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(Health) Sleep: Mental Skills 'Worse After Sleep'
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adedios
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:14 am    Post subject: Wake Up, Sleepy Gene Reply with quote

Wake Up, Sleepy Gene
Emily Sohn

March 28, 2007

Some people can stay up all night and still get work done the next day. I'm not one of them. After a night without enough sleep, I feel cranky. I have trouble remembering things. And all I want to do is crawl back into bed and snooze.
How do you feel after you've stayed up late to finish schoolwork? Or the day after a slumber party? Scientists now say that your answers to these questions may depend on your genes.

For the full article:

http://www.sciencenewsforkids....../Note3.asp
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:18 am    Post subject: Actigraphy is a useful way to assess and manage sleep disord Reply with quote

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
1 April 2007

Actigraphy is a useful way to assess and manage sleep disorders

WESTCHESTER, Ill. -- Actigraphy, the use of a portable device that records movement over extended periods of time, and has been used extensively in the study of sleep and circadian rhythms, provides an acceptably accurate estimate of sleep patterns in normal, healthy adult populations and in-patients suspected of certain sleep disorders, according to practice parameters published in the April 1st issue of the journal SLEEP.

The practice parameters, authored by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s (AASM) Standards of Practice Committee, were developed as a guide to the appropriate use of actigraphy, both as a diagnostic tool in the evaluation of sleep disorders and as an outcome measure of treatment efficacy in clinical settings with appropriate patient populations.

Actigraphy is indicated to assist in the evaluation of patients with advanced sleep phase syndrome, delayed sleep phase syndrome, and shift work disorder. Additionally, there is some evidence to support the use of actigraphy in the evaluation of patients suspected of jet lag disorder and non-24 hour sleep/wake syndrome. Further, when polysomnography is not available, actigraphy is indicated to estimate total sleep time in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

In patients with insomnia and hypersomnia, there is evidence to support the use of actigraphy in the characterization of circadian rhythms and sleep patterns and disturbances. In assessing response to therapy, actigraphy has proven useful as an outcome measure in patients with circadian rhythms and insomnia.

In older adults, actigraphy characterizes sleep and circadian patterns and documents treatment responses. Similarly, in normal infants and children, as well as special pediatric populations, actigraphy has proven useful for delineating sleep patterns and documenting treatment responses.

"This evidence based review and update of the indications for actigraphy use provides sleep clinicians with needed evidence for where actigraphy may be helpful, and where it is unlikely to be helpful," said Timothy Morgenthaler, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., one of the committee members. "Because there is substantial evidence to indicate actigraphy is indicated for evaluation and management of specific common sleep disorders, we are hopeful that clinicians, and insurers, will become more aware of its usefulness and more familiar with its application. We believe that applying these recommendations will result in a higher quality of patient care in certain circumstances."

Those who think they might have a sleep disorder are urged to discuss their problem with their primary care physician, who will issue a referral to a sleep specialist.

###
SLEEP is the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, a joint venture of the AASM and the Sleep Research Society.

SleepEducation.com, a Web site maintained by the AASM, provides information about the various sleep disorders that exist, the forms of treatment available, recent news on the topic of sleep, sleep studies that have been conducted and a listing of sleep facilities.

For a copy of this article, entitled, "Practice Parameters for the Use of Actigraphy in the Assessment of Sleep and Sleep Disorders: An Update for 2007", or to arrange an interview with an AASM spokesperson regarding this study, please contact Jim Arcuri, public relations coordinator, at (708)492-0930, ext. 9317.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:49 am    Post subject: To understand the big picture, give it time -- and sleep Reply with quote

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
20 April 2007

To understand the big picture, give it time -- and sleep


Study shows that learning requires a period of 'off-line' processing
BOSTON -- Memorizing a series of facts is one thing, understanding the big picture is quite another. Now a new study demonstrates that relational memory -- the ability to make logical "big picture" inferences from disparate pieces of information – is dependent on taking a break from studies and learning, and even more important, getting a good night's sleep.

Led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), the findings appear on-line in today's Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"Relational memory is a bit like solving a jigsaw puzzle," explains senior author Matthew Walker, PhD, Director of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory at BIDMC and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School (HMS). "It's not enough to have all the puzzle pieces – you also have to understand how they fit together."

Adds lead author Jeffrey Ellenbogen, MD, a postdoctoral fellow at HMS and sleep neurologist at BWH, "People often assume that we know all of what we know because we learned it directly. In fact, that's only partly true. We actually learn individual bits of information and then apply them in novel, flexible ways."

For instance, if a person learns that A is greater than B and B is greater than C, then he or she knows those two facts. But embedded within those is a third fact – A is greater than C – which can be deduced by a process called transitive inference, the type of relational memory that the researchers examined in this study.

Earlier research by Walker and colleagues had shown that sleep actively improves task-oriented "procedural memory" – for example, learning to talk, to coordinate limbs, musicianship, or to play sports. Because relational memory is fundamental to knowledge and learning, Walker and Ellenbogen decided to explore how and when this "inferential" knowledge emerges, hypothesizing that it develops during "off-line" periods and that, like procedural memory, would be enhanced following a period of sleep.

So, the researchers tested 56 healthy college students, each of whom was shown five pairs of unfamiliar abstract patterns – colorful oval shapes resembling Faberge' eggs. The students were then told that some of the patterns were "correct" while others were "incorrect," for example, Shape A wins over Shape B, Shape B wins over Shape C, and so on. All of the students learned the individual pairs but were not told that there was a hidden "hierarchy" linking all five of the pairs together.

After a 30-minute study period, the students were separated into three groups to test their understanding of the larger "big picture" relationship between the individual patterns: Group One was tested after a period of 20 minutes; Group Two was tested after a 12-hour period; and Group Three was tested after a 24-hour time span. In addition, approximately half of the students in Group Two slept during the 12-hour period, while the other half remained awake. All of the students in Group Three had a full night's sleep.

The test results showed striking differences among the three groups, especially between the students who had a period of sleep and those who remained awake.

"Group One, the students who were tested soon after their initial learning period, performed the worst," says Walker. "While they were able to learn and recall the component pieces [for example, Shape A is greater than Shape B, Shape B is greater than Shape C] they could not discern the hierarchical relationships between the pieces [Shape A is greater than Shape C] – they couldn't yet see 'the big picture.'"

