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Sleep Aid

Kids often get unapproved drugs for sleep problems

Children's Health • • Sleep AidAug 01 07

Doctors commonly prescribe drugs to children and teens with sleep difficulties that are not approved for use by patients in these age groups, a new study shows.

Eighty-one percent of physician visits for sleep problems by children and teens ended in a prescription for some type of medication, most commonly a drowsiness-promoting antihistamine or a sedative, Dr. Sasko D. Stojanovski of The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy in Columbus and colleagues found.

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Sleep pattern linked with teen’s behavior

Psychiatry / Psychology • • Sleep AidJul 23 07

New study findings suggest that a preference for nighttime over daytime activities may be associated with antisocial behavior in adolescences, even in children as young as 8 years old.

Those who prefer later bedtimes appear to exhibit more antisocial behavior than those who like to wake early and participate in daytime recreational activities, researchers report.

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Reducing the cost of sleep disorders

Sleep AidJul 03 07

Griffith University has been working with Queensland Health and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) to reduce the cost of sleep disorders.

Griffith Senior Lecturer in Management Dr Don Kerr said the direct cost of sleep disorders on the Australian health system was estimated at $40 million per year.

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Sleep restriction reduces heart rate variability

Heart • • Sleep AidJun 13 07

Chronic sleep restriction has a negative effect on a person’s cardiac activity, which may elevate the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality, according to a research abstract that will be presented Wednesday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, conducted by Siobhan Banks of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, was based on preliminary analyses of 39 subjects, each of whom participated in a laboratory-controlled chronic sleep restriction protocol. The subjects underwent two nights of baseline sleep followed by five hours of sleep restriction. The results showed a statistically significant decrease in the heart rate variability after five nights of sleep restriction.

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CPAP improves sleep in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, sleep-related breathing disorder

Neurology • • Respiratory Problems • • Sleep AidJun 11 07

Patients with both Alzheimer disease and a sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD) experience disrupted sleep, resulting in increased nocturnal awakenings and a decreased percentage of REM sleep. However, in another example of the effectiveness of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), CPAP has been found to reduce the amount of time spent awake during the night, increase the time spent in deeper levels of sleep, and improve oxygenation, according to a research abstract that will be presented Monday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, conducted by Jana R. Cooke, MD, of the University of California at San Diego, was focused on 48 adults, with an average age of 77.8 years, with Alzheimer disease and an SRBD. It was discovered that treating the sleep-related breathing disorder with CPAP resulted in these patients spending less time awake during the night as well as sleeping deeper.

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Healthy children of a lower socioeconomic class sleep worse than those of middle class

Sleep AidJun 11 07

Children from a lower socioeconomic environment have worse sleeping patterns than children from middle class status. Excessive daytime sleepiness due to poor sleep the night before may have a negative impact on a child’s academic performance and also put them at risk for developing health problems, according to a research abstract that will be presented Monday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Sanjeev V. Kothare, MD, of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, was focused on a total of 64 children, who were brought in by their parents for either an acute illness or well child visit. The parents were asked to fill out a standardized 35-item Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire, which examines various sleeping behaviors including bedtime resistance, sleep onset delay, sleep duration, sleep anxiety, night awakenings, parasomnias, sleep disordered breathing and daytime sleepiness. Each category is scored, with higher scores indicating poorer sleeping patterns.

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Sleep deprivation affects airport baggage screeners’ ability to detect rare targets

Sleep AidJun 11 07

A lack of sleep may affect the performance of airport employees, which can, in turn, compromise the safety of airline passengers. Sleep deprivation can impair the ability of airport baggage screeners to visually search for and detect infrequently occurring or low prevalence targets that may ultimately pose a threat to an airline and its passengers, according to a research abstract that will be presented Monday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

Nayantara Santhi, MD, of Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, surveyed 31 healthy subjects, who participated in a 36-hour constant routine. A visual search task was administered every two hours. The subjects reported whether a target was present in a set of simultaneously presented distractors. According to the results, sleep deprivation induced a speed/accuracy trade-off, in that the search rate sped up with time awake, but errors increased, indicating decision stage impairments.

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Sleep Apnea Increases Risk of Diabetes and Hypertension in Pregnant Women

Diabetes • • Pregnancy • • Sleep AidMay 23 07

Sleep apnea is associated with a greatly increased incidence of pregnancy-induced diabetes and high blood pressure, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Wednesday, May 22.

