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Working Memory Deficit Linked to Insomnia

October 2nd, 2013 Raquel Rothe

Published on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 04:15

Researchers in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego believe they’ve found a distinct link between memory deficits and insomnia.

For the study, 25 patients with primary insomnia and 25 healthy sleepers underwent functional MRI while performing the N-back working memory task. Sleep was measured using self-reports and actigraphy, and patients underwent polysomnography for two consecutive nights.

“We found that after undergoing MRI, insomnia subjects did not properly turn on brain regions critical to a working memory task and did not turn off ‘mind-wandering’ brain regions irrelevant to the task,” said Sean P.A. Drummond, PhD, associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, in a press release. “Based on these results, it is not surprising that someone with insomnia would feel like they are working harder to do the same job as a healthy sleeper.”

The resultswhich were published in the journal Sleep, reveal that patients with insomnia did not differ significantly from healthy sleepers in objective cognitive performance. However, as the working memory task increased in difficulty, patients with insomnia showed reduced activation of task-related working memory regions, particularly in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. What’s more, patients with insomnia exhibited increased activation of default mode regions, which are typically active when the mind is “wandering.”

Sleep Loss Precedes Alzheimer’s Symptoms

April 2nd, 2013 Raquel Rothe

Sleep is disrupted in people who likely have early Alzheimer’s disease but do not yet have the memory loss or other cognitive problems characteristic of full-blown disease, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report March 11 in JAMA Neurology.

The finding confirms earlier observations by some of the same researchers. Those studies showed a link in mice between sleep loss and brain plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Early evidence tentatively suggests the connection may work in both directions: Alzheimer’s plaques disrupt sleep, and lack of sleep promotes Alzheimer’s plaques.

“This link may provide us with an easily detectable sign of Alzheimer’s pathology,” says senior author David M. Holtzman, MD, the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor and head of Washington University’s Department of Neurology. “As we start to treat people who have markers of early Alzheimer’s, changes in sleep in response to treatments may serve as an indicator of whether the new treatments are succeeding.”

Sleep problems are common in people who have symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease, but scientists recently have begun to suspect that they also may be an indicator of early disease. The new paper is among the first to connect early Alzheimer’s disease and sleep disruption in humans.

For the new study, researchers recruited 145 volunteers from the University’s Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. All of the volunteers were 45 to 75 years old and cognitively normal when they enrolled.

As a part of other research at the center, scientists already had analyzed samples of the volunteers’ spinal fluids for markers of Alzheimer’s disease. The samples showed that 32 participants had preclinical Alzheimer’s disease, meaning they were likely to have amyloid plaques present in their brains but were not yet cognitively impaired.

Participants kept daily sleep diaries for two weeks, noting the time they went to bed and got up, the number of naps taken on the previous day, and other sleep-related information.

The researchers tracked the participants’ activity levels using sensors worn on the wrist that detected the wearer’s movements.

“Most people don’t move when they’re asleep, and we developed a way to use the data we collected as a marker for whether a person was asleep or awake,” says first author Yo-El Ju, MD, assistant professor of neurology. “This let us assess sleep efficiency, which is a measure of how much time in bed is spent asleep.”

Participants who had preclinical Alzheimer’s disease had poorer sleep efficiency (80.4 percent) than people without markers of Alzheimer’s (83.7 percent). On average, those with preclinical disease were in bed as long as other participants, but they spent less time asleep. They also napped more often.

“When we looked specifically at the worst sleepers, those with a sleep efficiency lower than 75 percent, they were more than five times more likely to have preclinical Alzheimer’s disease than good sleepers,” Ju says.

Ju and her colleagues are following up with studies in younger participants who have sleep disorders.

“We think this may help us get a better feel for the way this connection flows — does sleep loss drive Alzheimer’s, does Alzheimer’s lead to sleep loss, or is it a combination?” Ju says. “That will help us determine whether we can change the course of disease with pharmaceuticals or other treatments.”

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This study was funded by an Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar award and NIH grant P01NS074969 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Ju Y-E S, McLeland JS, Toedebusch CD, Xiong C, Fagan AM, Duntley SP, Morris JC, Holtzman DM. Sleep quality and preclinical Alzheimer disease. JAMA Neurology, online March 11.  National Sleep Foundation

Couples Who Sleep Apart are Healthier?

