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Sleep Disorders Blog

Poor Sleep Tied to Mental Decline in Older Men

Posted 15 days ago by

FRIDAY, April 4, 2014 – Poor sleep is tied to a higher risk of mental decline in older men, according to a new study. It included more than 2,800 men, average age 76, in six locations across the United States. Sleep data was collected from the men through a wrist device for an average of five nights, and participants underwent tests to assess their attention and executive function. Executive function includes planning, making decisions, correcting errors, troubleshooting and abstract thinking. The researchers found that higher levels of poor sleep quality were associated with a 40 percent to 50 percent increased risk of significant decrease in executive function, similar in degree to the effect of a five-year increase in age. Length of sleep did not affect the men's mental skills, according to the study published in the April issue of Sleep. "It was the quality of sleep that predicted ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders

Lack of Sleep Compounds Health Problems for Obese Teens: Study

Posted 6 Mar 2014 by

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 – Obese teens who get too little sleep are at increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, a small study suggests. Researchers assessed the health, physical activity levels and sleeping habits of 37 obese American youngsters, aged 11 to 17. Among the study participants, only one-third met the minimum recommendations of being physically active at least one hour per day. Most slept about seven hours a night, typically waking up at least once. Only five got the minimum recommended 8.5 hours of sleep each night. Too little sleep was associated with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, independent of other risk factors, such as lack of physical activity and high levels of body fat, according to the University of Michigan Health System and Baylor University researchers. The findings, published March 6 in The Journal of Pediatrics, suggest that sleep ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Obesity

Poor Sleep in Gulf War Vets May Be Tied to Brain Changes

Posted 28 Feb 2014 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 28, 2014 – There may be a link between poor sleep quality and reduced gray matter in the brains of Gulf War veterans, a new study suggests. Using MRI scans and a sleep quality assessment, researchers found that sleep disturbances among 144 Gulf War vets were associated with less gray matter in the frontal lobe – the part of the brain involved in working memory and higher-level thinking. The findings were published Feb. 28 in the journal Sleep. Although the study does not prove that one causes the other, the researchers suggested their findings could shed light on the association between poor sleep quality and problems with psychosocial, physical and occupational functioning. "Previous imaging studies have suggested that sleep disturbances may be associated with structural brain changes in certain regions of the frontal lobe," study lead author Linda Chao said in a news ... Read more

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Restless Sleep Linked to Widespread Pain in Older Adults

Posted 13 Feb 2014 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 13, 2014 – Waking up and not feeling rested isn't just annoying. Researchers say that "non-restorative sleep" is the biggest risk factor for the development of widespread pain in older adults. Widespread pain that affects different parts of the body – the main characteristic of fibromyalgia – affects 15 percent of women and 10 percent of men over age 50, according to previous studies. To identify the triggers of such widespread pain, British researchers compiled demographic data as well as information on the pain and physical and mental health of more than 4,300 adults older than 50. About 2,700 had some pain at the study's start, but none had widespread pain. The results, published Feb. 13 in Arthritis & Rheumatology, show that restless sleep as well as anxiety, memory problems and poor health play a role in the development of this type of pain. Three years after the ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Sleep Disorders

FDA Approves Hetlioz: First Treatment for Non-24 Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder in Blind Individuals

Posted 31 Jan 2014 by

January 31, 2014 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Hetlioz (tasimelteon), a melatonin receptor agonist, to treat non-24- hour sleep-wake disorder (“non-24”) in totally blind individuals. Non-24 is a chronic circadian rhythm (body clock) disorder in the blind that causes problems with the timing of sleep. This is the first FDA approval of a treatment for the disorder. Non-24 occurs in persons who are completely blind. Light does not enter their eyes and they cannot synchronize their body clock to the 24-hour light-dark cycle. Those with the disorder may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, and may wake up groggy or feeling as if they need more rest. People with non-24 may find their sleep patterns reversed – needing to sleep during the day and to be awake at night. “Non-24- hour sleep-wake disorder can prevent blind individuals from following the nor ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Eye Conditions