Groups Two and Three, on the other hand, demonstrated a clear understanding of the interrelationship between the pairs of shapes.

"These individuals were able to make leaps of inferential judgment just by letting the brain have time to unconsciously mull things over," he says. But, perhaps most notable, he adds, when the inferences were particularly difficult, the students who had had periods of sleep in between learning and testing significantly outperformed the other groups.

"This strongly implies that sleep is actively engaged in the cognitive processing of our memories," notes Ellenbogen. "Knowledge appears to expand both over time and with sleep."

Concludes Walker, "These findings point to an important benefit [of sleep] that we had not previously considered. Sleep not only strengthens a person's individual memories, it appears to actually knit them together and help realize how they are associated with one another. And this may, in fact, turn out to be the primary goal of sleep: You go to bed with pieces of the memory puzzle, and awaken with the jigsaw completed."


###
Study coauthors include BIDMC researchers Peter Hu and Jessica Payne, PhD, and Debra Titone, PhD, of McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

This study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, research and teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.harvard.edu.
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 8:10 am    Post subject: Sleep deprivation can threaten competent decision-making Reply with quote

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
1 May 2007

Sleep deprivation can threaten competent decision-making

WESTCHESTER, Ill. -- Gambling is a risky activity that can potentially result in the loss of a significant amount of money. A study published in the May 1st issue of the journal SLEEP finds that sleep deprivation can adversely affect a person’s decision-making at a gambling table by elevating the expectation of gains and making light of one’s losses following risky decisions.

To understand the neural underpinnings of risky decision making under conditions of sleep deprivation, Vinod Venkatraman and colleagues of Duke University studied healthy volunteers as they underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the use of MRI to measure the haemodynamic response related to neural activity in the brain or spinal cord of humans.

The authors found that the nucleus accumbens, an area in the brain involved with the anticipation of reward, becomes selectively more active when high risk-high payoff choices were made under conditions of sleep deprivation. Further, the number of high risk decisions did not increase with sleep deprivation, but the expectation of being rewarded for making the high risk gamble was elevated. Allied to this finding was the observation that there was an attenuated response to losses in the insula, a part of the brain involved with evaluating the emotional significance of an event.

According to the authors, the new findings build on prior research that has shown that sleep-deprived participants choose higher-risk decks and exhibit reduced concern for negative consequences when performing a variant of the Iowa Gambling Task. While well-rested participants learn to avoid high-risk decks and to choose from the advantageous decks, sleep-deprived participants tend to continue to choose from the risky decks as the game progresses.

Michael W.L. Chee, one of the authors of the study, noted that disadvantageous decisions were not actually made, but the brain showed response patterns suggesting that going down that path might be the next step. Herein lies the added value of brain imaging – potentially being able to foretell the likelihood of making disadvantageous decisions, added Chee.

"Most of us know of people who have stayed up all night on a gambling table, taking crazy risks that did not make sense and who lost more than they had because they did not walk out when it was sensible to," said Chee. "Understanding why we make poorer choices when sleep deprived is important not only because of the increasing numbers of persons affected, but also because there exist today unprecedented opportunities to incur damaging losses by means such as online gambling. This work is one of many evaluating the neural correlates of decision making but the first to apply such methods to sleep deprived individuals."

Experts recommend that adults get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night to maintain good health and optimum performance.

Those who think they might have a sleep disorder are urged to discuss their problem with their primary care physician, who will issue a referral to a sleep specialist.

###
SLEEP is the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society.

SleepEducation.com, a Web site maintained by the AASM, provides information about the various sleep disorders that exist, the forms of treatment available, recent news on the topic of sleep, sleep studies that have been conducted and a listing of sleep facilities.

For a copy of this article, entitled, "Sleep Deprivation Elevates Expectation of Gains and Attenuates Response to Losses Following Risky Decisions", or to arrange an interview with an AASM spokesperson regarding this study, please contact Jim Arcuri, public relations coordinator, at (708)492-0930, ext. 9317, or jarcuri@aasmnet.org.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:26 pm    Post subject: Sleep Slide-Rule improves children's understanding of the im Reply with quote

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
11 June 2007

Sleep Slide-Rule improves children's understanding of the importance of sleep

WESTCHESTER, Ill. -- Over the past decade, children have been going to bed later and sleeping less. This can be attributed, in part, to a lack of awareness in the community concerning sleep need in children and how the amount of sleep a child should get each night is dependent on one’s age. The Sleep-Side Rule is found to be an effective classroom tool that improves children’s understanding of the relationship between age and sleep need, 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 Kurt Lushington, PhD, of the University of South Australia, was based on a demonstration Sleep Slide-Rule unit manufactured for use in the classroom. It consisted of a top bar to indicate bedtime, a movable center rule with a key to indicate sleep need for the age bands three-to-five years, five-to-12 years, and 12-18 years, and a bottom bar displaying the appropriate wake-up time range according to age. The aid was used as part of a lesson plan on sleep in a group of nine-to-11-year-olds.

Responses from teachers and children indicated that the Sleep Slide-Rule concept was instructive and functional. Examples of responses include the following:


"You need between 10-11 hours of sleep."
"You need to change your bedtime if you are getting up early."
"We now know what ‘school night’ means."
"I need a lot more sleep than I normally get."
"I didn’t know you needed so much sleep."
"You don’t need as much sleep when you are older."
"Bedtime and going to sleep time are different."
"Sleep is really important to you as a human being."

Dr. Lushington points out that better sleep not only equals better learning, but also better health.

"Children sleep less than they did 20 years ago and substantially less than 50 years ago. We know sleep is important for health and learning, but the importance of sleep and how to maintain healthy sleep habits has disappeared from our consciousness," said Lushington. "We teach our children about diet, exercise, drugs and much else about health, but little about the importance of a health-related behavior that takes up one-third or more of our children’s lives, namely, sleep."

Dr. Lushington notes that "doing" is a good way for children to learn, and that the Sleep Slide-Rule makes physical the inter-relationship between bedtime, sleep need and wake-up time.

"Children are great advocates for healthy living. If they are taught the importance of sleep, and the parents are included as well, they will make the changes for themselves."

Experts recommend that children in pre-school sleep between 11-13 hours a night, and school-aged children between 10-11 hours of sleep a night.

