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Over-the-counter sleep aids linked to dementia

Higher dosage or long-term use of common drugs with anticholinergic effects is linked to significantly increased risk of dementia – including Alzheimer’s – says large study.

 

Increased risk of high blood pressure in people with insomnia

A large sleep-monitoring study has found a link between hypertension and insomnia, suggesting a connection between a 24-hour state of hyperarousal and raised blood pressure.

 

Why all-nighters don’t work: How sleep and memory go hand-in-hand

Brandeis researchers observe an unknown connection between sleep and memoryWant to ace that test tomorrow? Here’s a tip: Put down the coffee and hit the sack.

 

Morphine after tonsillectomy ‘potentially life-threatening’ for children

Study halted after researchers find that the use of morphine to relief pain in children after tonsillectomy surgery led to dangerous respiratory problems.

 

Good Bedtime Habits Equal Better Sleep for Kids

Children obtain better and more age-appropriate sleep in the presence of household rules and regular sleep-wake routines, according to sleep researchers.

The researchers found that well-established rules for getting good sleep, such as limited caffeine and a regular bedtime, led to sufficient sleep quantity and adequate sleep quality. In contrast, when parents and children had electronic devices on in the bedroom after bedtime, sleep deficiency was more likely.

Reducing the encroachment of technology and media into sleep time and supporting well-known sleep hygiene principles should be a focus of public health intervention goals for sleep health, the researchers say.

Orfeu Buxton, now an associate professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State, led a team conducting the 2014 National Sleep Foundation Sleep in America Poll, “Sleep in the Modern Family,” whose overall objective was to obtain a current picture of sleep in families with at least one school-aged child. The results are published today in Sleep Health.

The researchers evaluated US households with children aged 6 to 17 years old through Internet-based interviews. A total of 1,103 parents or guardians of an average age of 42 completed surveys; 54% were female.

“We were interested in parental perception of the importance of sleep duration and sleep quality, habits, and routines of the families and children, and obstacles preventing adequate sleep,” Buxton says in a release.

According to researchers, although the majority of parents endorsed the importance of sleep, 90% of children did not sleep the full amount of time recommended for their age group.

Some of the primary consequences of poor sleep among children and adolescents are behavioral problems, impaired learning and school performance, sports injuries, problems with mood and emotional regulation, and a worsening of health-related issues including obesity.

Evidence also indicates that in adolescence, lack of sleep may be related to high-risk behaviors such as substance abuse, suicidal behaviors, and drowsy driving.

Significant predictors of age-adjusted sufficient sleep duration—estimated conservatively as at least 9 hours for ages 6 through 11 years and at least 8 hours for ages 12 to 17 years—included parent education, regular enforcement of rules about caffeine, and whether children left technology on in their bedroom overnight.

“We have previously demonstrated the negative effect that use of light-emitting technology before bedtime can have on sleep, and now in this study we see how parental rules and routines regarding technology can influence the quantity and quality of their children’s sleep,” says Anne-Marie Chang, assistant professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State and co-author of the study. Chang and colleagues recently showed that reading on an iPad before bedtime, compared to reading a print book, can impair sleep, delay circadian timing, and degrade alertness the following morning.

“An important consequence of our modern-day, 24/7 society is that it is difficult for families—children and caregivers both—to get adequate sleep,” Buxton says. “Sleep in the family context frames sleep as involving interactions between all members of a household and interactions with the environment of the home as well as exogenous factors like work or school affecting any member.”

Several potential reasons for poor sleep include the use of technology in the bedroom, complicated and busy daily schedules with competing work, school, social, and recreational activities, as well as neighborhood noise from vehicular traffic, commercial or industrial activity, and neighbors.

Within the family dynamic, a consistent bedtime routine improves sleep, whereas television use in the bedroom generally is associated with curtailed sleep.

“Good quality and sufficient sleep are vital for children,” Buxton says. “Just like a healthy diet and exercise, sleep is critical for children to stay healthy, grow, learn, do well in school, and function at their best.”

 

Not Everyone’s Internal Clock Is Set for the 9-to-5

Sleep disorders put some workers out of sync with traditional schedules and are estimated to cost employers $2,000 per employee in lost productivity every year, reports The Atlantic.

No matter how early she went to bed, Maggie couldn’t fall asleep until the early hours of the morning. Though constantly exhausted, Maggie (she asked that I not use her last name) got good grades in high school, but she’d frequently get in trouble for coming in late and napping during her morning classes.

Maggie dreamt of going to medical school. Unfortunately, she couldn’t concentrate during early morning science classes in college, and she had to switch her major from biology to literature. Her post-grad situation was no better: Waking up for her 8:30 a.m. teaching position turned her into a zombie, and she lost her job because she lacked enthusiasm. She switched career paths to take on a marketing position that was supposed to be afternoon-only, but once her boss started requiring her to come in mornings, it didn’t work out—and she’s now unemployed.

 

Sleeping with Pet May Aggravate Sleep Issues

Baylor College’s Dr Mary Rose says pets should sleep in beds of their own.

“Many times when you tell someone that they need to sleep without their pet, they get very protective,” said Dr. Rose, assistant professor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Baylor. “So it’s important to determine what works best for them to optimize their lifestyle with a pet.”

 

Mike Napoli Enduring Long Recovery from Sleep Disorder

Boston Red Sox baseball player Mike Napoli recently underwent surgery for sleep apnea and recounted the details to Comcast SportsNet.

Napoli had been diagnosed long ago with a sleep disorder, a condition he seemingly managed for a while with the help of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) mask, medication and a dental mouthpiece.

But as Napoli got older, the problem worsened. He found it virtually impossible to get quality sleep and lacked energy, to the point where he would often nap before games rather than take batting practice.

 

Swans’ New Sleep Pods

The Sydney Swans, an Australian football team, has added sleep pods to its change room to allow players to rest and recover, as indicated on a Swans Media news report.

“There’s been a lot of research around napping during the day and certainly one of the advantages we have is that we have players who live between Bondi and Coogee and they can duck home and catch up on some work, or a bite to eat or have a quick relax at home,” Peter Berbarkov told SwansTV.

“If players need to catch up on sessions during the day, we’re providing them with the option to have a nap during the day which the research really supports.

 

FAA to Issue New Sleep Apnea Guidance on March 2

On March 2, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will issue new medical guidance to Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs), the agency said on Friday. The new guidance will incorporate industry and Congressional feedback balanced with FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) safety concerns about pilots flying with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Based on feedback from industry on the FAA’s draft guidance, the new guidance does not rely on body mass index (BMI) and allows a pilot to keep flying during evaluation and treatment. The FAA plans to publish the new guidance in the FAA Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners on March 2, 2015.

 

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