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Sleep Aid

More marital happiness = less sleep complaints

Respiratory Problems • • Sleep AidJun 09 08

Marital happiness may lower the risk of sleep problems in Caucasian women, while marital strife may heighten the risk, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Wendy M. Troxel, PhD of the University of Pittsburgh, focused on 1938 married women from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, a multi-site study of mid-life women, with an average age of 46 years. Out of the study participants, 51 percent were Caucasian, 20 percent African-American, 9 percent Hispanic, nine percent Chinese, and 11 percent Japanese. The subjects reported their marital happiness, sleep quality and frequency of difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or early morning awakenings.

According to the results, higher levels of marital happiness were associated with a lesser risk of having multiple sleep complaints, but only among Caucasian women. Happily married women had less difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, fewer early morning awakenings, and more restful sleep as compared to unhappily married women.

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Reduced sleep on school nights begins in early adolescence

Sleep AidJun 09 08

The trend for delays and reductions of school-night sleep begins early in adolescence, even with delayed school start times, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Stephanie Apollon, Amy Wolfson and colleagues of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., focused on 96 seventh graders who completed the School Sleep Habits Questionnaire (school/weekend sleep variables, caffeine use) and assessed sleep for seven days via diaries and actigraphy. Twenty-five percent of the students were from families with incomes below $20,000. Effects of sex, family income, and access to health care were analyzed.

According to the results, 37 percent of the seventh graders were falling asleep after 11 p.m. with 66 percent getting less than nine hours on school nights. Family incomes below $40,000 were significantly associated with more delayed sleep patterns, particularly on weekends, and increased caffeine use. Although income was not significantly associated with health care provider use, seventh graders who had regular contact with a health care provider had healthier school-night sleep patterns than those without health care (e.g., 25 minutes more sleep, 30 min. earlier bed times, less delayed sleep schedules).

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Poor sleep quality and insomnia associated with suicidal symptoms among college students

Psychiatry / Psychology • • Sleep AidJun 09 08

Poor sleep quality and insomnia are significantly associated with suicidal symptoms among college undergraduates, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Rebecca A. Bernert, of Florida State University, focused on 322 college undergraduates between 19-24 years of age. The following symptom measures were administered: Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI); Insomnia Severity Index (ISI); Beck Depression Inventory (BDI); and Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (BSS).

According to the results, consistent with past research, PSQI and ISI total scores were significantly associated with greater BDI scores. Elevated scores on the BSS were significantly predicted by higher scores on the ISI and the PSQI, although the latter emerged only as a non-significant trend. Importantly, after BDI scores were entered into the model as a co-variate, ISI and PSQI scores jointly predicted greater BSS scores, though they failed to significantly predict these symptoms independently.

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Maternal depression, breastfeeding and a lower socioeconomic status can affect infants’ sleep

Depression • • Psychiatry / Psychology • • Sleep AidJun 09 08

Maternal depression during pregnancy, breastfeeding and a lower socioeconomic status are all associated with less infant sleep duration in the first six months of life, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Michael D. Nevarez, of Harvard Medical School, focused on 1,676 mother-infant pairs, where the mothers reported their infants’ average 24-hour sleep duration at six months. Also examined were daytime nap and nighttime sleep duration separately.

According to the results, infants’ mean sleep duration at six months, including daytime naps and nighttime sleep, was 12.2 hours per day. Less household income and lower maternal education were associated with shorter infant sleep duration. Compared with Caucasian infants, African-American infants slept 0.94 fewer total hours per day. Also, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian infants slept more hours during daytime naps but fewer hours at night. Infants whose mothers had a history of depression during pregnancy and those who were being breast-fed at six months appeared to sleep fewer total hours per day.

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Postpartum mothers of twins have significant sleep restriction, depressive symptoms

Psychiatry / Psychology • • Sleep AidJun 09 08

Postpartum mothers of twins have significant sleep restriction and depressive symptoms, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Elizabeth Damato, PhD, of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, focused on 14 mothers of twins that were, on average, delivered three-and-a-half weeks early. Measures included actigraphy, sleep diaries, and standardized instruments for fatigue, sleep quality, and depression.