Your child should follow these steps to get a good night’s sleep:


Follow a consistent bedtime routine.
Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.
Get a full night’s sleep every night.
Avoid foods or drinks that contain caffeine, as well as any medicine that has a stimulant, prior to bedtime.
Do not go to bed hungry, but don’t eat a big meal before bedtime either.
The bedroom should be quiet, dark and a little bit cool.
Get up at the same time every morning.

Parents who suspect that their child might be suffering from a sleep disorder are encouraged to consult with their child’s pediatrician, who will refer them to a sleep specialist.

###
The annual SLEEP meeting brings together an international body of 5,000 leading researchers and clinicians in the field of sleep medicine to present and discuss new findings and medical developments related to sleep and sleep disorders.

More than 1,000 research abstracts will be presented at the SLEEP meeting, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The four-day scientific meeting will bring to light new findings that enhance the understanding of the processes of sleep and aid the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:38 am    Post subject: Children's brain responses predict impact of sleep loss on Reply with quote

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
12 June 2007

Children's brain responses predict impact of sleep loss on attention

WESTCHESTER, Ill. – The brain responses of those children who don't get enough sleep can accurately predict the impact sleep loss has on their ability to pay attention during the course of a day, according to a research abstract that will be presented Tuesday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

Brian Millis, of the University of Louisville, combined behavioral and P300 waveform information (a component of the human brain wave associated with attention control) from children between the ages of four and eight who experienced a minor sleep reduction from their baseline amount of sleep for seven consecutive nights. Behavioral attention information was collected using the NEPSY Visual Attention subtest. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were then recorded after one week of baseline sleep and after a second week of one-hour sleep restriction using a Geodesic Sensor Net. Actigraphy recordings verified sleep times during both weeks.

According to the results, the ERPs accounted for 44 percent of the total variance in predicting NEPSY Visual Attention scores after the children's sleep was reduced for one week.

"These data are interpreted to suggest that neutral based risk factors can signal the cognitive resilience of individuals in handling subsequent sleep loss," said Millis.

Experts recommend that children in pre-school sleep between 11-13 hours a night, and school-aged children between 10-11 hours of sleep a night.

Your child should follow these steps to get a good night's sleep:


Follow a consistent bedtime routine.

Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.

Get a full night's sleep every night.

Avoid foods or drinks that contain caffeine, as well as any medicine that has a stimulant, prior to bedtime.

Do not go to bed hungry, but don't eat a big meal before bedtime either.

The bedroom should be quiet, dark and a little bit cool.

Get up at the same time every morning.


###
Parents who suspect that their child might be suffering from a sleep disorder are encouraged to consult with their child's pediatrician, who will refer them to a sleep specialist.

The annual SLEEP meeting brings together an international body of 5,000 leading researchers and clinicians in the field of sleep medicine to present and discuss new findings and medical developments related to sleep and sleep disorders.

More than 1,000 research abstracts will be presented at the SLEEP meeting, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.

The four-day scientific meeting will bring to light new findings that enhance the understanding of the processes of sleep and aid the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:05 am    Post subject: Late weekend sleep among teens may lead to poor academic per Reply with quote

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
12 June 2007

Late weekend sleep among teens may lead to poor academic performance

WESTCHESTER, Ill. – Teenagers who stay up late on school nights and make up for it by sleeping late on weekends are more likely to perform poorly in the classroom. This is because, on weekends, they are waking up at a time that is later than their internal body clock expects. The fact that their clock must get used to a new routine may affect their ability to be awake early for school at the beginning of the week when they revert back to their old routine, 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 Stephanie J. Crowley of Brown University in East Providence, Rhode Island, was based on the fact that high school students' sleep is typically restricted during the school week and is compensated by late and long sleep on weekends. It examined circadian phase, sleep quality and morning vigilance before and after simulating this weekend sleep pattern.

"When teenagers stay up late and sleep in over the weekend, this behavior resets their daily clock to a later time," said Crowley. "This resetting can push back the brain's cue to be awake on Monday morning for school. As a result, teens may feel worse and have poor performance in school at the beginning of the week. Essentially, teenagers may be giving themselves jetlag over the weekend even without getting on a plane."

The best way for teenagers to prevent late and long sleep on weekends is to ensure that they are getting the required amount of sleep each night. Experts recommend that teenagers get about nine or more hours of sleep each night to achieve good health and optimum performance.

Teens are advised to follow these recommendations:


Get a full night’s sleep on a regular basis. Do not stay up all hours of the night to "cram" for an exam, do homework, etc. If extracurricular activities at school are proving to be too time-consuming, consider cutting back.

If you are not asleep after 20 minutes, then get out of the bed and do something relaxing, such as reading a book or listening to music, until you are tired enough to go back to bed.

Get up at the same time every morning.

Avoid taking naps after school if you can. If you need to lie down, do not do so for more than an hour.

Keep a regular schedule.

Don't read, write, eat, watch TV, talk on the phone or play cards in bed.

Do not have any caffeine after lunch.

Do not go to bed hungry, but don’t eat a big meal before bedtime either.

Avoid any rigorous exercise within six hours of your bedtime.

Try to get rid of or deal with things that make you worry.

Make your bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool.

Those who think they might have a sleep disorder are encouraged to consult with their primary care physician, who will refer them to a sleep specialist.

###
The annual SLEEP meeting brings together an international body of 5,000 leading researchers and clinicians in the field of sleep medicine to present and discuss new findings and medical developments related to sleep and sleep disorders.

More than 1,000 research abstracts will be presented at the SLEEP meeting, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The four-day scientific meeting will bring to light new findings that enhance the understanding of the processes of sleep and aid the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:29 am    Post subject: Chronically sleep deprived? You can't make up for lost sleep Reply with quote

Northwestern University
2 July 2007

Chronically sleep deprived? You can't make up for lost sleep

EVANSTON, IL -- We’ve all experienced that occasional all-too-short night of sleep -- staying out too late at a party on a weeknight, studying into the wee hours for a morning exam or being kept up during the night with a sick child. Our bodies try to catch up by making us sleep more and/or more deeply the following night.

It is well established that following an acute period of sleep loss, the body responds this way in order to maintain a homeostatic balance between sleep and wakefulness. Very little is known, however, about the health consequences of chronic partial sleep loss -- losing a little bit of sleep over a period of days, months or even years.

