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(Health) Sleep: Mental Skills 'Worse After Sleep'
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:11 am    Post subject: (Health) Sleep: Mental Skills 'Worse After Sleep' Reply with quote






Mental skills 'worse after sleep'
BBC News
11 January 2006

A person's thinking ability may be better after being awake for 24 hours or being drunk than it is following a good night's sleep, a study suggests.
A University of Colorado team found understanding and short-term memory were worse in the minutes after waking.

Their finding has implications for workers such as doctors on night-duty, who are awoken and immediately asked to perform important tasks.

The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


For a short period, at least, the effects of sleep inertia may be as bad as or worse than being legally drunk
Professor Kenneth Wright, University of Colorado

After the study participants had had six nights of monitored sleep lasting eight hours per night, they were given a performance test that involved adding randomly generated, two-digit numbers.

Based on the results of this test, the researchers concluded the subjects exhibited the most severe impairments to their short-term memory, counting skills and cognitive abilities from sleep inertia within the first three minutes after awakening.

The most severe effects of sleep inertia generally dissipated within the first 10 minutes, although its effects were often detectable for up to two hours, they added.

'At risk'

None of the nine study participants had any medical, psychiatric or sleep disorders and were not using alcohol, nicotine, recreational drugs or caffeine.

They had also spent several hours each day practising the maths test used to quantify sleep inertia.

The study follows other research which has looked at the effects of going without sleep for over 24 hours - and found that has the same effect as being drunk.

Professor Kenneth Wright, who led the study, said: "This is the first time anyone has quantified the effects of sleep inertia.

"We found the cognitive skills of test subjects were worse upon awakening than after extended sleep deprivation.

"For a short period, at least, the effects of sleep inertia may be as bad as or worse than being legally drunk."

He said the explanation could be that certain areas of the brain take longer to "wake up".

Other research has found the prefrontal cortex - responsible for problem solving, emotion and complex thought - is one of those areas which takes longer to come "on-line" following sleep.

Professor Wright said doctors on night shifts, who may get awoken to treat an emergency, or ambulance workers and firefighters who may have to get up and drive to the scene of an incident, could be putting themselves - or others - at risk.

He said the study also illuminates the challenges faced by everyday people who are forced to make crucial decisions following abrupt awakening.

"If a person is awakened suddenly by a fire alarm, for example, motivation alone may be insufficient to overcome the effects of sleep inertia."

He said further research was needed to measure the effects of nap interruption and "recovery sleep" in on-call, sleep-deprived people.

'Waking time important'

Dr Neil Stanley, of the British Sleep Society, said: "There are a lot of people, like junior doctors, where it's not the number of hours they work that matters, it's when they sleep and how they feel when they wake up.

"Nobody should be doing anything really important for 15 to 30 minutes after they wake up."

He said people could perform less well than when they had been awake for a long time.

"If you are asleep, it's a much bigger transition to go from that to being awake than to stay awake, even for a long time, because then you'll be aware you are drowsy."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr.....598714.stm

Published: 2006/01/11 04:32:55 GMT

*************************************************************

Questions to explore further this topic:

What is sleep?

http://www.sleepfoundation.org/doze/
http://dreamtalk.hypermart.net/teachers/Smap.htm
http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/sleep.html
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disor....._sleep.htm

Why do we sleep at night?

http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/night.html
http://www.sleepfoundation.org.....&id=57
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/episode3/sleep/
http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/clock.html
http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay.....tired.html

What are the sleep cycles?

http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/cycles.html

What are dreams?

http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/dreams.html
http://www.asdreams.org./subidxeduq_and_a.htm
http://www.sciencemuseum.org.u.....in/130.asp

What are nightmares?

http://www.asdreams.org./subidxedunightmares.htm

What are the sleep habits of children?

http://www.sleepfoundation.org.....&id=39

What are some of the sleep problems that may occur with children?

http://www.sleepfoundation.org.....&id=44

How can one help improve one's sleep?

http://www.sleepfoundation.org.....&id=53
http://www.sleepfoundation.org.....&id=55

What is melatonin?

http://www.sleepfoundation.org.....&id=60

What is sleep apnea?

http://www.sleepfoundation.org.....&id=98

Do children snore when they are asleep?

http://www.sleepfoundation.org.....&id=96

What can deprive a child of a good night's sleep?

http://www.sleepfoundation.org.....amp;id=348

For adolescents, what time should school start?

http://www.sleepfoundation.org.....&id=46

A Day in the Life of a Brain

http://www.brainconnection.com/BAW/?main=day/home

Sleep and the Brain:

http://www.fi.edu/brain/sleep.htm
http://apu.sfn.org/content/Pub.....sleep.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1296361.stm
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/b.....edoux.html
http://www.medicalnewstoday.co.....ewsid=5528

What is insomnia?

http://www.sleepfoundation.org.....&id=58

What are sleep disorders?