According to the results, by the time the twins reached full-term, mothers were sleeping an average of 5.4 hours in a 24-hour period, with over 70 percent reporting less than six hours of sleep. Furthermore, the sleep was very fragmented, with an average of 15.1 sleep episodes daily, each lasting an average of 22.4 minutes. Almost half of mothers reported mild to severe depressive symptoms. By the time the twins had been home for eight weeks, average sleep duration had only improved marginally to 5.6 hours daily, although this was achieved in fewer sleep episodes lasting an average of 31.8 minutes each. The percentage of women with depressive symptoms decreased to less than 25 percent. Mothers reported improved sleep quality and decreased fatigue levels over time.

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Students with a delayed school start time sleep longer, report less daytime sleepiness

Sleep AidJun 09 08

High school students with a delayed school start time are more likely to take advantage of the extra time in bed, and less likely to report daytime sleepiness, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Zaw W. Htwe, MD, of Norwalk Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center in Norwalk, Conn., focused on 259 high school students who completed the condensed School Sleep Habits Questionnaire. Prior to the delay, students reported sleeping a mean of 422 minutes (7.03 hours) per school night, with a mean bed-time of 10:52 p.m. and a mean wake-up time as 6:12 a.m.

According to the results, after a 40-minute delay in the school start time from 7:35 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., students slept significantly longer on school nights. Total sleep time on school nights increased 33 minutes, which was due mainly to a later rise time. These changes were consistent across all age groups. Students’ bedtime on school nights was marginally later, and weekend night sleep time decreased slightly. More students reported “no problem” with sleepiness after the schedule change.

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Sleep apnea tied to post-op trouble: study

Respiratory Problems • • Sleep AidMay 26 08

People who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are at increased risk of experiencing complications after elective surgery, researchers report.

In obstructive sleep apnea, the back of the throat collapses periodically during sleep, and breathing stops for a few moments until the patient wakens enough to resume breathing.

Dr. Dennis Hwang at North Shore Long Island Jewish Health Systems, New Hyde Park, New York and colleagues studied 172 patients with features of sleep apnea who were being assessed prior to elective surgery. The patients underwent home nighttime oximetry to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood and to establish the incidence of “oxygen desaturation,” which is used to assess the extent of sleep apnea episodes.

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Sleep apnea in toddlers hard on the heart

Heart • • Sleep AidMay 22 08

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children younger than 3 years of age may strain the heart and cause inflammation, according to research discussed today at the American Thoracic Society’s annual meeting in Toronto.

OSA is a disorder in which the airway repeatedly becomes blocked during sleep resulting in a temporary halt in breathing. Classical symptoms in children include snoring, abnormal breathing or lots of movements during sleep. It’s estimated that approximately 1 percent to 3 percent of children have OSA. Removal of the adenoids and tonsils, a procedure called adenotonsillectomy, is often used to treat OSA in children.

The current study shows “for the first time” that OSA in very young children may cause some of the cardiovascular health consequences seen in older children and adults with the condition, Dr. Aviv Goldbart from Soroka Medical Center, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheba, Israel, told Reuters Health.

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People with obstructive sleep apnea at risk for cardiac stress on airline flights

Heart • • Sleep AidMay 19 08

People with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) on commercial airline flights may have a greater risk of adverse events from cardiac stress than healthy people, according to new research to be presented at the American Thoracic Society’s 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Sunday, May 18.

The researchers compared oxygen levels and ventilation of healthy people and people with severe OSA during simulated flight conditions replicating the oxygen and pressure levels of typical commercial flights that have “cabin altitudes” (a measure of the air pressure and oxygen) ranging from 6,000 feet and 8,000 feet—the maximum allowed, even if the airplane is flying at 30,000 feet. This is the first study to use these measurements to assess fitness to fly without supplemental oxygen.

“It is normal for the rate of breathing to increase when air pressure falls. We predicted that patients with OSA would have a much sharper fall in oxygen levels because they might not increase their breathing as much,” said Leigh Seccombe, M.Sc., senior scientist in the Department of Thoracic Medicine at Concord Repatriation General Hospital in Sydney, Australia. “And in fact, we found that patients with OSA do have a lower blood oxygen level before and during aircraft cabin condition stimulation, but that the change in oxygen was similar. We also found that their breathing intensity increases at about the same rate as it does in healthy people.”