Keep Your Toddler's Body Clock in Mind at Bedtime

Posted 3 Jan 2014 by

FRIDAY, Jan. 3 – Putting toddlers to bed at a time that's out of sync with their internal body clock could lead to sleep problems, according to a small new study. Researchers analyzed the sleep of 14 toddlers, aged 30 to 36 months, for six nights. They found differences in when children's levels of melatonin – a hormone that affects sleep – started to increase in the evening. Rising levels of melatonin indicate the start of night to the body's biological clock, the researchers said. On average, the toddlers' melatonin levels began to rise at about 7:40 p.m., about a half-hour before parents put them to bed. The children typically fell asleep about 30 minutes after being put to bed. Several toddlers, however, were put to bed before their melatonin levels began to rise. These kids took 40 to 60 minutes to fall asleep, according to the researchers from the University of Colorado at ... Read more

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Teens Who Are Night Owls May Struggle in School

Posted 14 Nov 2013 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 – Teens who stay up late are more likely to have lower grades and more emotional problems, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from 2,700 U.S. teens, aged 13 to 18. Of those, 30 percent said they went to bed later than 11.30 p.m. on school nights and 1:30 a.m. in the summer. By the time they graduated from high school, the teens who stayed up late during the school year had lower GPA scores and were more likely to have emotional problems than those with earlier bedtimes, the University of California, Berkeley, team found. Going to bed late in the summer did not appear to affect school performance, but there was an association between later summer bedtimes and emotional problems in young adulthood, according to the study published online Nov. 10 in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The researchers said their findings support later middle and high school ... Read more

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Could a Good Night's Sleep Guard Against Alzheimer's?

Posted 22 Oct 2013 by

MONDAY, Oct. 21 – Older people who get less sleep or poor sleep may have more of the plaque that is suggestive of Alzheimer's disease in their brains, a new study indicates. "There is a link between sleep and the amount of [beta] amyloid in the brain," said lead researcher Adam Spira, an assistant professor in the department of mental health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The unanswered question is whether poor sleep is a result of plaque build-up or if poor sleep leads to more plaque and eventually Alzheimer's disease. Also, although the study showed an association between the two, it did not prove any cause-and-effect links. "We can't say that sleep disturbance preceded the amyloid deposits," Spira said. "One possibility is that changes in the brain are leading to disturbed sleep." It is known that people with Alzheimer's disease have disturbed sleep, Spira ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Alzheimer's Disease

Irregular Bedtimes Lead to Behavior Problems in Kids: Study

Posted 14 Oct 2013 by

MONDAY, Oct. 14 – A regular bedtime might guarantee more than a good night's sleep for both kids and their parents – it turns out that a regular bedtime can make for a better-behaved child, new research suggests. When 7-year-olds had irregular bedtimes, they were more likely to have behavior problems than their peers with a consistent time for their nightly shut-eye. And, the study also found that the longer a child had been able to go to bed at different times each night, the worse his or her behavior problems were. "Irregular bedtimes were linked to behavioral difficulties, and these effects appeared to accumulate through early childhood," said the study's lead author, Yvonne Kelly, a professor of lifecourse epidemiology at University College London. "We also found that the effects appeared to be reversible – children who changed from not having, to having, regular bedtimes showed ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders

Most Childhood Sleep Problems Are Preventable: Expert

Posted 2 Sep 2013 by

SUNDAY, Sept. 1 – Most sleep problems and bedtime challenges facing children are preventable, according to a pediatrician and safe-sleep expert. Many parents deal with a sleep-related issue affecting their child at some point – and troubles for one child can affect an entire family, said Dr. Rachel Moon, who edited a book on sleep problems from the American Academy of Pediatrics, published in September. "Almost every day in my clinical practice, at least one of my parents brings up a question about sleep," Moon wrote in the book. "Many are unhappy or frustrated because their child isn't sleeping how, when or where the parents want. What I usually find is that the sleep problem is often one that could have been avoided." Written with a team of pediatricians, the book addresses many common sleeping problems children encounter at various stages of development, such as nightmares, ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders

Partner's Chronic Pain Can Interfere With Your Sleep

Posted 15 Aug 2013 by

THURSDAY, Aug. 15 – If your partner suffers chronic pain from knee osteoarthritis, your sleep and mood may suffer as well, according to a new study. The study included 145 couples in which one partner had knee osteoarthritis that caused moderate to intense pain. The participants recorded their levels of pain, sleep quality and levels of feeling rested or refreshed in the morning over 22 consecutive nights. When patients reported higher levels of knee pain at the end of the day, their spouses slept poorly that night and felt less refreshed in the morning. Spouses who awoke with symptoms of depression and bad mood were more likely to have poor sleep quality and less refreshing sleep. Couples with the closest marriage bonds had the strongest association between patient pain levels and the spouse's ability to get a good night's sleep, according to the study in the September issue of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Sleep Disorders

One Exercise Session Won't Bring a Good Night's Sleep

Posted 15 Aug 2013 by

THURSDAY, Aug. 15 – If you decide to hit the gym in hopes that a quick dose of exercise will cure your insomnia, a new study suggests that will not be enough. While adopting an exercise program did ultimately help some insomniacs sleep better, the scientists found the impact was far from immediate. "Where the idea to explore this came from is that my patients were coming in and saying that they heard that exercise is good for sleep," explained study author Kelly Baron, director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program with the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. "But people generally want a quick fix. And they weren't seeing improvements right way. So, they were getting discouraged," she said. "The message here is that exercise is not a quick fix, which I don't really think is discouraging at all," Baron said. "Our previous work found that exercise over a ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders

Can Long-Term Night Work Raise Breast Cancer Risk?

Posted 1 Jul 2013 by

MONDAY, July 1 – Working the night shift for 30 years or more may double the risk of breast cancer, a new Canadian study suggests. The study found an apparent connection between night-shift work and breast cancer risk, but it did not prove the existence of a cause-and-effect relationship. Other research has also found a link between night-shift work and breast cancer, especially for health-care professionals. But the new study revealed an apparent risk among other types of workers, said lead researcher Kristan Aronson, a professor of public health sciences at the Queen's Cancer Research Institute at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. While those women with 30 or more years of night-shift work had a doubling of risk, Aronson's team found no increased risk among those who worked nights for less than 30 years. The researchers obtained very specific details about the women's work ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Breast Cancer, Shift Work Sleep Disorder

Sleeping on Back to Prevent SIDS Doesn't Appear to Hurt Babies' Ability to Roll

Posted 9 Jun 2013 by

FRIDAY, June 7 – Having babies sleep on their back to reduce their risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) does not affect the development of their ability to roll, according to a new study. Some concern existed that the introduction of the Back to Sleep campaign (now called Safe to Sleep) 20 years ago would reduce the time that infants spent on their stomachs and impair their gross motor development, particularly their ability to roll from their stomach to their back, and from their back to their stomach. But a Canadian researcher who looked at the rolling abilities and motor skills development of 725 infants aged 1 week to 8 months found that their ability to roll was much the same as it was among infants 20 years ago. "Infant gross motor development hasn't changed that much in 20 years," study author Johanna Darrah, a professor of physical therapy at the University of Alberta, ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders

Poor Sleep May Worsen Heart Woes in Women, Study Finds

Posted 7 Jun 2013 by

FRIDAY, June 7 – Poor sleep appears to contribute to the progression of heart disease in women by raising their inflammation levels, but this effect was not seen in men, researchers say. "Inflammation is a well-known predictor of cardiovascular health," lead author Aric Prather, a clinical health psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a university news release. "Now we have evidence that poor sleep appears to play a bigger role than we had previously thought in driving long-term increases in inflammation levels and may contribute to the negative consequences often associated with poor sleep," Prather added. Previous research has shown that sleeping fewer than six hours per night may raise the risk of chronic health problems, including heart disease, and is associated with higher levels of inflammation. This new study ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Heart Disease

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