Now sleep researchers at Northwestern University have discovered that when animals are partially sleep deprived over consecutive days they no longer attempt to catch up on sleep, despite an accumulating sleep deficit. Their study is the first to show that repeated partial sleep loss negatively affects an animal’s ability to compensate for lost sleep. The body responds differently to chronic sleep loss than it does to acute sleep loss.

The results, which shed light on a problem prevalent in industrialized nations with 24/7 societies such as the United States, where Americans get nearly an hour less sleep a night than they did 40 years ago, were published online recently by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“We now know that chronic lack of sleep has an effect on how an animal sleeps,” said Fred W. Turek, professor of neurobiology and physiology and director of Northwestern’s Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology and an author of the paper. “The animals are getting by on less sleep but they do not try and catch up. The ability to compensate for lost sleep is itself lost, which is damaging both physically and mentally.”

In the study, the researchers kept animals awake for 20 hours per day followed by a four-hour sleep opportunity, over five consecutive days. The team monitored brain wave and muscle activity patterns in order to precisely quantify sleep-wake patterns.

After the first day of sleep loss, animals compensated by increasing their intensity, or depth, of sleep, which is indicative of a homeostatic response. However, on the subsequent days of sleep loss, the animals failed to generate this compensatory response and did not sleep any more deeply or any longer than they did under non-sleep deprived conditions (baseline measurements). At the end of the study, the animals were given three full days to sleep as much as they wanted. Amazingly, they recovered virtually none of the sleep that was lost during the five-day sleep deprivation period.

The findings support what other scientists have discovered in recent experimental studies in humans. Chronic partial sleep loss of even two to three hours per night was found to have detrimental effects on the body, leading to impairments in cognitive performance, as well as cardiovascular, immune and endocrine functions. Sleep-restricted people also reported not feeling sleepy even though their performance on tasks declined.

The Northwestern team’s results suggest that animals may undergo a change in their need for sleep, or in their sleep homeostat, in situations where normal sleep time is prohibited or where sleep could be detrimental for survival. An extreme but realistic example of this, says Turek, would be how animals respond to catastrophic environmental conditions, such as Hurricane Katrina. No matter how sleep deprived an animal or human may be, it would not be adaptive for the sleep homeostat to kick in and to make the animal fall sleep when it is in the midst of a flood or forest fire. Therefore, the body undergoes some change that allows it to counter its homeostatic need for sleep and to stay awake to avoid danger.

Turek and his team propose that this change in the sleep regulatory system is reflective of an allostatic response. In the short term, allostatic responses are adaptive, but when sustained on a chronic basis, such as in their study, an allostatic load will develop and lead to negative health outcomes. The allostatic load resulting from the accumulating sleep debt loops back to the sleep regulatory system itself and alters it.

“Even though animals and humans may be able to adapt their sleep system to deal with repeated sleep restriction conditions, there could be negative consequences when this pattern is maintained over a long period of time,” said Turek. “This brings us back to the idea that repeated partial sleep restriction in humans has been linked to metabolic dysfunction and cardiovascular disease.”

“Our lab is very interested in the interactions between sleep loss and metabolic function,” said Aaron D. Laposky, research assistant professor at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology and an author of the paper. “As Americans have been getting less sleep per night, there has been a parallel trend for body mass index to significantly increase. We believe that when partial sleep loss occurs repeatedly over a long period of time, individuals are predisposed to alterations in the function of many physiological systems.”

###
In addition to Laposky and Turek, other authors of the PNAS paper, titled “Repeated sleep restriction in rats leads to homeostatic and allostatic responses during recovery sleep,” are graduate student Youngsoo Kim (lead author) and visiting scholar Bernard M. Bergmann, both from Northwestern.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:22 am    Post subject: Late nights may impact preteen behavior Reply with quote

Penn State
10 July 2007

Late nights may impact preteen behavior

A propensity for activities in the evening rather than in the morning may offer clues to behavioral problems in early adolescence, according to psychologists who have found that kids who prefer evenings are more likely to exhibit antisocial behavior, rule-breaking, and attention problems.

Results from the study further suggest that atypical secretions of the hormone cortisol and early puberty are both linked to antisocial behavior, though the findings are stronger for boys than girls.

Elizabeth J. Susman, the Jean Phillips Shibley professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State, and her colleagues are trying to understand how a characteristic titled 'morningness/eveningness', along with the ratio of cortisol readings taken in the morning and afternoon, influences young adolescent behavior.

"Morningness/eveningness refers to individual differences in sleep-wake patterns and preferences for activity and alertness during mornings or evenings," Susman said. Previous studies with older adolescents show that it is linked to various psychological problems.

Susman thinks eveningness could make young adolescents vulnerable to antisocial behavior as well, and is studying how atypical patterns of cortisol secretion might add to the problem.

In humans, this hormone is responsible for regulating various behavioral traits such as the fight-flight response and immune activity that are connected to sensory acuity and aspects of learning and memory.

Cortisol normally spikes in the morning and falls to a plateau by afternoon and evening. Readings taken in the morning and afternoon usually show a significant drop, and scientists associate small differences in the readings with clinical depression and antisocial behavior.

The current study analyzed the preference for morning or evening activities among 111 boys and girls aged 8 to 13. Researchers then collected cortisol readings from saliva, and assessed the kids for a host of undesirable behavioral traits.

Results from the study suggest that a preference for eveningness is associated with traits of antisocial behavior such as rule-breaking, attention problems, and conduct disorder. However, these antisocial traits were seen only in boys.

"In girls, eveningness is associated just with relational aggression," said Susman. "This is behavior specifically meant to hurt another child's friendship, or feelings of isolation."

When the researchers factor in early puberty, the study finds that though it does not affect either the preference for mornings or evenings, or the cortisol ratio, earlier puberty is related to more antisocial behavior in boys, and relational aggression in girls.

"The link between eveningness preference and antisocial behavior was previously associated only with older adolescents," noted Susman, whose findings appear in the July 2007 issue of Developmental Psychology. "The novel finding of the study is that the link is now apparent as early as 8 year old kids."

Such early development of a preference for eveningness might have serious implications in later life, according to the researchers.