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medline.....0_no_0.htm
http://www.talkaboutsleep.com/sleep-disorders/

Are sleeping pills good?

http://livescience.com/humanbi.....ation.html

GAMES

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/healt.....p/starslp/
http://www.brainconnection.com/teasers/
http://www.sleepfoundation.org/quiz/quiz.php?id=6
http://www.sleepfoundation.org/quiz/quiz.php?id=2
http://www.sleepfoundation.org/quiz/quiz.php?id=8


Last edited by adedios on Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:38 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:37 am    Post subject: Losing Sleep Undoes The Rejuvenating Effects Reply with quote

Source: American Physiological Society
Date: 2006-01-19
URL: http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....101049.htm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Losing Sleep Undoes The Rejuvenating Effects New Learning Has On The Brain

As the pace of life quickens and it becomes harder to balance home and work, many people meet their obligations by getting less sleep.

But sleep deprivation impairs spatial learning -- including remembering how to get to a new destination. And now scientists are beginning to understand how that happens: Learning spatial tasks increases the production of new cells in an area of the brain involved with spatial memory called the hippocampus. Sleep plays a part in helping those new brain cells survive.

A team of researchers from the University of California and Stanford University found that sleep-restricted rats had a harder time remembering a path through a maze compared to their rested counterparts. And unlike the rats that got enough sleep, the sleep-restricted rats showed reduced survival rate of new hippocampus cells.

The researchers used sleep-restricted rats rather than sleep-deprived rats to more closely mimic the common human experience of inadequate sleep during the work week, said lead investigator Ilana Hairston of both the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University. The paper, "Sleep restriction suppresses neurogenesis induced by hippocampus-dependent learning," appears in the Journal of Neurophysiology published by the American Physiological Society. Stanford researchers Milton T.M. Little, Michael D. Scanlon, Monique T. Barakat, Theo D. Palmer, Robert M. Sapolsky, and H. Craig Heller co-authored the paper.

Learning appears to rejuvenate the brain

Scientists already know -- and most of us can confirm from firsthand experience -- that lack of sleep impairs cognitive function. Sleep-restricted individuals have a shorter attention span, impaired memory, and a longer reaction time. "Sleep is necessary for general health, but it now appears that the brain needs sleep more than any other part of the body," Hairston said.

Previous studies have shown that the hippocampus is important for spatial learning. "The hippocampus also has the unique ability to generate new brain cells throughout life, a process called 'neurogenesis,'" Hairston noted. "When animals learn a task that requires the hippocampus, the rate of neurogenesis increases. This suggests that learning itself rejuvenates the brain."

Knowing that spatial learning triggers production of new brain cells in the hippocampus, Hairston and her team wanted to find out whether restricting sleep during a spatial learning task would affect new cell production in the hippocampus.

The experiment: swimming to the exit platform

The researchers trained rats on one of two tasks using a water maze -- a plastic pool about six feet in circumference and two feet deep. Rats were placed in the water and had to swim to the exit platform.

One group could not see the platform, which was placed underwater, and had to form a "mental map" of the maze -- a spatial memory task that is hippocampus-dependent -- to quickly reach the exit.

The second group could see and smell the exit platform, which had a citrus odor. The researchers moved the platform every fourth trial, requiring the animal to rely on its senses, not on memory, to find it. This task did not engage the hippocampus because the rat did not need a mental map of the pool to reach the platform, Hairston explained.

Fewer brain cells for the weary

At the end of each training session, half the animals in each group were kept awake for six hours by being presented novel stimuli that kept them interested and awake. The other half were returned to their cages and allowed to sleep. After six hours, the sleep-restricted rats were allowed to sleep for the remainder of the day until the next session, 18 hours later.

