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24-Hour Shifts Can Play Havoc With the Heart

Posted 46 minutes ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016 – Sleep deprivation while working 24-hour shifts affects heart function, a new German study suggests. "These findings may help us better understand how workload and shift duration affect public health," said lead researcher Dr. Daniel Kuetting, from the department of diagnostic and interventional radiology at the University of Bonn. "For the first time, we have shown that short-term sleep deprivation in the context of 24-hour shifts can lead to a significant increase in cardiac contractility [the degree to which heart muscle contracts], blood pressure and heart rate," Kuetting said. The study included 20 healthy radiologists with an average age of nearly 32 years. The participants' heart function was checked before and after a 24-hour shift in which they got an average of three hours of sleep. After the shift, the participants showed significant changes in blood ... Read more

Related support groups: Fatigue, Heart Disease, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder

Web-Based Help for Insomnia Shows Promise

Posted 1 day 22 hours ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30, 2016 – People find help for all sorts of maladies online. Now, insomnia might be one of them. A web-based interactive program may help chronically sleepless individuals get needed shuteye without taking medication or spending time on a therapist's couch, a new study suggests. The six-week program uses cognitive behavior therapy techniques – a standard treatment for insomnia – to help reset sleep patterns, the researchers said. People who participated in the program "experienced significant and clinically meaningful improvements in their sleep, compared to those who were given online patient education," said lead researcher Lee Ritterband. Moreover, the results are "similar to outcomes reported in trials that included face-to-face cognitive behavior therapy," said Ritterband. He is a professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine's department of ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Klonopin, Clonazepam, Ativan, Valium, Fatigue, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Diazepam, Temazepam, Sleep Apnea, Librium, Restoril, Drowsiness, Xanax XR, Oxazepam, Halcion, Serax

Why Some Women Find Good Sleep Tough to Get

Posted 13 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 12, 2016 – Some women have trouble staying asleep, and a new small study may shed light on why. Women's internal, or circadian, body clocks run at a faster pace than men's, according to the research. It's as if women operate in a different "internal time zone," said study lead author Dr. Diane Boivin, professor of psychiatry at McGill University in Montreal. "They go to bed at a later biological time because their clock is shifted earlier, eastward," Boivin said. Boivin also directs the Centre for Study and Treatment of Circadian Rhythms at Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal, a McGill affiliate. The way women sleep throughout the 24-hour circadian day also outpaces men, the study showed. Boivin said these two findings explain why women's sleep-wake cycle runs about two hours ahead of men. Women are more likely than men to report insomnia at least a few ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Fatigue, Sleep Apnea, Diagnosis and Investigation, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, Shift Work Sleep Disorder

Health Tip: Find a Fun Alarm Clock

Posted 6 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

-- If you have a tough time getting out of bed in the morning, a fun alarm clock that eases the transition into your day may help. Try these suggestions from the National Sleep Foundation: Look for an alarm clock that's functional, not just pretty. Make sure the buttons are easy to find when you're groggy first thing in the morning. Skip alarm clocks that emit bright blue light that can interfere with sleep. Opt for one that uses softer amber, orange or red to help you sleep more soundly. Choose an alarm clock that wakes you with a sound that you enjoy, whether that's the news, your favorite music or nature sounds. Consider one that gradually increases the volume to gently rouse you. Look for fun features that make sure you won't oversleep. Some alarm clocks have a light that turns on slowly at the time you should wake. Others vibrate the bed to help wake you. Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Fatigue, Nightmares, Sleep Apnea, Drowsiness, Narcolepsy, Hypersomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Jet Lag, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

Brain Relies on Two Timekeepers for Sleep

Posted 12 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 12, 2016 – Both an internal "clock" and an internal "hourglass" affect how different parts of your brain respond to sleep deprivation, a new study shows. The Belgian researchers said these findings could eventually aid in the understanding of sleep disorders, and help folks who work night shifts or those with jet lag. The study involved 33 healthy young people who volunteered to stay awake for 42 hours and have their mental sharpness tracked along the way. Sleep scientists from the University of Liege used MRI scans to chart the volunteers' brain activity as they performed tests of attention and reaction time. Not surprisingly, their performances dulled as their sleep deprivation worsened. But the brain scans revealed a complicated interaction between two basic biological processes: the body's central "circadian rhythm," which pushes people to be awake and active during ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Fatigue, Nightmares, Sleep Apnea, Drowsiness, Narcolepsy, Cataplexy, Night Terrors, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Sleep Paralysis, Hypersomnia, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Insomnia - Stimulant-Associated, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, Jet Lag, Alcohol-Induced Sleep Disorder

Health Tip: Considering a Sleep Study?