"Eveningness contributes to lack of sleep, and this in turn causes problems such as lack of control and attention regulation, which are associated with antisocial behavior and substance use," the Penn State researcher added. Parents need to be vigilant in recognizing early signs of eveningness, and not only encourage their kids to sleep early but also ensure they get the required amount of sleep, Susman noted.


###
Other study researchers include Samantha Dockray and Virginia L. Schiefelbein, graduate students, Suellen Herwehe, Jodi A. Heaton, administrative assistant, all at Penn State, and Lorah D. Dorn, professor of pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Funds from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Penn State Shibley Endowment, and the National Science Foundation supported this work.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:37 pm    Post subject: AASM to school-bound: Sleep is the right ingredient for acad Reply with quote

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
1 August 2007

AASM to school-bound: Sleep is the right ingredient for academic success

WESTCHESTER, Ill – Returning to the classroom after a three-month break signals that summer is drawing to a close. For children and teens, the end of summer also means an end to the long daylight hours that allows them to stay out later, as well as the long lazy mornings of “sleeping in”. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) advises children and teens that sleep habits adopted over the summer will need to be changed when school starts in order to ensure proper sleep.

Daniel G. Glaze, MD, of Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, a pediatric sleep expert and a member of the AASM board of directors, notes that, just as one wouldn’t start a trip with a half-full tank of gas, children and teens need to obtain a proper amount of sleep during the night to complete the school day successfully.

“Many children, and especially teens, alter their sleep-wake schedules and maintain a later bedtime,” says Dr. Glaze. “This works for the summer until the start of the school year. They then need to advance their bedtime to meet early school start times. It is difficult to advance your bedtime and, once a schedule has been established, it may take days or weeks to develop a new schedule. It can’t be done overnight. Not unexpectedly, for the first weeks of school, many children and teens do not obtain a proper amount of sleep.”

William Kohler, MD, of the Florida Sleep Institute in Spring Hill, and a pediatric sleep expert, says that children and teens need more sleep than adults, and their circadian rhythm is easily disrupted. Because an adequate quantity and quality of sleep is necessary for optimal learning, Dr. Kohler encourages parents to enforce appropriate bedtime hours and a healthy sleep environment to ensure at least nine to 10 hours of quality sleep, depending on the age of the student.

“A student’s performance in the classroom is dictated by the amount of sleep he or she gets the night before,” says Dr. Kohler. “A child or teen who regularly gets enough sleep will have improved academic performance, a positive attitude towards their education, and be able to better interact socially with their peers and teachers. Students can also remember better what they learned if they get a good night’s sleep after learning the task.”

Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, increases the incidence of academic failure, depression and behavioral problems, says Dr. Kohler, adding that studies have shown that inadequate and disruptive sleep can lead to problems with behavior and mood along with difficulty with cognition.

Ralph Downey III, PhD, chief of sleep medicine at the Sleep Disorders Center at Loma Linda University (LLU) Medical Center in California, an associate professor of medicine, pediatrics and neurology at LLU, an associate professor of psychology at the University of California at Riverside, and a pediatric sleep expert, notes that the body clock that signals the teen’s brain to prep for sleep occurs later in the evening than when they were younger. Now, says Dr. Downey, they must prep for the school bell at the same time.

“This means that there is a big adjustment ahead for teens,” says Downey. Now, they will be getting up at 6 or 7 a.m. for school, rather than 10 a.m. for breakfast. That is the same as if the body had to adjust from sleeping and waking in Los Angeles to sleeping and waking in New York. That is a three-day adjustment for the most itinerant traveler. To the teen and the family, it is a battleground where biology meets the harsh new reality of school bells. To adjust, follow a rule that seems to help many: ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ That means, start a week ahead preparing for school by modifying all of your behavior to the expected start school time and the new bedtime.”

Dr. Downey suggests that if teens adjust their bedtimes by about an hour each day, it should be easier.

“It will help you see your old friends through a clear mind, rather than a sleepy fog,” adds Dr. Downey.

Several studies that outline the adverse effects of poor sleep among children and teens with regards to their academic performance were presented at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, this past June:


Students with symptoms of sleep disorders are more likely to receive poor grades in classes such as math, reading and writing than peers without symptoms of sleep disorders.


The brain responses of those children who don’t get enough sleep can accurately predict the impact sleep loss has on their ability to pay attention during the course of a day.


Research examining the impact of sleep in school-age children suggests that even mild sleep loss produces marked deficits in their cognitive development and functioning. Sleep restriction can alter children’s initial stages of speech perception, which could contribute to disruptions in cognitive and linguistic functioning – skills necessary for reading and language development and comprehension.


Teenagers who stay up late on school nights and make up for it by sleeping late on weekends are more likely to perform poorly in the classroom. This is because, on weekends, they are waking up at a time that is later than their internal body clock expects. The fact that their clock must get used to a new routine may affect their ability to be awake early for school at the beginning of the week when they revert back to their old routine.


Aggressive behavior and bullying, common among schoolchildren, are likely to have multiple causes, one of which may be an undiagnosed sleep-related breathing disorder.


Over the past decade, children have been going to bed later and sleeping less. This can be attributed, in part, to a lack of awareness in the community concerning sleep need in children and how the amount of sleep a child should get each night is dependent on one’s age. The Sleep-Side Rule is found to be an effective classroom tool that improves children’s understanding of the relationship between age and sleep need.

The AASM offers the following tips for children and teens on how to get a good night’s sleep:


Follow a consistent bedtime routine.


Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.


Get a full night’s sleep every night.


Avoid foods or drinks that contain caffeine, as well as any medicine that has a stimulant, prior to bedtime.


Do not stay up all hours of the night to “cram” for an exam, do homework, etc. If after-school activities are proving to be too time-consuming, consider cutting back on these activities.


Do not go to bed hungry, but don’t eat a big meal before bedtime either.


Avoid any rigorous exercise within six hours of your bedtime.


Make your bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool. Also, keep computers and TVs out of the bedroom.


Get up at the same time every morning.

Parents who suspect that their child might be suffering from a sleep disorder are encouraged to consult with their child’s pediatrician or a sleep specialist.