Rested animals that had to rely on memory to find the goal showed increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus compared with animals that could use sight and smell. That made sense, because the task that relied on memory involved the hippocampus, while the other did not.

However, the sleep-restricted rats that had to rely on memory to find the goal showed no increased neurogenesis, unlike their rested counterparts. This means that lack of sleep undoes the cell rejuvenation benefit that would normally come from the task, the researchers noted.

Sleep restriction prompts use of a secondary strategy

On the other hand, the sleep-restricted rats that were required to locate the platform using visual and odor cues did better on the task than their rested counterparts. This was an unexpected finding.

Hairston et al. believe it is because the rested group tried to rely on memory to find the platform, generally a better strategy to reach a goal you have reached before. But in this case, where the researchers moved the goal every fourth trial, using the visual and odor cues was a better strategy. It appears that the sleep-restricted rats changed their strategy to compensate for their lack of sleep -- and it worked.

"The sleep-restricted rats in this group actually did better because the lack of sleep interfered with their ability to memorize the maze -- forcing them to rely on easily accessible cues," Hairston said.

Researchers point to practical implications for the overtired Overall, the study underlined that learning depends upon two things: exposure to novel material and getting a good night's sleep, Hairston said.

Learning new things, at least in the case of spatial memory, quite literally keeps your brain young by ensuring a better survival rate for new brain cells in the hippocampus. However, not getting enough sleep eliminates the potential benefit of new learning on the hippocampus by suppressing neurogenesis. "Mild, chronic sleep restriction may have long-term deleterious effects on neural functioning," according to the paper.

On the other hand, that sleep-deprived rats did better on a task requiring use of visual and odor cues compared to their better rested counterparts "implies that some kinds of cognitive function are resistant to sleep loss," Hairston said. "This may be significant in human learning as well, and implies that it may be possible to optimize the way information is presented to rested versus fatigued individuals to take advantage of the specific neural substrates that are unaffected by sleep loss," the researchers concluded.

"This finding could be used to design training regimens for chronically sleep-deprived people, including members of the military and medical students," Hairston said. "That said, while the cognitive impairment may be overcome, our findings indicate that mild, chronic sleep restriction may have long-term deleterious effects on neural function," according to the paper.

Further studies could clarify learning strategies the brain employs

One implication of these findings is that sleep restriction disrupts the hierarchy of cognitive processes. That is, spatial learning seemed to be the primary cognitive strategy, and only when it was disrupted by lack of sleep, did a secondary strategy emerge. "It would be interesting to expand our findings to see if other competing processes are similarly affected by sleep restriction," Hairston said.

For example, scientists know that people who have suffered certain types of brain lesions may be unable to screen out irrelevant stimuli such as random noises in a room, something healthy individuals do easily. A flip side is that people with these lesions tend to associate familiar stimuli with new information more rapidly than healthy counterparts, a phenomenon called attention switching.

This suggests that learning to ignore stimuli and rapid attention switching are competing processes, with healthy individuals ignoring familiar stimuli as their primary strategy. It would be interesting to assess whether sleep restriction causes people to lose the ability to screen out extraneous stimuli and preferentially apply attention switching, she said.



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Source and funding
The paper "Sleep restriction suppresses neurogenesis induced by hippocampus-dependent learning," appears in the Journal of Neurophysiology published by the American Physiological Society. The research was done by Ilana S. Hairston at both the Psychology Department of University of California, Berkeley, and the Department of Biological Sciences of Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, and Milton T. M. Little, Michael D. Scanlon, Monique T. Barakat, Robert M. Sapolsky, and H. Craig Heller, of the Department of Biological Sciences of Stanford, and Theo D. Palmer, at the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford.

The research was funded by NIH and a pre-doctoral National Institute of Mental Health award (Hairston).

###
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 7:18 am    Post subject: Can Snoring Ruin A Marriage? Reply with quote

Source: Rush University Medical Center

Posted: February 2, 2006

Can Snoring Ruin A Marriage?

The husband snores. The wife nudges him to flip over. Both wake up feeling grouchy the next morning. It’s a common occurrence that may have more of an impact on the marriage than most couples think.

The Sleep Disorders Center at Rush University Medical Center is conducting a scientific sleep study to evaluate how a husband’s sleep apnea impacts the wife’s quality of sleep and the couple’s marital satisfaction.

