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Posts Tagged ‘Sleep’

Five Ways To Sleep Outside Without A Tent

July 22nd, 2014 Raquel Rothe No comments

http://indefinitelywild.gizmodo.com/five-ways-to-sleep-outside-without-a-tent-1598690786

Great article for all the campers out there and it is summer-enjoy!

In Elderly, Less Sleep Linked to Aging Brain

July 11th, 2014 Raquel Rothe No comments

Researchers at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore have found evidence that the less older adults sleep, the faster their brains age. These findings, relevant in the context of Singapore’s rapidly aging society, pave the way for future work on sleep loss and its contribution to cognitive decline, including dementia.

Past research has examined the impact of sleep duration on cognitive functions in older adults. Though faster brain ventricle enlargement is a marker for cognitive decline and the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, the effects of sleep on this marker have never been measured.

The Duke-NUS study examined the data of 66 older Chinese adults, from the Singapore-Longitudinal Aging Brain Study. Participants underwent structural MRI brain scans measuring brain volume and neuropsychological assessments testing cognitive function every 2 years. Additionally, their sleep duration was recorded through a questionnaire. Those who slept fewer hours showed evidence of faster ventricle enlargement and decline in cognitive performance.

“Our findings relate short sleep to a marker of brain aging,” says Dr June Lo, lead author and a Duke-NUS Research Fellow, in a release. “Work done elsewhere suggests that seven hours a day for adults seems to be the sweet spot for optimal performance on computer based cognitive tests. In coming years we hope to determine what’s good for cardio-metabolic and long term brain health too,” adds Professor Michael Chee, senior author and Director of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke-NUS.

The study was published in the journal SLEEP

- See more at: http://www.sleepreviewmag.com/2014/07/old-less-sleep-aging-brain/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=SR+Sleep+Report+7%2F09&spMailingID=8979349&spUserID=MjQxMTIxNTA4MjUS1&spJobID=340679522&spReportId=MzQwNjc5NTIyS0#sthash.DcXOgPRa.dpuf

REM Sleep Disturbance May Signal Future Parkinson’s or Dementia

July 2nd, 2014 Raquel Rothe No comments

REM behavior disorder could be a sign of impending neurodegenerative disease, including Parkinson’s and dementia, according to new research at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging’s 2014 Annual Meeting.

Researchers are not sure why spontaneous and unexplained disturbance in REM sleep should lead to a neurodegenerative disease like Parkinson’s, but new longitudinal imaging data show a clear correlation between idiopathic REM behavior disorder and dysfunction of the dopamine transporter system involved in a wide range of vital brain functions, including memory and motor control. Dysfunction associated with dopamine in the brain marks the first hints of Parkinson’s disease.

In order to gauge the relationship between the REM sleep disorder and neurodegeneration, scientists performed molecular neuroimaging using a technique called single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), which allows clinicians to evaluate bodily functions instead of focusing on structure, the forte of conventional radiology.

“Our SPECT study showed a trend toward decreased dopamine transporter density in the brain and Parkinsonism in the follow-up data of patients with REM sleep disorder who had no previous evidence of neurodegenerative disease,” said Hongyoon Choi, MD, a researcher at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Sungnam, Korea. “To our knowledge, a study looking at a long-term link between the two has never been conducted before.”

A total of 21 consecutive patients with no known Parkinsonism or cognitive decline were enrolled in the long-term study between 2004 and 2006 and were followed after about 8 years. A baseline SPECT scan of dopamine transporter function was performed with the radiopharmaceutical I-123 FP-CIT as an imaging agent. A follow-up scan was performed to assess progression of neurodegenerative disease. Results showed that after follow-up, patients’ SPECT scans revealed substantial decreases in radiotracer binding to the dopamine transport system in the nigrostriatal regions of the brain. A lack of tracer binding in these regions of the brain is closely linked to neuronal degeneration and the development of dementia and movement disorders.