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AASM is a professional membership organization dedicated to the advancement of sleep medicine and sleep-related research.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 7:51 pm    Post subject: Why There's No Such Thing as a Good Night's Sleep Reply with quote

Why There's No Such Thing as a Good Night's Sleep
By Meredith F. Small, LiveScience's Human Nature Columnist

posted: 28 September 2007 08:38 am ET

For new parents, transatlantic travelers and people who stay up watching late-night TV, life is all about getting enough sleep.

No one really knows why human and other animals sleep, or why, after losing sleep night after night, we become crazed. We bumble around, grumpy and complaining, and then lie down for a good sleep but end up wide awake.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/hea.....sleep.html
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:35 am    Post subject: Expecting an afternoon nap can reduce blood pressure Reply with quote

American Physiological Society

Expecting an afternoon nap can reduce blood pressure

BETHESDA, Md. — (Oct. 15, 2007) Where does the benefit lie in an afternoon nap" Is it in the nap itself--or in the anticipation of taking a snooze" Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that the time just before you fall asleep is where beneficial cardiovascular changes take place.

This finding is part of a study entitled Acute Changes in Cardiovascular Function During the Onset Period of Daytime Sleep: Comparison to Lying Awake and Standing, found in the online edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, published by The American Physiological Society. The study was conducted by Mohammad Zaregarizi, Ben Edwards, Keith George, Yvonne Harrison, Helen Jones and Greg Atkinson, of the Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool, U.K.

The Afternoon Nap

Afternoon naps, or siestas, are practiced in many Mediterranean and Latin American countries such as Spain and Argentina. They are typically short naps or rest periods of no more than an hour that are taken in the afternoon.

While earlier studies on siestas have found that this practice may slightly increase the risk of heart attack, newer and more controlled studies have shown an inverse relationship between siesta taking and fatal heart attacks. In a recent epidemiological study of 23,000 people in Greece, those who regularly took siestas showed a 37% reduction in coronary mortality compared to those who never nap, while individuals who occasionally napped in the afternoon had a reduction of 12%.

Why do afternoon naps affect cardiovascular function" One reason could be changes in blood pressure. At night, our blood pressure and heart rate decreases as we sleep. Some researchers hypothesize that the lower blood pressure reduces strain on the heart and decreases the risk of a fatal heart attack.

Most studies have focused on cardiovascular behavior in nighttime sleeping. This study provides a detailed description of changes in cardiovascular function of daytime sleep in healthy individuals, comparing napping with other daytime activities such as standing and lying down without going to sleep.

Nap versus Conscious Rest

The researchers tested nine healthy volunteers (eight men, one woman) who did not routinely take afternoon naps. The volunteers attended the university laboratory on three separate afternoons after sleeping four hours the night before. The volunteers wore equipment that checked blood pressure, heart rate, and forearm cutaneous vascular conductance (which determines dilation of blood vessels).

During one afternoon session, the volunteer spent an hour resting, lying face-up in bed. During another session, the volunteer spent an hour relaxed, but standing. And in one session, the volunteer was allowed an hour to sleep, lying face-up. During the sleep stage, the researchers measured the volunteer’s different stages of sleep.

The session in which the volunteer was allowed to fall asleep was delineated into three phases:


Phase 1: A five-minute period of relaxed wakefulness before lights were turned off (volunteers had been lying on the bed for a minimum of 15 minutes before this phase)
Phase 2: The period between “lights out” and the onset of Stage 1 sleep (loss of some conscious awareness of the external environment)
Phase 3: The period between the Stage 1 and the onset of Stage 2 sleep (conscious awareness of the external environment disappears)

Changes Found Only in Pre-Sleep

Researchers found a significant drop in blood pressure during the sleep trial, but not during the resting or standing trials. What’s more, this drop in blood pressure occurred mostly after lights out, just before the volunteer fell asleep.

This reduction in blood pressure may be one explanation for the lower cardiovascular mortality that some studies have found among people who habitually take siestas. On the other hand, some studies of nocturnal sleep have shown that blood pressure rises when we awake and that more cardiac deaths occur in the mornings. So the John Moores team will next look at blood pressure during the waking portion of the afternoon nap to see if this period may also pose an increased danger of coronary mortality.


###
For an audio version of this release, including portions of an interview with the principal author, Professor Greg Atkinson, please go to www.lifelines.tv
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:16 pm    Post subject: Emotions Run Amok in Sleep-Deprived Brains Reply with quote

Emotions Run Amok in Sleep-Deprived Brains
By Charles Q. Choi, Special to LiveScience

posted: 22 October 2007 12:02 pm ET

Without sleep, the emotional centers of our brains dramatically overreact to bad experiences, research now reveals.

"When we're sleep deprived, it's really as if the brain is reverting to more primitive behavior, regressing in terms of the control humans normally have over their emotions," researcher Matthew Walker, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, told LiveScience.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/hea.....tions.html
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:00 pm    Post subject: New sleep medicine research Reply with quote

American College of Chest Physicians

New sleep medicine research
Sleep medicine news briefs
#5883

CPAP MAY HELP MANAGE IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT
(Wednesday, October 24, 1:30 PM EST)

Body mass index (BMI) and apnea hypopnea index (AHI) show no relation to premature ventricular arrhythmias (PVC) in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a new study. However the researchers, from Lutheran Medical Center and SUNY-Downstate Medical Center in New York, say that treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) decreases the incidence of both AHI and PVC. The significant decrease in PVC may be the result of decreased transmural pressure, say researchers.



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#6021

FIRST-NIGHT COMFORT MAY DETERMINE FUTURE CPAP USE
(Wednesday, October 24, 1:30 PM EST)

How a patient with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) feels on their first night using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine may determine their future compliance, according to a new study from the Cleveland Clinic. Researchers administered behavioral questionnaires to patients prescribed CPAP, and determined compliance via a meter within the machine, which measured length of use. Results showed a positive correlation between CPAP compliance and patients’ level of comfort and ease on the first night of use. Researchers also found that patients who recently experienced the death of a loved one, were less likely to comply.



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#5542

POOR BEDTIME BEHAVIORS MORE COMMON IN OSA
(Wednesday, October 24, 1:30 PM EST)

New research shows patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have worse bedtime behaviors than people who do not suffer from the condition. Researchers from MetroHealth Medical Center, in Ohio, administered behavioral questionnaires to more than 500 patients with and without OSA. They found that patients with OSA were more likely to exhibit poor sleep hygiene and less likely to sleep in a bed. Researchers suggest such alternative sleeping environments may impact sleep duration and overall health status.



