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News

  • What we can learn from 9/11 about dreams and nightmares

    Sep 11 2013...
    The disturbing images of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, N.Y., were like a waking nightmare. But did the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, affect how we dream? And can we learn anything about the role of dreaming from our response to these events?

    Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine and Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Boston, Mass., sought to answer these questions. The study by Dr. Ernest Hartmann and Tyler Brezler was published in the journal Sleep in 2008. READ MORE>>
  • Sleep helps boost production of brain cells

    Sep 05 2013...
    A new study finds yet another reason to get more sleep – it’s beneficial for the brain. Sleep increases the reproduction of the cells that go on to form the insulating material on nerve cell projections in the brain and spinal cord known as myelin, according to an animal study published in the September 4 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The findings could one day lead scientists to new insights about sleep's role in brain repair and growth.

    Scientists have known for years that many genes are turned on during sleep and off during periods of wakefulness. However, it was unclear how sleep affects specific cells types, such as oligodendrocytes, which make myelin in the healthy brain and in response to injury. Much like the insulation around an electrical wire, myelin allows electrical impulses to move rapidly from one cell to the next. READ MORE>>
  • Sleep Starts

    Aug 22 2013...
    Sleep starts are also known as hypnic or hypnagogic jerks. They are sudden, brief and strong contractions of the body or one or more body segments. They occur as you are falling asleep. READ MORE>>
  • Gestational diabetes increases risk of sleep apnea seven-fold

    Aug 21 2013...
    A new study found that women diagnosed with gestational diabetes are nearly seven times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) than other pregnant women.

    "It is common for pregnant women to experience sleep disruptions, but the risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea increases substantially in women who have gestational diabetes," said Sirimon Reutrakul, MD, who conducted the research at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. "Nearly 75 percent of the participants in our study who had gestational diabetes also suffered from obstructive sleep apnea." READ MORE>>
  • Obesity & sleep apnea remain big problems in the U.S.

    Aug 16 2013...
    A new report indicates that adult obesity rates may be starting to level off in every state except Arkansas. But the overall obesity rate in the U.S. remains extremely high. Nearly 36 percent of adults are obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. The rate of extreme or “morbid” obesity also is rising. More than six percent of adults now have a body mass index of at least 40. One of the major health risks linked with obesity is obstructive sleep apnea. READ MORE>>
  • Sleep apnea may increase risk of blindness

    Aug 09 2013...
    Countless studies have linked sleep apnea to severe health consequences such as high blood pressure and heart disease. A new study now suggests screening sleep apnea sufferers for glaucoma. Researchers in Taiwan have discovered that people with sleep apnea are far more likely to develop glaucoma compared to those without the sleep condition.

    "We hope that this study encourages clinicians to alert obstructive sleep apnea patients of the associations between obstructive sleep apnea and open-angle glaucoma as a means of raising the issue and encouraging treatment of those who need it," wrote the authors of the study, led by Herng-Ching Lin, Ph.D., of the College of Medical Science and Technology at Taipei Medical University. READ MORE>>
  • Aaron Taylor warns young football players to be aware of sleep apnea risk

    Aug 08 2013...
    CBS sports college football analyst Aaron Taylor understands the urgent need to detect and treat obstructive sleep apnea. Two of his close friends had OSA and died prematurely. One of those friends was Reggie White, his teammate on the Green Bay Packers. White died in 2004 at the age of 43. Sleep apnea contributed to the heart condition that took his life.

    “Even at a young age, ignoring the symptoms of sleep apnea leads to dangerous consequences – as I’ve seen firsthand for fellow players and friends who have struggled with this condition,” said Taylor.

    As elite lineman, both White and Taylor had the size and strength to excel on the football field. But their size also put them at risk for sleep apnea. Excess body weight is the major risk factor for OSA. READ MORE>>
  • Sleep and Growing Older

    Aug 07 2013...
    Sleep needs change over a person's lifetime. Children and adolescents need more sleep than adults. Interestingly, older adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults -- seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

    Unfortunately, many older adults often get less sleep than they need. One reason is that they often have more trouble falling asleep. A study of adults over 65 found that 13 percent of men and 36 percent of women take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep. READ MORE>>
  • When to take a sleeping pill for insomnia

    Aug 07 2013...
    Sleeping pills can be an effective treatment for chronic insomnia. But like any other drug, sleep medications can have side effects. One potential side effect of sleeping pills is daytime drowsiness.

    Sleep medications are powerful hypnotics. They can be helpful because they cause a strong urge to sleep. But you don’t want this sleepiness to persist after you wake up. One way to minimize the risk of daytime sleepiness is to take a sleeping pill at the right time of night. READ MORE>>
  • Sleep and Caffeine

    Aug 01 2013...
    Caffeine is a natural substance that can be extracted from plants. Natural sources of caffeine include coffee beans, tea leaves and cocoa beans. It also can be produced synthetically.

    Caffeine is a type of drug that promotes alertness. These drugs are called “stimulants.” Caffeine acts as an “adenosine receptor antagonist.” Adenosine is a substance in your body that promotes sleepiness. Caffeine blocks the adenosine receptor to keep you from feeling sleepy. READ MORE>>