The study found that when the women’s weight was taken into account, sleep apnea was associated with a doubling of the incidence of gestational diabetes and a fourfold increase in the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension.

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Violent Sleep Disorder Linked to a Form of Dementia

Psychiatry / Psychology • • Sleep AidMay 17 07

Mayo Clinic researchers and a group of international collaborators have discovered a correlation between an extreme form of sleep disorder and eventual onset of parkinsonism or dementia. The findings appear in the current issue of the journal Brain http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/.

Clinical observations and pathology studies, as well as research in animal models, led to the findings that patients with the violent rapid eye movement sleep (REM) behavior disorder (RBD) have a high probability of later developing Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s disease or multiple system atrophy (a Parkinson’s-like disorder), because all of these conditions appear to stem from a similar neurodegenerative origin.

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Disrupted sleep may alter pain perception

Pain • • Sleep AidApr 03 07

People who continually have their sleep disrupted, whether by insomnia or a crying newborn, may become more susceptible to pain, preliminary research suggests.

In a sleep-lab study of 32 healthy young women, researchers found that those who were subjected to repeated sleep disruptions over three nights showed a change in their pain perception. Their bodies’ ability to inhibit pain signals declined, and as a group, the women reported more “spontaneous” pain, such as an aching back or stomach cramps, on the days following their poor night’s sleep.

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Teenagers with retail, service jobs at risk of injury, robberies, sleep deprivation

Children's Health • • Sleep Aid • • TraumaMar 05 07

Despite federal regulations intended to protect them, many teenagers in the U.S. use dangerous equipment or work long hours during the school week, according to a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study.

The national study was based on telephone surveys of 928 teenaged workers, 14 to 18 years old. The results show 52 percent of males and 43 percent of females use dangerous equipment such a box crushers and slicers, or serve and sell alcohol where it is consumed, despite federal child labor laws prohibiting these practices.

The results were published in the March 1, 2007 editor of the journal Pediatrics.

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Lack of sleep may spur weight gain

Sleep AidNov 23 06

Middle-aged women may be able to sleep their way to a trimmer body, new study findings suggest.

In a study that followed more than 68,000 U.S. women for 16 years, researchers found that those who caught more zzz’s each night tended to put on less weight during middle-age.

What’s more, women who typically clocked 5 hours of sleep were one third more likely than those who slept for 7 hours to have a substantial weight gain—33 pounds or more—during the study period.

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Herbal sleep aids often of low quality

Sleep AidAug 21 06

Many valerian-containing herbal sleep supplements do not contain as much of the key ingredient as needed to be effective or as much as the manufacturer claims, according to a ConsumerLab.com report on the topic. And some tested supplements were contaminated with cadmium or lead.

Valerian, a popular herb used as a sedative and calming agent, “can help people with sleep problems,” Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab.com said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, many marketed supplements don’t match up to products that have been shown to work,” he added.

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A high sugar content, low caffeine drink does not alleviate sleepiness but may worsen it

Sleep AidJul 20 06

An hour after consuming a high sugar, low caffeine drink you will tend to have slower reactions and experience more lapses in concentration than if you had simply drunk a decaffeinated, nil carbohydrate drink.

This was the finding of research performed at the University of Loughborough and published in this month’s Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental.

Ten healthy adults had volunteered to restrict their sleep to 5 hours on the day before participating in the trial. An hour after eating a light lunch they were given either an energy drink (42g sugar + 30mg caffeine) or an identically tasting zero-sugar drink. They then performed a monotonous 90-minute test during the afternoon ‘dip’ that assessed their sleepiness and ability to concentrate.

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Medical Sleep Studies Can Help Correct Common Sleep Disorders

Sleep AidJul 12 06

If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, you’re not alone. The National Sleep Foundation reports that nearly seven out of 10 Americans say they frequently have problems getting a good night’s sleep. And that may be cause for concern, says Henry Raroque, Jr., M.D., a board-certified neurologist and sleep specialist on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine.

A long-term pattern of disrupted sleep may reflect an underlying sleep disorder that, left untreated, could become a serious health issue.

“Shortchanging our bodies of the sleep we need not only leads to extreme fatigue,” Dr. Raroque explains, “but also could contribute to high blood pressure, stroke, heart problems and even depression.”

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