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Sleep Aid

Sleep apnea dangerous for stroke patients

Sleep Aid • • StrokeFeb 20 08

Sleep apnea, in which breathing briefly ceases or becomes blocked numerous times during the night, is a risk factor for early death in people who have had a stroke, according to a new study.

“Sleep apnea occurs frequently among patients with stroke, but it is still unknown whether a diagnosis of sleep apnea is an independent risk factor for mortality,” Dr. Karl A. Franklin, of Umea University Hospital, Sweden, and colleagues write in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

To better understand this relationship, the researchers examined long-term survival among 132 stroke patients admitted for in-hospital stroke rehabilitation between 1995 and 1997.

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Lack of sleep unlikely to impact weight over time

Sleep Aid • • Weight LossFeb 14 08

Regularly getting 5 hours or less of shut eye a night does not appear to have a considerable influence body weight or waist size over time, according to findings from a long-term study of British workers.

While some past research has identified a relationship between obesity and a lack of sleep, this research could not affirm which came first—the lack of sleep or the weight problem.

To clarify whether lack of sleep over time might be related to obesity, Francesco P. Cappuccio and colleagues analyzed information from more than 10,000 white-collar British civil servants participating in a long term forward-looking study called the Whitehall II study.

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Sleep Duration May Play Important Role in Childhood Obesity

Obesity • • Sleep AidFeb 07 08

Less sleep can increase a child’s risk of being overweight or obese, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Their analysis of epidemiological studies found that with each additional hour of sleep, the risk of a child being overweight or obese dropped by 9 percent. The results are published in the February 2008 edition Obesity, the journal of The Obesity Society.

“Our analysis of the data shows a clear association between sleep duration and the risk for overweight or obesity in children. The risk declined with more sleep,” said Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, senior author of the study and associate professor with the Bloomberg School’s Center for Human Nutrition. “Desirable sleep behavior may be an important low cost means for preventing childhood obesity and should be considered in future intervention studies. Our findings may also have important implications in societies where children do not have adequate sleep due to the pressure for academic excellence and where the prevalence of obesity is rising, such as in many East Asian countries.”

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PLMI predicts total sleep time in older people with cognitive impairment, sleep disturbance

Sleep AidFeb 01 08

A higher periodic leg movement index (PLMI) predicted less sleep at night in older people with cognitive impairment and sleep disturbance, according to a study published in the February 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.

The study, authored by Kathy C. Richards, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania, focused on 102 people (58 men and 44 women) between the ages of 59-96 years who had a clinical diagnosis of cognitive impairment (categorized as unspecified, Alzheimer disease, other, mixed, multi-infarct, and mild cognitive impairment) as well as average nightly sleep of seven or less hours and daytime sleep of 30 minutes or longer.

Ten characteristics associated with sleep disturbance (including PLMI, time in bed, cognitive status, painful conditions and depression) were assessed with one night of polysomnography.

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4 days of REM sleep deprivation contributes to a reduction of cell proliferation in rats

Sleep AidFeb 01 08

Four days’ exposure to a REM sleep deprivation procedure reduces cell proliferation in the part of the forebrain that contributes to long-term memory of rats, according to a study published in the February 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.

The study, authored by Dennis McGinty, PhD, of the V.A. Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, focused on male Sprague-Dawley rats. REM sleep deprivation was achieved by a brief treadmill movement initiated by automatic online detection of REM sleep. A yoked-control (YC) rat was placed in the same treadmill and experienced the identical movement regardless of the stage of the sleep-wake cycle.

According to the results, REM sleep was reduced by 85 percent in REM sleep deprived rats and by 43 percent in YC rats. Cell proliferation was reduced by 63 percent in REM sleep deprived rats compared with YC rats. Across all animals, cell proliferation exhibited a positive correlation with the percentage of REM sleep.

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Lack of sleep tied to retained pregnancy weight

Pregnancy • • Sleep AidJan 29 08

Insufficient sleep during the months after childbirth may play a role in the retention of weight gained during pregnancy, research suggests.

“Even relatively short periods of sleep deprivation (6 months after delivery) may influence weight,” Dr. Erica P. Gunderson told Reuters Health.

Gunderson, an epidemiologist with Kaiser Permanente, in Oakland, California, and colleagues found that women who got less than an average of 5 hours of sleep daily during the first 6 months after childbirth were likely to weigh at least 5 kilograms (about 11 pounds) more than their pre-pregnancy weight at one year after childbirth.