“This is a frequent problem within marriages that nobody is paying enough attention to,” said Rosalind Cartwright, PhD, founder of the Sleep Disorders Center at Rush. “Couples who struggle with sleep apnea have a high-divorce rate. Can we save marriages by treating sleep apnea? It’s a question we hope to answer.”

The Married Couples Sleep Study is evaluating 10 couples in which the male has been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. After completing surveys about sleepiness, marriage satisfaction, and quality of life, the couple spends the night in the sleep lab where technicians determine each partner’s quality and quantity of sleep. Following two weeks of treatment, the diagnostic tests and surveys are repeated.

“Our early results are showing that the wife’s sleep is indeed deprived due to the husband’s noisy nights. This is not a mild problem. The lack of sleep for both partners puts a strain on the marriage and creates a hostile and tense situation,” said Cartwright.

For example, in one couple, the husband’s snoring was arousing the wife out of sleep over eight times an hour. Her sleep efficiency rating, which is the percentage of time she is actually sleeping during the night, was 73 percent. The average person’s sleep efficiency is closer to 90 percent. The wife had tried ear plugs, earphones, and numerous other devices to try to sleep through the snoring. She eventually gave up and chose to sleep alone.

“The strain on the marriage was evident. The couple was fighting all the time and the surveys revealed low satisfaction with the marriage, especially when it came to effective communication,” said Cartwright.

The husband underwent two weeks of treatment at home using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). The noninvasive treatment prevents the upper airway from collapsing during sleep, allowing the lungs to function normally during sleep.

Following treatment, the wife’s quality of life measure jumped from a 1.2 to a 7, meaning the sleep apnea was no longer bothering her at all. Her sleepiness scale, which measures how tired she feels during the day, dropped from 12 to 6. Marital satisfaction scores improved from 3 to 5.8 and the wife’s sleep efficiency jumped from 73 percent to 82 percent.

“Our early results have been terrific,” said Cartwright. “It is beautiful to see couples getting along so much better.

The Married Couples Sleep Study is currently ongoing. The study of the first ten couples should be completed by April. Cartwright anticipates presenting data this summer. If the results are promising, the study will be expanded to include more couples.

The study is conducted in the Rush Sleep Disorders Center ’s new “couples sleep room.” The room was made possible by a 50,000 donation from a former patient. The room is furnished with a queen size bed, television and other amenities to make the couple comfortable. Both the husband and wife undergo simultaneous polysomonography, a sleep test that monitors brain activity, eye movements, muscle activity, heart rate and rhythms, breathing patterns, blood oxygen level and body movements and respiratory sounds. All sensors are noninvasive and do not cause pain or discomfort.

The study involves first diagnosing the sleep apnea. The husband will sleep alone in the center as technicians monitor his sleep. If he has sufficient sleep apnea, he will undergo a split night study to determine the appropriate CPAP treatment.

Sleep apnea is a serious health problem that should be treated. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway. The breathing pause lasts at least 10 seconds and can occur 10 or more times an hour. Apnea lowers the oxygen level in the blood leaving the patient vulnerable to hypertension, stroke and other cardiovascular problems.

Obstructive sleep apnea can occur in men and women of any age; however, it is most common in obese, middle-aged men. The most common signs of sleep apnea are loud snoring, choking or gasping during sleep, and fighting sleepiness during the day. In addition to continuous positive airway pressure, treatment includes losing weight, sleeping on your side instead of your back, avoiding alcohol and tobacco.

For more information on the Married Couples Sleep Study contact Benjamin Fleischer at 312-563-4292.

Founded in 1978 by Rosalind Cartwright, PhD, the Sleep Disorders Center at Rush was the first such center in Illinois and the first in the region to receive accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Since that time, the doctors at the center have treated more than 16,000 patients. Clinical and laboratory facilities include eight hotel-like bedrooms with private bathrooms, state-of-the-art computerized monitoring room, and four patient evaluation and examination spaces.