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Insomnia may boost future depression risk

Depression • • Psychiatry / Psychology • • Sleep AidApr 03 08

Insomniacs are at increased risk of developing major depression, results of a 20-year study demonstrate.

The findings also suggest that while insomnia frequently accompanies depression, it may not be just a symptom of depression as is commonly thought, but a separate condition, Dr. Dr. Daniel J. Buysse of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and colleagues say.

Depression is a well known risk factor for insomnia, and people with depression often report difficulty sleeping, Buysse and his team point out in the journal Sleep. And while some investigators have suggested that insomnia could, conversely, increase depression risk, few studies have looked at this issue over time.

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Sleeping too much, too little speeds weight gain

Obesity • • Sleep Aid • • Weight LossApr 02 08

People who sleep less than 7 hours or more than 9 hours a night gain more weight over time than individuals who log 8 hours every night, and are also more likely to become obese, research confirms.

People who want to lose weight or prevent weight gain must exercise and eat well, but

“we have to realize that sleep habits are also important,” Dr. Angelo Tremblay, of Laval University in Quebec City, who led the study, told Reuters Health.

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Snoring may be chronic despite surgery

Children's Health • • Sleep Aid • • SurgeryMar 14 08

Children who gain weight rapidly after having their tonsils and adenoids removed to treat sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) may improve in the short-term, but over time they may relapse or even worsen. African-American children also tend to relapse, according to new research from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Adenotonsillectomy is the most commonly performed surgery in children, ranging from about 19 per 10,000 in Canada to 115 per 10,000 in the Netherlands. In the U.S., the rate is about 50 per 10,000. It is the first line of treatment for SDB in children. For many kids, undergoing this major surgery provides only temporary relief.

“The high rate of recurrence we observed in both obese and non-obese children indicates that SDB is a chronic condition,” said Raouf Amin, M.D., director of pulmonary medicine at the hospital.

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Doctors not getting enough sleep: survey

Sleep AidMar 12 08

A new survey released by the American College of Chest Physicians’ Sleep Institute indicates that most physicians report needing at least 7 hours of sleep per night, yet they only get 6.5 hours on average.

“Call hours during training and in the practice of medicine desensitize physicians to the importance of sleep. The pervasive message is that sleep is optional or dispensable,” Dr. Barbara Phillips, Chair of the ACCP Sleep Institute, said in a statement. “Self sacrifice also may be seen as part of the lifestyle. This may impact physicians’ awareness of their own, and their patients’, sleep deprivation lifestyles.”

The findings come from an internet-based questionnaire sent to 5000 US doctors. A total of 581 doctors responded.

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Sleep apnea costly for older adults

Sleep AidMar 08 08

Elderly and middle-aged adults with obstructive sleep apnea may be a bigger drain on healthcare services than their counterparts without the common sleep disorder, new research suggests.

People with obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep. It occurs when soft tissues in the back of the throat relax and temporarily block the airway. The condition is frequently seen in individuals who are obese and those who snore.

Research has suggested that adults with untreated OSA are high consumers of healthcare resources, investigators report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Methylphenidate can have sleep benefits in adults with ADHD

Children's Health • • Sleep AidMar 02 08

Treatment with methylphenidate (MPH) appears to have beneficial effects on sleep parameters in adults with ADHD, including increased sleep efficiency and a feeling of improved restorative value of sleep, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.

The study, authored by Esther Sobanski, MD, of the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, focused on 34 non-medicated patients with ADHD, of whom 24 were without current psychiatric disorders, and 34 control subjects without current psychiatric disorders or psychotropic medication. Compared to the control group, all subjects in the ADHD sample displayed reduced sleep efficiency, with longer sleep onset latency and more nocturnal awakenings. They had altered sleep architecture, with a higher percentage of stage 1 and reduced percentage of REM sleep. Patients also showed a trend toward the reduced total REM density and elevated percentage of wakefulness after sleep onset.

According to Dr. Sobanski, this study showed that objective and subjective sleep problems in adults with ADHD are identical with sleep problems in children with ADHD, including longer sleep latencies, more nocturnal activity, reduced sleep efficiency, more nocturnal awakenings and slightly decreased REM activity during sleep, although the clinical significance of the last findings remains to be clarified.

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