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Program helps moms get fussy infants to sleep

Children's Health • • Sleep AidNov 14 07

Teaching new mothers strategies to help their babies overcome sleep problems yields significant benefits for both of them, according to a study conducted in Australia.

Among 328 moms who reported that their 7-month-old was having sleep problems, those who were randomly assigned to participate in a brief behavioral intervention noticed an improvement in their child’s sleep problem, and in their own sleep, and felt less depressed compared with those randomly assigned not to participate in the program.

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Exercise found to ease chronic pain of fibromyalgia

Depression • • Pain • • Sleep AidNov 13 07

Regular walks and stretching exercises can help ease the chronic, depressing pain of fibromyalgia, a mysterious ailment with no obvious cure, researchers said on Monday.

Striking more than 3 percent of U.S. women and 0.5 percent of men, the illness’ primary symptoms are debilitating pain throughout the body—often with sensitivity and stiffness focused in the joints. Other symptoms include sleep problems, fatigue and depression.

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Sleep-deprived kids show higher obesity risk

Children's Health • • Obesity • • Sleep AidNov 05 07

Children who get relatively little sleep each night may be at increased risk of becoming overweight by early adolescence, a study published Monday suggests.

Researchers found that among 785 U.S. children followed since birth, the risk of becoming overweight by sixth grade was related to how much sleep the children got in third grade.

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Link between a sleep-related breathing disorder and increased heart rate variability

Heart • • Sleep AidNov 01 07

A sleep-related breathing disorder, common in heart failure, increases one’s heart rate variability. Further, central sleep apnea (CSA) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) produce different patterns of heart rate variability, which are likely to reflect the different pathophysiological mechanisms involved, according to a study published in the November 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.

Matthew T. Naughton, MD, of Alfred Hospital and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, evaluated 21 patients with heart failure who were referred for polysomnography for investigation of a sleep-related breathing disorder. For each subject, two conditions were examined: a sleep-related breathing disorder and stable breathing.

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Insomnia drug improves work performance: Sanofi

Drug News • • Sleep AidOct 24 07

Data show improvements in work performance in patients with chronic insomnia who are treated with the sleep aid Ambien (zolpidem tartrate), French pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Aventis said Wednesday

“Patients with chronic insomnia can have a higher frequency of work-related problems including absenteeism, an increased rate of accidents, difficulty performing duties and less job satisfaction,” Sanofi said in a statement.

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CPAP therapy improves symptoms of depression in OSA patients

Depression • • Sleep AidOct 15 07

Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who also suffer from depression often find that continued use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) relieves them of symptoms of depression, according to a study published in the October 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM).

Daniel J. Schwartz, MD, of The Sleep Center at University’s Community Hospital in Tampa, Fla., surveyed patients referred to his sleep center for evaluation of OSA and who demonstrated a significant response to CPAP. The subjects were evaluated for symptoms of depression, were assessed again after four to six weeks of treatment with CPAP and then reassessed approximately one year later.

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Treating sleep apnea good for the heart

Heart • • Sleep AidSep 30 07

Treatment of the nighttime breathing disorder, obstructive sleep apnea, with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) seems to have a beneficial impact on early signs of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), Brazilian researchers report.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the soft tissues at the back of the throat repeatedly collapse during sleep, temporarily cutting off breathing. It has been linked to heart attack and stroke, and both associations appear to be fueled through effects on atherosclerosis. Whether effective treatment of OSA would reduce the plaque burden, however, was unclear.

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Sleep apnea therapy may lower heart risks

Heart • • Sleep AidSep 18 07

For people with the breathing disorder sleep apnea, sticking with therapy may aid not only their breathing but also their hearts, a study suggests.

Greek researchers found that patients who best adhered to their treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) also showed dips in their cholesterol and other blood substances associated with heart disease.

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Sleep position for preemies questioned

Children's Health • • Sleep AidSep 04 07

The lung volumes of premature infants is higher when they are place on their stomachs (i.e., prone) rather than their backs, a UK study indicates, but this doesn’t seem to improve the concentration of oxygen in their circulation much, at least when they are not in respiratory distress.

“Prematurely born infants are often nursed prone in the initial stage of illness, because such positioning is associated with superior oxygenation and lung function,” Dr. Anne Greenough and colleagues from King’s College Hospital, London, write in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. “However, there has been little research on the effect of sleeping position on convalescent infants.”

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