A total of 10 patients out of the original 21 patients with disturbed REM sleep were found to have decreased striatal tracer binding at the beginning of the study. Of these, seven had developed neurodegenerative disease by follow-up some years later, including four patients who developed Parkinson’s disease and two patients who developed dementia with Lewy bodies, a neurodegenerative disease identified by the build-up of proteins, called Lewy bodies, in brain regions associated with memory muscle control.

- See more at: http://www.rtmagazine.com/2014/06/rem-sleep-disturbance-future-parkinsons-dementia/#sthash.PQJm2EyR.dpuf

The Medicine Cabinet-Ask the Harvard Experts: Restless legs might improve with nutritional changes

May 28th, 2014 Raquel Rothe No comments

By Robert Shmerling. M.D., Tribune Content AgencyPremium Health News Service

4:30 a.m. CDT, April 30, 2014

Q: I have restless legs syndrome. Can diet help?

A: We don’t know what causes restless legs syndrome, but we do know that it causes unpleasant or painful sensations in the legs. This could include tingling, pulling, or crawling, along with an urge to move the legs.

A number of medications can help. However, treatment recommendations do not usually include changes in diet. Therefore, many doctors would answer “no” to your question. However, there are some associations that might be considered.

Iron deficiency is a risk factor for restless legs syndrome. So if blood tests show iron deficiency, eating iron-rich foods might help. Examples include red meat, leafy green vegetables and iron-fortified cereals. But most doctors would simply recommend an iron supplement. (And your doctor may recommend testing to determine the cause of iron deficiency.)

A few studies have found that celiac disease is more common among people with restless legs syndrome. For people with both celiac disease and restless legs syndrome, eliminating gluten from the diet might improve symptoms of both conditions. However, this possibility has not been well-studied.

A study of more than 18,000 men found no connection between restless legs syndrome and an “unhealthy diet.” (This would be a diet that increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illness.) But this study did not include a detailed analysis of the impact of specific foods on restless legs syndrome.

Caffeine and alcohol may affect sleep quality. Poor sleep quality can make symptoms of restless legs syndrome worse. If you’re willing, it may be worth a trial of cutting back and then eliminating both from your diet.

If you have restless legs syndrome, current evidence suggests that dietary changes are unlikely to have a major impact on your symptoms. But research regarding the connection is limited. Future research could change that.

Until then, watch your caffeine and alcohol intake. And talk with your doctor about getting a blood test for iron deficiency and perhaps for celiac disease.

(Robert H. Shmerling, M.D. is a practicing physician in rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass., and an Associate Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.)

(For additional consumer health information, please visit http://www.health.harvard.edu.)

(c) 2014 PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

Is it ADHD, or does your child have Sleep Apnea?

May 21st, 2014 Raquel Rothe No comments

A thoughtful question posed by a doctor at The Pennsylvania Snoring and Sleep Institute. Many of the symptoms are similar and the two illnesses are often confused.

“Not much is understood by parents about snoring or sleep apnea, especially in their children. The Stanford School of Medicine states that about 10% of children 10 years of age and younger snore and, of those children who snore, about 20% will haveobstructive sleep apnea.
Snoring can be a sign that your child has sleep apnea as it indicates, at the very least, that their airway is partially obstructed during sleep. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can interrupt or stop your child’s breathing, prevent a normal night’s sleep, impair growth, and lead to a lower quality of life. It also can cause serious fatigue during the day which is why it is so often confused with ADHD.
Sleep-disordered breathing such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have long been associated with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). You should know that not every child diagnosed with sleep apnea has ADHD, just as not every child diagnosed with ADHD has sleep apnea. However, many studies have been performed indicating a significant correlation between OSA and behavioral issues. Children with obstructive sleep apnea do not get restful sleep, and as a result may complain of morning headaches, be irritable and have difficulty concentrating.
Children with sleep apnea may complain of being tired during the day and, at the same time, exhibit hyperactive behavior or act impulsively. Herein lays the confusion of separating sleep apnea from ADHD because many of the classic symptoms of ADHD are often exhibited in children with OSA. So, as a parent of a child diagnosed with ADHD, what do you do?”