February 26th, 2013 Raquel Rothe
By Irmina Santaika
“Want the dream marriage? Then sleep in separate beds”dailymail.co.uk, 2009 August 1, 2012, L ifestyle My Joy Online The secret to a long and happy marriage could be having separate beds, an expert on sleep claims.
Not only will a couple escape arguments over duvet-hogging and fidgeting, but they will have a proper night’s rest.
This will have a huge impact on both their health and the relationship as poor sleep increases the risk of stroke, heart disease and divorce, said Dr Neil Stanley.
The consultant, who set up sleep laboratories at Surrey University, said: ‘Poor sleep is bad for your physical, mental and emotional health. There is no good thing about poor sleep.
‘If you sleep perfectly well together, then don’t change. But don’t be afraid to relocate.’ If a husband or wife snores, twin beds might not be an option either, and they should sleep in separate bedrooms, he told the British Science Festival.
Dr Stanley, who follows his own advice and sleeps in a different room to his wife, said that double beds are just not conducive to a good night’s sleep.
He said the tradition of the marital bed began with the industrial revolution, when people moved into cities and found themselves short of living space.
Before the Victorian era it was not uncommon for married couples to sleep apart.
He said that now the British way is to have a 4ft 6in double bed. ‘A standard single bed is 2ft 6in or 3ft, that means you have nine inches less sleeping space in bed than your child does in theirs.
‘You then put in this person who makes noise, punches, kicks and gets up to go to the loo in the middle of the night, is it any wonder you are not getting a good night’s sleep?’ He added:
‘Poor sleep increases the risk of depression, heart disease, stroke, respiratory failure and increases the risk of divorce and suicidal behaviour.’
A recent large- scale Japanese study concluded that seven and a half hours of sleep a night is optimal for good health.
A third of British adults regularly have fewer than five hours. Dr Stanley’s advice follows studies at Surrey University on the impact of tossing and turning on sleeping partners.
When one partner moves in his or her sleep, there is a 50 per cent chance the other will also change position.
Despite this, couples are reluctant to sleep apart, with just 8 per cent of those in their 40s and 50s bedding down in different rooms.
Separate bedrooms are much more common in old age, with more than 40 per cent of those aged 70-plus sleeping apart.
This could be because long-established couples feel more secure in their relationships.
They may also find it easier to bring up the touchy topic of one moving out of the marital bed and could also be more likely to have a spare room than a younger couple.
Dr Stanley said the argument that it is comforting to sleep beside someone else holds little water.
He said: ‘Sleep is the most selfish thing we can do. People say that they like the feeling of having their partner next to them when they are asleep. But you have to be awake to feel that.
‘We all know what it is like to sleep in a bed with somebody and have a cuddle. ‘But at one point you say, “I’m going to go to sleep now”.
‘Why not at that point just take yourself down the landing?
‘Intimacy is important for emotional health. But good sleep is important for physical, emotional and mental health.
‘Getting a good night’s sleep is something we should all aspire to.

Will Changing My Diet Help Me Sleep Better?

February 18th, 2013 Raquel Rothe

New studies have claimed links between the way we eat and the way we rest at night

A good diet and a sensible bedtime certainly won’t do any harm. Photograph: Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

We are what we eat, and now researchers are saying that our diet affects how we sleep. A study, published in the journal Appetite, found differences in the diets of people who slept for seven to eight hours a night compared with those snoozing for five. Since less sleep is associated with high blood pressure, poorer blood-glucose control (increasing the risk of diabetes) and obesity (as is more sleep in some studies), shouldn’t we eat the foods that are most likely to help us sleep a healthy amount? And does anyone know what foods these are?

The solution

The study in Appetite used data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that those who slept the standard seven to eight hours ate the greatest variety of foods. Those who slept the least (less than five hours) drank less water, took in less vitamin C, had less selenium (found in nuts, meat and shellfish) but ate more green, leafy vegetables. Longer sleep was associated with more carbohydrates, alcohol and less choline (found in eggs and fatty meats) and less theorbomine (found in chocolate and tea). The researchers took into account other factors such as obesity, physical activity and income, and still found these differences in diet.

They concluded that both long (nine hours-plus) and short sleep are associated with less varied diets but say they don’t know if changing diet would affect how long we sleep for. The study shows only an association, although the link with short and long sleep both being “unhealthy” holds true with a 2011 review of evidence about the length of sleep and risk of heart disease.

The evidence on what diet would help us sleep best isn’t clear. It is also not evident how much individual preferences for sleep – some like to sleep longer than others – affect these results. But there is more research on the relationship between sleep and weight, with studies showing the shorter the amount of sleep a person has, the hungrier they feel.

German study presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior last year showed that after just one night of sleep disruption the volunteers in the study were less energetic (so used up fewer calories) but hungrier. The researchers said their volunteers also had raised blood levels of ghrelin, a hormone linked to the feeling of hunger. A commentary a few months later in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association backed this association, saying that while encouraging a weight-loss regime of eating less, moving more and sleeping more might be too simplistic, diets were helped by good amounts of high‑quality sleep

So while no one knows what foods will stop you waking up at 5am, you won’t go wrong with a more varied diet and a sensible bedtime.

Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Improves Blood Pressure in Men

October 31st, 2012 Raquel Rothe

Latest News New RLS Drug Launched in United States-Neupro

August 9th, 2012 Raquel Rothe

“The availability of Neupro is an important step forward for US patients living with Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome,”

http://www.sleepreviewmag.com/sleep_report/2012-07-25_01.asp

Just Go To Sleep-What does Female Orgasm and Getting Your Kids to Sleep have in common?

July 24th, 2012 Raquel Rothe

Exercise and sleep

July 13th, 2012 Raquel Rothe

Did you know: doing aerobic exercise in the morning at least once a week will give you a better, deeper sleep.

Sleep tracking brings new info to athletes

June 27th, 2012 Raquel Rothe

Great article by ESPN Sports so I wanted to share it with you.  It is about athletes and their sleep:

http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/post/_/id/797/sleep-tracking-brings-new-info-to-athletes

Sleep And The Autistic Child

June 13th, 2012 Raquel Rothe

Great article and very well written!  Read below:

http://www.sleepandwellness.net/2012/06/10/sleep-and-the-autistic-child/