Find out more information about your particular sleep problems with our unique interactive conversation about sleep. This Web-based tool uses a friendly, conversational tone to help you explore your personal sleep issues in depth by asking pertinent questions that lead you to targeted information. You can access this interactive tool at http://www.rush.edu/sleep .
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:03 am    Post subject: Children who sleep less 3x more likely to be overweight Reply with quote

Université Laval
29 March 2006

Children who sleep less are three times more likely to be overweight

Quebec City, March 29, 2006--The less a child sleeps, the more likely he or she is to become overweight, according to researchers from Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine in an article published in the latest edition of the International Journal of Obesity. The risk of becoming overweight is 3.5 times higher in children who get less sleep than in those who sleep a lot, according to researchers Jean-Philippe Chaput, Marc Brunet, and Angelo Tremblay.
These results come from data collected among 422 grade school students aged 5 to 10. The scientists measured the weight, height, and waist size of each participant. Information on the children's lifestyle and socioeconomic status was obtained through phone interviews with their parents.

Through body mass index measurement, the researchers determined that 20% of the boys and 24% of the girls were overweight. Children who slept less than 10 hours a night were 3.5 times more at risk of being overweight than those who slept 12 or more hours. No other factor analyzed in the study--parental obesity, parents' level of education, family income, time spent in front of the TV or computer, regular physical activity--had as much of an impact on obesity than time spent sleeping.

Hormone production is currently the researchers' prime hypothesis to explain the relationship between sleep and obesity. "Lack of sleep lowers the level of leptin, a hormone that stimulates metabolism and decreases hunger. In addition, short nights of sleep boost the concentration of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger," explains Professor Angelo Tremblay.

The progression of obesity and the decrease in the number of hours devoted to sleep, two phenomena that have become increasingly important social issues over the last few decades, could thus be more closely related than it would appear at first glance. Between 1960 and 2000, the prevalence of obesity doubled in the population while the average night of sleep lost one to two hours. During the same period, the percentage of young adults who slept less than seven hours went from 16% to 37%.

"It's ironic that part of the solution to obesity might lie in sleep, the most sedentary of all human activities. In light of this study's results, my best prescription against obesity in children would be to encourage them to move more and to make sure they get enough sleep," concludes Tremblay.


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 1:12 pm    Post subject: Sleeping less linked to weight gain Reply with quote

American Thoracic Society
23 May 2006

Sleeping less linked to weight gain

SAN DIEGO--Women who sleep 5 hours or less per night weigh more on average than those who sleep 7 hours, according to a study to be presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference on May 23rd.
The study found that women who slept for 5 hours per night were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain (defined as an increase of 33 pounds or more) and 15% more likely to become obese over the course of the 16-year study compared with women who slept 7 hours. Women who slept for 6 hours were 12% more likely to have major weight gain and 6% more likely to become obese compared with women who slept 7 hours a night.

The study included 68,183 middle-aged women who were enrolled in the Nurses Health Study. They were asked in 1986 about their typical night's sleep, and were then asked to report their weight every 2 years for 16 years.

On average, women who slept 5 hours or less per night weighed 5.4 pounds more at the beginning of the study than those sleeping 7 hours and gained an additional 1.6 pounds more over the next 10 years.

"That may not sound like much, but it is an average amount--some women gained much more than that, and even a small difference in weight can increase a person's risk of health problems such as diabetes and hypertension," said lead researcher Sanjay Patel, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.

Dr. Patel noted that this is by far the largest study to track the effect of sleep habits on weight gain over time. "There have been a number of studies that have shown that at one point in time, people who sleep less weigh more, but this is one of the first studies to show reduced sleep increases the risk of gaining weight over time."

The researchers looked at the women's diets and exercise habits to see if they could account for part of the findings. "Prior studies have shown that after just a few days of sleep restriction, the hormones that control appetite cause people to become hungrier, so we thought that women who slept less might eat more. But in fact they ate less," Dr. Patel said. "That suggests that appetite and diet are not accounting for the weight gain in women who sleep less."

The researchers also asked women about how much they participated in exercise activities such as running, jogging or playing tennis. But they didn't find any differences in physical activity that could explain why women who slept less weighed more.

"We don't have an answer from this study about why reduced sleep causes weight gain, but there are some possibilities that deserve further study," Dr. Patel said. "Sleeping less may affect changes in a person's basal metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn when you rest). Another contributor to weight regulation that has recently been discovered is called non-exercise associated thermogenesis, or NEAT, which refers to involuntary activity, such as fidgeting or standing instead of sitting. It may be that if you sleep less, you move around less, too, and therefore burn up fewer calories."
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:41 pm    Post subject: Why we could all do with a siesta Reply with quote

University of Manchester
1 June 2006

Why we could all do with a siesta
The Spaniards may have been right all along – a siesta after a hearty lunch is natural, new research suggests.
Scientists at The University of Manchester have for the first time uncovered how brain cells or 'neurons' that keep us alert become turned off after we eat.