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#5687

FRAGMENTED SLEEP AFFECTS CHOLESTEROL
(Wednesday, October 24, 1:30 PM EST)

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have released a new study, examining the relationship between sleep fragmentation and lipid profiles. Both normal and overweight individuals underwent three nights of testing, which included polysomnography and blood testing to determine total cholesterol and triglycerides. Results showed that moderate sleep fragmentation was associated with reduced cholesterol in the overweight participants only.



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#6096

NIGHTSHIFT NURSES SLEEPIER THAN DAYSHIFT NURSES
(Wednesday, October 24, 11:30 AM EST)

A new study suggests that, despite the amount of sleep nightshift nurses receive, they are more likely to experience sleepiness, when compared with their dayshift counterparts. Researchers from Texas A & M University, Baylor College of Medicine, and the Torr Sleep Center, measured the amount of sleep received by day and nightshift nurses using actigraphy. The nurses also answered questions related to the effects of sleepiness. Results showed that although both groups of nurses received the same amount of sleep, the night-shift nurses were more likely to experience sleepiness.



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#5841

SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND MEDICAL ERRORS
(Wednesday, October 24, 11:30 AM EST)

New research investigates the relationship between the sleep duration and memory capacity of medical residents, during different rotations. The study, from the Universities of Georgia and Minnesota and Regions Hospital in Minnesota, studied internal medicine interns and residents during one 4-week call-free rotation and one 4-week call rotation.

After analysis, researchers found that of those who participated in both sets, more errors were made during the on-call rotation. This included more math and accuracy errors, as well as greater sleepiness scores.



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#5700

INSOMNIA IN PULMONARY FIBROSIS WORSE THAN IN ADDICTS
(Wednesday, October 24, 1:30 PM EST) Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) commonly experience insomnia. But new research from the Medical University of South Carolina reveals how severe the insomnia experienced by these patients can be. After using the Insomnia Severity Index to survey patients in an IPF support group, researchers found that some patients experienced levels of insomnia which were more severe than that experienced due to pain or substance abuse.



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#5509

FEMALE SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION LINKED TO SLEEP APNEA
(Wednesday, October 24, 1:30 PM EST)

While sexual dysfunction in men with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is well described, it has not been previously reported in women. Researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine, in Texas, administered sexual function questionnaires to 21 pre-menopausal women with OSA, who were referred to the sleep lab. Researchers found a high prevalence of sexual dysfunction in the women, which was unrelated to body mass index or negative mood.



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#5693

NECK SIZE IS BEST PREDICTOR OF SLEEP APNEA SEVERITY
(Wednesday, October 24, 1:30 PM EST)

A new study evaluates the roles of gender and body measurements in the severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) requirements. Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital, in Texas, took multiple body measurements from 144 men and women with OSA. They found that patients’ neck circumference, rather than their body mass index (BMI), was more predictive of OSA severity, especially in women. Both neck circumference and BMI correlated to CPAP requirements.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:38 pm    Post subject: Good Night's Sleep Key to Strong Memories Reply with quote

Good Night's Sleep Key to Strong Memories
By Ker Than, LiveScience Staff Writer

posted: 15 November 2007 02:00 pm ET

Scientists are finding new evidence that a good night's rest plays a crucial role in cementing memories formed during the day.

One new study has identified a brain region involved, along with the hippocampus, in creating memories of the day's activities during sleep. Another study suggests melatonin, a hormone involved in regulating our day-night cycle, or "circadian rhythm," acts to suppress the formation of new memories as bedtime nears, perhaps in an effort to give memories made earlier in the day a chance to be prepared for long-term storage.

Both studies are detailed in the Nov. 16 issue of the journal Science.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/hea.....ories.html
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:30 pm    Post subject: Can You Cheat Sleep? Only in Your Dreams Reply with quote

Can You Cheat Sleep? Only in Your Dreams
By Christopher Wanjek, LiveScience's Bad Medicine Columnist

posted: 18 December 2007 08:00 am ET

Some folks will do anything to cheat sleep. And some techniques to keep from dozing are highly recommended, such as avoiding Rob Schneider films or trashing your John Tesh CDs.

Somewhere between sanity and insomnia lies polyphasic sleep, now gaining devotees in the blogsphere. They take six 25-minute naps during the day and maybe an hour of sleep at night.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/hea.....sleep.html
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:27 am    Post subject: Preschoolers' nightmares less prevalent, are trait-like and Reply with quote

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
1 January 2008

Preschoolers' nightmares less prevalent, are trait-like and associated with personality

WESTCHESTER, Ill. – Bad dreams in pre-schoolers are less prevalent than thought. However, when they do exist, nightmares are trait-like in nature and associated with personality characteristics measured as early as five months, according to a study published in the January 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.

The study, led by Valérie Simard, under the direction of Tore Nielsen, PhD, of the University of Montreal, sampled 987 children in the Province of Quebec, who were assessed by their parents at the 29-month, 41-month, 50-month, five-year and six-year mark. Parents were asked in a questionnaire about the frequency of their child’s bad dreams without requiring that they attempt to judge whether or not awakenings occurred.

According to the results, proportions of participants in each bad-dreams frequency category were quite stable over time. For those reporting never, proportions were as follows: 29 months, 31.4 percent; 41 months, 29 percent; 50 months, 27.7 percent; five years, 30.7 percent; and six years, 31.4 percent. Most fell into the sometimes category (29 months: 65.2 percent, 41 months; 65.5 percent; 50 months, 69.3 percent; five years, 66.4 percent; and six years, 66.3 percent), with marginal proportions in the often (29 months, 1.7 percent; 41 months, 3.9 percent; 50 months, 2.1 percent; five years, 1.8 percent; and six years, 1.3 percent) and always (29 months, 0.7 percent; 41 months, zero percent; 50 months, 0.1 percent; five years, 0.8 percent; and six years, 0.2 percent) categories.

A higher mother’s rating of the child’s anxiety at 17 months was the best of 10 psychological predictors of bad dreams at 29 months, followed by the father’s rating. Mother’s ratings of the child’s difficult temperament at five months was associated with a small, but significant, increased risk of having bad dreams at 29 months.