5-7-14 adhd“It will be in your child’s best interest if you dig a little deeper into the root of what may be causing these behaviors. Watch your child sleep at night – and even record it if you can. Check for restlessness, mouth breathing, snoring, or breathing pauses. If they occur, have your child evaluated for possible sleep apnea to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment.
Figuring out if your child has sleep apnea or ADHD may seem quite complex but it doesn’t have to be. Consult with a sleep apnea doctor if you can answer ‘yes’ to any or some of the following questions:
- Does your child snore?
- Does your child stop breathing for a few seconds at night?
- Does your child frequently mouth breathe?
- Does your child sleep through the night or is it a restless sleep?
- Is there frequent bedwetting?
- Does your child seem irritable during the day? Is there difficulty focusing? Are there periods of hyperactivity?”

7-14-1`2 teacher and sleeper“The good news is that sleep apnea is treatable. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are the most common causes of sleep apnea in children. An Ear, Nose and Throat specialist can determine if your child’s tonsils and adenoids are enlarged and possibly blocking the airway at night. A tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy can successfully treat sleep apnea by removing the obstruction in the airway resulting in a complete elimination of symptoms in 80-90% of children.”

Dr. Lana B. Patitucci, D.O. is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist at The Pennsylvania Snoring and Sleep Institute. She is trained in all aspects of general and pediatric otolaryngology including endoscopic sinus, otologic, head and neck, and facial plastic surgery.

Sleep Doctor is Guru of Slumber for Professional Sports Teams

May 20th, 2014 Raquel Rothe No comments

More practice or more sleep? Most sports teams know intuitively that sleep is essential, and they enforce the notion with strict curfews.

The idea that sleep can add up to a real advantage in high-stakes sports can be seen in the high respect given to Harvard sleep specialist Charles Czeisler. According to a lengthy story in the Atlantic by Danielle Elliot, Dr. Czeisler gets frequent calls from NHL and NBA coaches asking for advice.

According to Elliot, Czeisler is a tenured professor at Harvard Medical School and a go-to expert for professional sports teams from every major league. “In the age of analytics-as-religion, teams are looking for every possible way to squeeze more skill out of elite athletes,” writes Elliot. “They consult experts on everything from the number of minutes a player should be on the court to how many fourth down conversions they should attempt. But Czeisler recommends something much simpler: more sleep.”

As director of the Division Sleep Medicine at Harvard, Czeisler is known around the NBA as the Sleep Doctor. “Jovial, he presents most of the research with a slight laugh, as if to say none of this should come as a surprise,” writes Elliot. “It’s sleep. And yet, it’s so poorly understood. Beyond sports, he’s also consulted with NASA and the Secret Service.”

Source: The Atlantic

Can Naps be Harmful?

May 13th, 2014 Raquel Rothe No comments

By Lori Sichtermann

It’s well documented that taking the occasional mid-day nap can have a positive effect on one’s health.  A brief power nap can reduce sleepiness, improve cognitive functioning such as problem solving and decision making, and improve one’s reaction time. An afternoon snooze also can enhance short-term memory and mood, Dr Nicole Lovato, nap scientist at the School of Psychology, Flinders University, South Australia, told NapNow.net.au.

Yet, as refreshing as a siesta may seem, recent results from a 13-year study conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge reveal that those who napped more than an hour or more each day  were 32% more susceptible to early death.

After analyzing the health and outcome of nappers and non-nappers, investigators found the frequent nappers –  those who napped for more than two hours every day  –  had a greater risk of death by heart disease, cancer, and respiratory illness.

Because the results of these findings remained the same even after the researchers adjusted for age, sex, educational level, body mass index, physical activity level, smoking, alcohol intake, and other preexisting conditions, investigators with the study believe the results demonstrate a link between chronic napping and undiagnosed health problems. In fact, a growing tome of research has reported associations between napping and increased risk of several medical problems, including type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

According to Lovato, who was not involved in the study, many individuals with co-existing medical and sleep problems, such as diabetes and sleep apnea, also experience excessive levels of daytime sleepiness. As a result, she says, the connection between extensive naps and chronic disease is likely due to medical issues that contribute to daytime sleepiness, which is in turn relieved by napping. She specifically notes diabetes as a disease that induces tiredness, which may encourage napping.