Posted 21 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

-- If you can't find a way to get to sleep, a sleep study may help you figure out what's behind your insomnia. The National Sleep Foundation says a sleep study may help if: Your doctor can't figure out what's causing your sleep problems. You've tried treatments for sleep issues without success. You have significant daytime drowsiness or chronic snoring. You wake up often throughout the night, or have trouble falling asleep. Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Fatigue, Nightmares, Sleep Apnea, Drowsiness, Narcolepsy, Cataplexy, Night Terrors, Sleep Paralysis, Hypersomnia, Insomnia - Stimulant-Associated, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, Alcohol-Induced Sleep Disorder

Mom Was Right: A Good Night's Sleep Helps Keep You Healthy

Posted 11 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 11, 2016 – In news that's sure to have mothers everywhere saying, "I told you so," scientists have confirmed that a good night's sleep may keep colds and other infections at bay. The odds that someone who sleeps five or fewer hours a night had caught a cold in the past month were 28 percent higher than for folks who regularly get more shuteye, the study found. And for other infections – including flu, ear infections and pneumonia – short sleepers had more than 80 percent higher odds of having an infection in the past month compared to those sleeping seven or eight hours, the study said. "People who sleep five or fewer hours on average are at substantially increased risk for both colds whether head or chest or other infections, compared to people who sleep seven to eight hours on average," said study researcher Aric Prather. He's an assistant professor of psychology at ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Fatigue, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sleep Apnea, Sore Throat, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder

Health Tip: Setting Yourself Up for Better Sleep

Posted 28 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Allowing your mind and body to relax before bed helps prepare you for a better night's sleep. The Harvard Medical School advises: Avoid any sleep-disrupting things, such as alcohol, caffeine or nicotine. Make sure dinner is light and early. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but cut back before bed. Design a bedroom that is cool, dark and quiet. Create a nightly bedtime routine that is soothing and relaxing (no work, no screens). Don't go to bed until you are truly tired. If you wake in the middle of the night, turn your clock around so you can't see it. If you can't fall asleep, get up after about 20 minutes and do something relaxing. Get the most out of your morning by going outside for exposure to natural light and exercise. If you take a nap (though it's better not to), make sure it's not too close to bedtime. Set consistent times for bed and waking. Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Fatigue, Insomnia - Stimulant-Associated, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder

Daytime Sleepiness, Long Naps Linked to Heart Risks: Study

Posted 24 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 24, 2016 – While getting enough sleep is key to health, a new study suggests that long daytime naps may not be doing your heart any favors. The researchers found that long naps and excessive daytime sleepiness were associated with an increased risk for a combination of health problems that are collectively known as metabolic syndrome. And that can boost the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Metabolic syndrome includes conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and excess fat around the waist. The investigators analyzed the findings of 21 studies that included a total of more than 307,000 people. The research showed that people who napped for less than 40 minutes were not at increased risk for metabolic syndrome. In fact, those who napped less than 30 minutes had a slight decrease in risk. But there was a sharp rise in risk among those ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Fatigue, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder

Poor Sleep May Not Add to Cholesterol Problems, Study Finds

Posted 3 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 2, 2016 – Sleepless nights don't appear to be linked to an increase in cholesterol levels, a new study indicates. The exception seems to be people who take sleeping pills to treat insomnia, the researchers said. There has been speculation about a possible link between insomnia and heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol, because sleep apnea – another type of sleep disorder – has been linked to heart disease. From the large U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the researchers behind the new study reviewed data on more than 19,000 people. They looked at information from 2005 to 2008. In people over age 20, the researchers found 11 percent had elevated levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol. Twenty-two percent had low levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. Just over 16 percent had high levels of triglycerides, another unhealthy blood fat, the study ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Fatigue, High Cholesterol, Sleep Apnea, Drowsiness, Hypertriglyceridemia, Hypersomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Jet Lag

Catch-Up Sleep May Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Risk Tied to Sleep Loss: Study

Posted 19 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 18, 2016 – Though prior research warns that sleep deprivation may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests that "catch-up" sleep might reverse that risk – at least in the short-term. Short-changing sleep during the week only to sleep in for long periods on the weekend is a common pattern in the United States, according to the study authors. And, previous research has suggested that getting just four or five hours of sleep a night can boost type 2 diabetes risk by nearly 20 percent. But the new study hints that that risk might be reversed with just two days of extra sleep. "I have to say that this is a small, very short-term controlled study involving only healthy men," said study lead author Josiane Broussard, an assistant research professor with the Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory at the University of Colorado in Boulder. "In real life, you'd be ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Diabetes, Type 2, Sleep Disorders, Fatigue, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, Jet Lag

Health Tip: Sounds May Help You Fall Asleep

Posted 25 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

-- When you want a bit of help to nod off, some soft background noise may be just what you need. The National Sleep Foundation suggests: Try white noise, which combines different sounds at different frequencies. You can use a white noise app on your smart phone or buy a white noise machine (sometimes called a sound conditioner). Consider the soothing sounds of nature, from raindrops to rolling ocean waves. Avoid sounds that may be jarring. Turn on soft music, particularly light jazz, classical, Gregorian chants or folk music. Avoid loud music or with lyrics that may distract you. If you find human voices soothing, try apps that play a soothing voice repeating nonsensical phrases. Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Fatigue, Nightmares, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, Jet Lag

Sleepwalkers Feel No Pain When Injured: Study

Posted 6 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 6, 2015 – Some sleepwalkers don't feel pain when they suffer an injury – even a severe one – during a sleepwalking episode, a new study finds. But sleepwalkers are at increased risk for headaches and migraines when they're awake, the researchers added. The researchers assessed 100 sleepwalkers and a control group of 100 people with normal sleep habits, and found that the sleepwalkers were nearly four times more likely to suffer headaches and 10 times more likely to suffer migraines. Among the 47 who had suffered at least one injury during sleepwalking, 79 percent said they did not feel pain at the time and remained asleep despite the injury, according to the study in the November issue of the journal Sleep. "Our most surprising result was the lack of pain perception during the sleepwalking episodes," principal investigator Regis Lopez, a psychiatrist and sleep medicine ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Headache, Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Migraine, Nightmares, Sleep Apnea, Head Injury, Sleep Paralysis, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder

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