News & Noteworthy
Sleep education holds promise for some paradoxical insomnia patients.
Following the observation that long or short sleep duration is associated with metabolic syndrome, and that sleep duration is affected by season, 'biological clock type' (chronotype (lark/owl)) and human familial disorders led to a German group to do a genetics study in 7 European populations. They found a variant in the ABCC9 gene affected 5% of the variation in sleep duration.
Over 20% of soldiers reported difficulty coping with grief. he most frequent physical health symptoms reported were: sleep problems (32.8%), musculoskeletal pain (32.7%), fatigue (32.3%), and back pain (28.1%). Difficulty coping with grief over the death of someone close affected 21.3%.
Loneliness was a significant predictor of sleep fragmentation. Humans’ social nature may partly be manifest through our depen- dence on feeling secure in our social environment to sleep well.
Researchers using fMRI found that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was affected by sleep deprivation and impacted on the valuation of monetary and social rewards
A study exploring the patient side of sleep restriction therapy (essentially restricting the time in bed to the time that you can sleep as assessed by a sleep diary). The participants had suffered from insomnia for an average of 17 years. The study found that the insomniacs improved long-term, though as the title suggests, those suffering from most side-effects fatigue/exhaustion’ (100%), ‘extreme sleepiness’ (94%), ‘reduced motivation/energy’ (89%) and ‘headache/migraine’ (72%) in general improved the most.
Orexin is one of the many brain chemicals that are involved in the control of sleep and wakefulness. For example, reduced levels or activity of the orexin system is involved in narcolepsy a sleep disorder that is characterised by uncontrollable sleep. It has now been found that the lethargy associated with illness is also mediated by orexin.
Two references on this page: 1) A Journal of Neuroscience paper 2010 and 2) current editorials on the subject in the Sleep Journal. The paper looked directly at energy levels in various parts of the brain and found increases in energy carrying molecules after deep sleep.
Death from heart disease occurs mainly in the morning. Our 24h rhythms affect our heart and blood pressure differently throughout the day.
Study finding that poor sleepers had 23% higher blood glucose levels and 48% higher blood insulin levels in the morning. The estimated insulin resistance in poor sleepers was 82% higher than normal sleepers with diabetes.
This paper challenges the aetiology and acceptance of the status quo in the hope of revisiting the underlying belief that these methods are necessary.
Fish that live in complete darkness and have lost their sight stay awake more than do sighted fish
Sophia is a 3-year-old girl who was brought to her pediatrician by her parents who were concerned about inconsolable night-time awakening.
Can modifications to the bedroom environment improve the sleep of new parents? Two randomized controlled trials.
Res Nurs Health. 2011 Feb;34(1):7-19. doi: 10.1002/nur.20413. Epub 2010 [MEDLINE] DOI: 10.1002/nur.20413 Can modifications to the bedroom environment improve the sleep of new parents? Two randomized controlled trials. Lee KA, Gay CL. School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0606, USA. email@example.com Postpartum sleep disruption is common among new parents. In this randomized controlled trial we evaluated a modified sleep hygiene intervention for new parents (infant proximity, noise masking, and dim lighting) in anticipation of night-time infant care. Two samples of new mothers (n = 118 and 122) were randomized to the experimental intervention or attention control, and sleep was assessed in late pregnancy and first 3 months postpartum using actigraphy and the General Sleep Disturbance Scale. The sleep hygiene strategies evaluated did not benefit the more socioeconomically advantaged women or their partners in Sample 1, but did improve postpartum sleep among the less advantaged women of Sample 2. Simple changes to the bedroom environment can improve sleep for new mothers with few resources. Times cited: Copyright (c) 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID: 21243655