Although there is evidence that links chronic napping to more serious health issues, Lavato is quick to say that more research is needed. She notes that the majority of these types of studies are cross-sectional in nature, so they are not designed to establish whether napping can actually cause medical problems.

“Experimental and prospective studies are needed to assess the casual direction between medical issues and napping,” she told NapNow.net.au. “Essentially, is napping causing the health problem or is the health problem causing napping?”

According to a report on the topic published by Health.com, not all naps are bad or indicate poor health. In fact, a number of previous studies have found that naps can actually help with certain medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and even lower blood pressure. James Wyatt, PhD, director of the Sleep Disorders Service and Research Center at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, told Health.com that those who suffer from narcolepsy or shift-work syndrome can actually benefit greatly from regular daytime naps.

Experts on the topic of naps say 30 to 45 minutes is best when it comes to catching some mid-day Zs. However, individuals are well-advised to listen to their bodies. If one is consistently feeling tired and in need of frequent naps, it may be a good idea to seek medical attention.

- See more at: http://www.sleepreviewmag.com/2014/05/naps-harmful/#sthash.bUf8n7fg.dpuf

Sleep Apnea Can Worsen Blood Sugar Control in People with Type 2 Diabetes

April 2nd, 2014 Raquel Rothe 1 comment

Researchers at the University of Chicago found that sleep apnea can worsen blood sugar control in people with Type 2 diabetes.

The findings provide another good reason for people with sleep apnea to wear a CPAP mask that helps assure uninterrupted breathing, the standard treatment for the condition, throughout the night. It is well known that sleep apnea, which causes breathing pauses and dangerous drops in oxygen during sleep, sharply raises the risk of Type 2 diabetes. More severe cases of sleep apnea are generally associated with poorer blood sugar control in diabetics

As originally reported on the American Diabetes Association web site (and published in Diabetes Care), disruption during the REM phase of sleep had the most detrimental effects on long-term blood sugar control. The problem, says Dr. Babak Mokhlesi, an author of the study “Association of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Rapid Eye Movement Sleep with Reduced Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes: Therapeutic Implications”, is that most REM sleep occurs in the early morning hours before waking, at a time when many patients remove their CPAP mask.

“In type 2 diabetes, OSA during REM sleep may influence long-term glycemic control,” writes Mokhlesi, director of the sleep disorders center at the University of Chicago, in the study’s abstract. “The metabolic benefits of CPAP therapy may not be achieved with the typical adherence of 4 h per night.”

http://www.sleepdt.com/sleep-apnea-can-worsen-blood-sugar-control-in-people-with-type-2-diabetes/

Omega-3 Linked to Better Sleep

March 25th, 2014 Raquel Rothe No comments

Higher levels of omega-3 DHA, the group of long-chain fatty acids found in algae and seafood, are associated with better sleep, according to a randomized placebo-controlled study by the University of Oxford.

The researchers explored whether 16 weeks of daily 600 mg supplements of algal sources would improve the sleep of 362 children. The children who took part in the study were not selected for sleep problems, but were all struggling readers at a mainstream primary school. At the outset, the parents filled in a child sleep questionnaire, which revealed that four in 10 of the children in the study suffered from regular sleep disturbances. Of the children rated as having poor sleep, the researchers fitted wrist sensors to 43 of them to monitor their movements in bed over 5 nights. This exploratory pilot study showed that the children on a course of daily supplements of omega-3 had nearly 1 hour (58 minutes) more sleep and seven fewer waking episodes per night compared with the children taking the corn or soybean placebo. The findings are due to be published in the Journal of Sleep Research.

The two-phased study looked at sleep in 362 healthy 7-9 year old UK schoolchildren in relation to the levels of omega-3 and omega-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) found in fingerstick blood samples. Previous research has suggested links between poor sleep and low blood omega-3 LC-PUFA in infants and in children and adults with behavior or learning difficulties. However, this is the first study to investigate possible links between sleep and fatty acid status in healthy children.

