to have extended absences from work due to illness, the investigators found. People with the lowest risk for taking time off from work due to sickness were those who slept between seven and eight hours a night. The researchers even narrowed the ideal amount of nightly sleep for workers down to seven hours, 38 minutes for women, and seven hours, 46 minutes for men, according to the study in the September issue of the journal Sleep. The team also found that insomnia-related symptoms – waking early in the morning, feeling more tired ... Read more

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Health Tip: Helping Your Newborn Sleep

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

-- It can take newborns a while before they sleep through the night, but there are things parents can do to help newborns enjoy longer stretches of slumber. The National Sleep Foundation offers these suggestions: Learn to identify signs that your baby is sleepy, and watch for patterns in baby's sleep. When baby seems drowsy, put the infant in a crib rather than waiting until the baby falls asleep. Place baby in the crib on his or her back, with no blankets, pillows or toys. Read more

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Poor Quality Sleep May Be Linked to Shrinking Brain

Posted 3 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3, 2014 – Not getting a good night's sleep might be linked to shrinkage of the brain's gray matter over time, new research suggests. Faster deterioration of three parts of the brain was seen in mostly older adults who had poor sleep quality, though not necessarily too little sleep. Sleep difficulties included having trouble falling asleep, waking up during the night or waking up too early. However, it isn't clear whether poor sleep causes the changes in the brain, whether a shrinking brain causes poor sleep, or whether a bit of both is occurring. "We spend roughly a third of our lives asleep, and sleep has been proposed to be 'the brain's housekeeper,' serving to restore and repair the brain," said lead researcher Claire Sexton, a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Oxford in England. "It follows that if sleep is disrupted, then processes that help ... Read more

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Less Sleep in Teen Years Tied to More Pounds at 21

Posted 28 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 – Lack of sleep not only puts teens at risk for poor grades, it also puts them at increased risk for obesity, researchers warn. The study authors analyzed data collected from more than 10,000 Americans when they were aged 16 and 21. Nearly one-fifth of them got less than six hours of sleep a night when they were age 16, and this group was 20 percent more likely to be obese at age 21 than those who got more than eight hours of sleep per night at age 16, the investigators found. Although lack of exercise and too much time spent watching television were also risk factors for obesity, these behaviors did not account for the link between lack of sleep and obesity, according to the study published online recently in the Journal of Pediatrics. "Lack of sleep in your teenage years can stack the deck against you for obesity later in life. Once you're an obese adult, it ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Obesity

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

Posted 25 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

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 14 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

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 13 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

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 13 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

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, No Doz, Valentine, Vivarin, Bio-Melatonin, Pep-Back Peak Performance

Sleep Woes for Astronauts May Pose Risks in Space: Study

Posted 8 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

-- 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 womenshealth.gov 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 Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

-- 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 Drugs.com

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