In addition, children with consistent bad dreams were rated by their mothers as having more difficult temperaments at five months and 17 months, as being more emotionally disturbed at 17 months and as being more anxious at 17 months than were children having no bad dreams. They were also rated by their fathers as more anxious at 17 months.

Further, compared with children having no bad dreams, those with consistent bad dreams were: (1) More frequently restless in a day at five months, (2) More likely to cry and be restless in general at five months, (3) More difficult to calm at 17 months and (4) More frequently restless in a day at 17 months.

“Little attention is paid to optimizing definitions or measures of bad dreams among the very young,” wrote the authors. “These results support the suggestion that young children who develop chronic bad dreams are similar to adult nightmare sufferers, for whom links with general distress and emotional psychopathology are well established. Carefully targeted treatments of early anxiety symptoms, as well as promotion of early, protective parental practices may thus help prevent a cascade of changes leading, over the years, to bad dreams, nightmares, and associated psychopathologies.”

Nightmares are disturbing, visual dream sequences that occur in your mind and wake you up from your sleep. Nightmares can begin at any age. They usually begin before a child reaches six years of age. About 75 percent of children recall having at least one or a few nightmares during childhood. They occur in equal rates among boys and girls. Estimates are that 10 to 50 percent of children from three to five years of age have severe nightmares that disturb their parents. Nightmares in children tend to reach a peak by 10 years of age. After that, they decrease. Some children may continue to have nightmares as teens and adults. For them it may be a lifelong problem.

It is recommended that children in pre-school sleep between 11-13 hours a night and school-aged children between 10-11 hours of sleep a night.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) offers some tips to help your child sleep better:


Follow a consistent bedtime routine. Set aside 10 to 30 minutes to get your child ready to go to sleep each night.


Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.


Interact with your child at bedtime. Don’t let the TV, computer or video games take your place.


Keep your children from TV programs, movies, and video games that are not right for their age.


Do not let your child fall asleep while being held, rocked, fed a bottle, or while nursing.


At bedtime, do not allow your child to have foods or drinks that contain caffeine. This includes chocolate and sodas. Try not to give him or her any medicine that has a stimulant at bedtime. This includes cough medicines and decongestants.

Parents who suspect that their child might be suffering from a sleep disorder are encouraged to consult with their child’s pediatrician or a sleep specialist.


###
SLEEP is the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, a joint venture of the AASM and the Sleep Research Society.

More information on “nightmares” is available from the AASM at http://www.SleepEducation.com/Disorder.aspx?id=37
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:56 pm    Post subject: Naps May Boost Memory Reply with quote

Naps May Boost Memory
By Dave Mosher, LiveScience Staff Writer

posted: 07 January 2008 10:07 am ET

If you want to remember the information in this article, take a nap.

New research conducted by brain researcher Avi Karni of the University of Haifa in Israel explores the possibility that naps help lock in sometimes fleeting long-term memories. A 90-minute daytime snooze might help the most, the study finds.


For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/hea.....e-nap.html
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:36 pm    Post subject: Snoozing worms help Penn researchers explain the evolution o Reply with quote

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
11 January 2008

Snoozing worms help Penn researchers explain the evolution of sleep


PHILADELPHIA – The roundworm C. elegans, a staple of laboratory research, may be key in unlocking one of the central biological mysteries: why we sleep. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine report in this week’s advanced online edition of Nature that the round worm has a sleep-like state, joining most of the animal kingdom in displaying this physiology. This research has implications for explaining the evolution and purpose of sleep and sleep-like states in animals.

In addition, genetic work associated with the study provides new prospects for the use of C. elegans to identify sleep-regulatory genes and drug targets for sleep disorders.

First author David M. Raizen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, in collaboration with other researchers at the Penn Center for Sleep, showed that there is a period of behavioral quiescence during the worm’s development called lethargus that has sleep-like properties. “Just as humans are less responsive during sleep, so is the worm during lethargus,” explains Raizen. “And, just as humans fall asleep faster and sleep deeper following sleep deprivation, so does the worm.”

By demonstrating that worms sleep, Raizen and colleagues have not only demonstrated the ubiquity of sleep in nature, but also propose a compelling hypothesis for the purpose for sleep.

Because the time of lethargus coincides with a time in the round worms’ life cycle when synaptic changes occur in the nervous system, they propose that sleep is a state required for nervous system plasticity. In other words, in order for the nervous system to grow and change, there must be down time of active behavior. Other researchers at Penn have shown that, in mammals, synaptic changes occur during sleep and that deprivation of sleep results in a disruption of these synaptic changes.

In addition, the research team used C. elegans as a model system to identify a gene that regulates sleep. This gene, which encodes a protein kinase and is regulated by a small molecule called cyclic GMP, has been previously studied but not suspected to play a role in sleep regulation. The findings suggest a potential role for this gene in regulating human sleep and may provide an avenue for developing new drugs for sleep disorders.

“It opens up an entire new line of inquiry into the functions of sleep,” notes Penn Center for Sleep Director and co-author Allan I. Pack, MB, Chb, PhD.


###
The Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania is a multidisciplinary center dedicated to exploring and understanding the basic mechanism of sleep and circadian rhythm, the pathogenesis of sleep disorders, and the outcomes of therapy.

In addition to Raizen and Pack, co-authors are John E. Zimmerman, Matthew H. Maycock, Uyen D, Ta, Meera V. Sundaram, all from Penn, and Young-jai You from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas). The research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.

This release and related image can be found at www.pennhelath.com/news

PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals — its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:43 am    Post subject: Dopamine could help the sleep-deprived still learn Reply with quote

Dopamine could help the sleep-deprived still learn
By Tina Hesman Saey
August 30th, 2008; Vol.174 #5

Study is the first to reveal molecular processes that connect learning and sleep

Dumb flies (and perhaps people) may need a little more shuteye, or a shot of dopamine, to boost their brain power.

Fruit flies need sleep in order to learn, a study in the August 5 Current Biology shows. Keeping Drosophila up for hours after their normal bedtime impaired the flies’ ability to learn a complex task.

But activating a particular receptor for the neurotransmitter dopamine in a brain structure called the mushroom bodies erased the learning deficits, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis found.

For the full article:

http://sciencenews.org/view/ge.....till_learn
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