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Posts Tagged ‘Insomnia’

The AP (10/30) reports ( http://tinyurl.com/sleepless-in-america) on “the first government study to monitor state-by-state differences in sleeplessness.” The CDC study found that West Virginia led the country in sleeplessness, with a lacinsomnia1k of sleep “about double the national rate, perhaps a side effect of health problems, like obesity, experts said.” The study found that “nearly one in five West Virginians said they didn’t get a single good night’s sleep in the previous month. The national average was about one in 10, according to the federal health survey conducted last year.” Tennessee, Kentucky, and Oklahoma also had high rates of sleeplessness. Healthday (10/29, Reinberg) explained that the survey, appearing in the Oct. 30 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, included responses of 403,981 adults across the US. It found that “11.1 percent said they did not get enough sleep every day of the month.” Moreover, “women (12.4 percent) were more likely than men (9.9 percent) to report not getting enough sleep. There were ethnic differences, with blacks (13.3 percent) saying they got less sleep compared with all other ethnic groups.”

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sleepyBBC News (10/21) reported, “Several studies have…shown that sleep is essential for memory function.” Now, a paper appearing in Nature reveals that University of Pennsylvania scientists have discovered that “sleep deprivation disturbed the molecular pathway in the part of the brain involved in memory and learning” — the hippocampus. And, mice suffering from a lack of sleep “had increased levels of the enzyme PDE4, and reduced levels of the molecule cAMP.”  According to WebMD (10/21, Hitti), cAMP “is involved in forming new memories.” But, after administering “rolipram, an experimental” medication “that blocks PDE4,” investigators noted that rodents “aced [a] memory test.” Although the researchers “aren’t recommending rolipram for sleep-deprived people,” they maintain that their work “shows that ‘it may be possible’ to make” medicines targeting “PDE4, and that such” medications “may prove useful in the treatment of the cognitive effects of sleep deprivation.”

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dna The New York Times (8/14, A11, Parker-Pope) reports that scientists at the University of California-San Francisco “have found a genetic mutation in two people who need far less sleep than average, a discovery that might open the door to understanding human sleep patterns and lead to treatments for insomnia and other sleep disorders.” Even though the study population was considerably small, “the power of the research stems from the fact that the shortened sleep effect was replicated in mouse and fruit-fly studies,” prompting one expert to refer to study as “landmark.”  Those who claim that six hours of sleep is all they need to get by may, at first, be encouraged by the research, according to USA Today (8/14, Weise). Still, “the gene is vanishingly rare in humans, found in less than three percent of people.” What’s more, there are “consequences of chronic sleep deprivation,” which has “been linked to an increase in motor vehicle accidents, deficiencies in short-term memory, focus, and attention. It’s also tied to depressed mood and a decrease in the ability to control appetite.    This is of note, according to the NIH, because “sleep disorders and deprivation affect 50 to 70 million Americans, account for about $15 billion in medical expenses, and cost industry $50 billion in lost productivity,” Bloomberg News (8/14, Waters) reports.  Aiming to better understand sleep issues, the team in California has spent much time and energy hunting for “genes related to how and when people sleep,” the AP (8/14, Neergaard) notes. “In 2001, they discovered a mutation that puts its carriers’ sleep patterns out of whack: These people regularly go to bed around 7:30 p.m. and wake around 3:30 a.m.” Their current paper in Science, however, focuses on sleep length. Specifically, investigators analyzed the DNA of a “69-year-old mother and her 44-year-old daughter [who] typically go to bed around 10 pm, and Mom rises around 4 and her daughter around 4:30, with no apparent ill effects.” That data were compared to other family members who had “typical sleep patterns. Blood tests showed the women harbored a mutation in a gene named DEC2 that’s involved in regulation of circadian rhythms, the body’s clock.” Notably, a “check of more than 250 stored DNA samples didn’t find another carrier.   “Further research found that mice with the mutation slept less and recovered more quickly after being deprived of sleep,” HealthDay (8/13, Dotinga) reported. “It’s not clear, however, how the mutation actually affects sleep patterns.”

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insHealthDay (7/24, McKeever) reported that “the head of a Texas sleep study facility” is saying that “stress, worry, caffeine, alcohol, and watching TV in bed — factors known as ‘poor sleep hygiene’ — are the major reasons why people can’t shut down their bodies when it’s time for sleep.” Such habits, explained Dr. Sunil Mathews, of Baylor Medical Center, “can also lead to taking sleep-aid medications that could interfere with alertness the next day.” This “can turn into a vicious cycle.” Dr. Mathews offered several recommendations that can help people “develop good sleep hygiene.” He said that people should not exercise “within four hours of bedtime,” and should “avoid caffeine, alcohol or sugary items within eight hours.” It is also important to “maintain a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends,” among other things.

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insomnia1Medscape (5/19, Jeffrey) reported that “a new analysis of the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to ask about sleep patterns in Americans shows that insomnia is a common problem in the United States,” with “15 percent of Americans” meeting “the definition for insomnia by [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed] DSM-IV criteria in the past month.” For the study, presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting, researchers at Arizona’s Maricopa Integrated Health System “used data from NHANES 2004–2005,” which encompassed “a total of 6,127 participants aged 20 to 85 years,” each of whom “was interviewed and underwent a standardized health examination.” The team also found “a close relationship between depression and insomnia; among those who met DSM IV criteria for major depressive disorder, 52 percent met diagnostic criteria for insomnia. Among those with insomnia, 47 percent met criteria for major depressive disorder.”

       

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UPI (3/4) reports that a study in the journal Sleep links “sleep to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.” For the study, Canadian researchers monitored “15 ADHD children and 23 controls controlled for many confounding factors” and found that “average total sleep time was 33 minutes shorter in ADHD children than in controls. Average rapid eye movement sleep time was also reduced in children with ADHD by 16 minutes.” Lead author Reut Gruber of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute said, “I do not believe that sleep per se is the cause of ADHD but it may make the symptoms worse in children with sleep problems.” Gruber added, “There are reports in the literature in which treating sleep problems led to improvement in ADHD symptoms but I suspect that these results were seen in children with sleep apnea. More research needs to be done in order to determine if sleep affects ADHD children with no primary sleep disorder.”

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Study says melatonin may help patients over 55 who suffer from insomnia.

http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2008/08/18/Drug_may_help_insomniacs_over_age_55/UPI-88111219095953

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