At the start of the study, parents and carers were asked to rate their child’s sleep habits over a typical week (using a three-point scale). Their responses to the well-validated Child Sleep Habits Questionnaire indicated that 40% of the children had clinical-level sleep problems, such as resistance to bedtime, anxiety about sleep, and constant waking in the course of the night.

The study finds that higher blood levels of the long-chain omega-3 DHA (the main omega-3 fatty acid found in the brain) are significantly associated with better sleep, including less bedtime resistance, parasomnias, and total sleep disturbance. It adds that higher ratios of DHA in relation to the long-chain omega-6 fatty acid AA (arachidonic acid) are also associated with fewer sleep problems.

Lead author Professor Paul Montgomery of Oxford University says in a release: “To find clinical level sleep problems in four in ten of this general population sample is a cause for concern. Various substances made within the body from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids have long been known to play key roles in the regulation of sleep. For example, lower ratios of DHA have been linked with lower levels of melatonin, and that would fit with our finding that sleep problems are greater in children with lower levels of DHA in their blood.”

Co-investigator Dr Alex Richardson of Oxford University says: “Previous studies we have published showed that blood levels of omega-3 DHA in this general population sample of 7-9 year olds were alarmingly low overall, and this could be directly related to the children’s behaviour and learning. Poor sleep could well help to explain some of those associations.

“Further research is needed given the small number of children involved in the pilot study. Larger studies using objective sleep measures, such as further actigraphy using wrist sensors, are clearly warranted. However, this randomised controlled trial does suggest that children’s sleep can be improved by DHA supplements and indicates yet another benefit of higher levels of omega-3 in the diet.”

- See more at: http://www.sleepreviewmag.com/2014/03/omega-3-better-sleep/#sthash.TEJ9eyBI.dpuf

Sleep apnea may hold hidden dangers for women

March 12th, 2014 Raquel Rothe No comments

Sleep apnea may hold hidden dangers for women

Monday 28 October 2013 – 3am PST

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Sleep apnea may hold hidden dangers for women

A new study on sleep apnea reveals there could be some hidden dangers – particularly for women who have the condition – where breathing is interrupted during sleep. Women with sleep apnea may appear healthy, but they have subtle symptoms so their sleep problem is often misdiagnosed.

Now, new research, led by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Nursing, shows that the body’s autonomic responses, which normally control blood pressure, heart rate, sweating and other basic functions, are not as strong in people with obstructive sleep apnea, and even less so in women.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition that happens when the person is asleep, sometimes hundreds of times a night. When it occurs, blood oxygen drops and eventually damages many cells of the body.

There are over 20 million adult Americans living with the condition, note the researchers, who explain that it is linked with several serious health problems and also early death.

Women are much less likely to be diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea than men.

Lead researcher Dr. Paul Macey says:

“We now know that sleep apnea is a precursor to bigger health issues. And for women in particular, the results could be deadly.”

Early detection and intervention needed

Dr. Macey and his colleagues describe their work in a recent online issue of PLOS ONE.

For their study, the team recruited 94 adult men and women, comprising 37 newly diagnosed, untreated obstructive sleep (OSA) patients and 57 healthy volunteers to act as controls.

The three groups had their heart rates measured as they went through three different physical challenges:

  • The Valsalva maneuver – where they had to breathe out hard while keeping the mouth closed
  • A hand-grip challenge – where they had to just squeeze hard with one hand
  • A cold pressor challenge – where the right foot is inserted into near-freezing water for a minute.

The team notes the main results:

“Heart rate responses showed lower amplitude, delayed onset and slower rate changes in OSA patients over healthy controls, and impairments may be more pronounced in females.”

Dr. Macey adds:

“This may mean that women are more likely to develop symptoms of heart disease, as well as other consequences of poor adaptation to daily physical tasks. Early detection and treatment may be needed to protect against damage to the brain and other organs.”

The team now intends to investigate if the usual treatments for OSA, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), help to improve the autonomic responses.

CPAP is where a machine helps the OSA patient breathe more easily while asleep.

Funds from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research helped finance the study.

In another study published recently, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, found that sleep apnea is linked to early sign of heart failure.

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