The findings – published in the scientific journal Neuron this week – have implications for treating obesity and eating disorders as well as understanding levels of consciousness.

"It has been known for a while that people and animals can become sleepy and less active after a meal, but brain signals responsible for this were poorly understood," said Dr Denis Burdakov, the lead researcher based in Manchester's Faculty of Life Sciences.

"We have pinpointed how glucose – the sugar in food – can stop brain cells from producing signals that keep us awake.

Dr Burdakov's research has shown exactly how glucose blocks or 'inhibits' neurons that make orexins – tiny proteins that are vital for normal regulation of our state of consciousness.

"These cells are critical for responding to the ever-changing body-energy state with finely orchestrated changes in arousal, food seeking, hormone release and metabolic rate to ensure that the brain always has adequate glucose."

Malfunction of orexin neurons can lead to narcolepsy, where sufferers cannot stay awake, and obesity; there is also evidence that orexin neurons play a role in learning, reward-seeking and addiction.

"We have identified the pore in the membrane of orexin-producing cells that is responsible for the inhibiting effect of glucose.

"This previously unknown mechanism is so sensitive it can detect minute changes in glucose levels – the type that occurs between meals for example.

"This may well provide an explanation for after-meal tiredness and why it is difficult to sleep when hungry.

"Now we know how glucose stops orexin neurons 'firing', we have a better understanding of what may occur in disorders of sleep and body weight.

"This research perhaps sheds light on why our European friends are so fond of their siestas."
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:58 pm    Post subject: The sleep of babes Reply with quote

Association for Psychological Science
14 August 2006

The sleep of babes
One more reason to love nap time

The life of an infant is certainly one to be envied. They get food, they get unconditional love, and of course they get a luxurious amount of sleep. Now a new study from the University of Arizona shows that these frequent naps are more than just extra ZZZ's. They are actually honing infants' basic abilities to learn about the world around them.

University of Arizona psychologists Rebecca Gomez, Richard Bootzin, and Lynn Nadel found that babies who got a little daytime shut-eye were more likely to exhibit an advanced level of learning, known as abstraction. As they describe in the August issue of Psychological Science, they played recordings of "phrases" from an artificial language to forty-eight 15-month-old infants during a learning session. For example, they repeatedly played phrases like "pel – wadim – jic" until the babies became familiar with them. These phrases contained three units, with the first and last unit forming a relationship. In this case, pel predicts jic. Even though these are nonsensical sounds, Gomez explains, the language shares some similarity with structure found in English sentences, such as the subject-verb agreement in "the companies there are merging."

Before Gomez and colleagues tested the infants' learning of this nonsensical language, some infants took normally scheduled naps. Others were scheduled at a time when they would not nap after learning. When the infants returned to the lab, they again heard the recordings-- along with novel phrases in which the predictive relationship between the first and last word was new. By carefully watching the babies' gazes as they listened to both old and novel phrases, Gomez was able to rate their level of attention. Longer looking at a flashing light (coinciding with the phrases) signaled attention, which indicated the babies had learned a particular phrase or relationship.

There were interesting differences between the infants who had napped and those who had not. The infants who did not sleep recognized the phrases they had learned earlier, but the babies who had slept in between generalized their knowledge of the predictive relationships to new phrases. Gomez interprets this as evidence that napping supports abstract learning--that is, the ability to detect a general pattern in new information.

This kind of abstract learning indicates a qualitative change in memory, Gomez explains: "Such a change plays an essential role in cognitive development by sustaining sensitivity to previously encountered information, while enabling learners to generalize to novel cases."
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:43 am    Post subject: Neurological effects of childhood sleep apnea Reply with quote

Public Library of Science
21 August 2006

Neurological effects of childhood sleep apnea
Childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnea is associated with neuropsychological deficits and neuronal brain injury
In this study, Ann Halbower and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine looked at 19 children aged 6-16 y with OSA and compared them with 12 healthy controls. The children underwent sleep tests, a battery of neuropsychological assessments, including IQ tests, and tests of executive function, and a group of children were assessed by magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a special form of brain imaging.

Children with OSA had significantly lower scores than matched controls on full scale IQ tests and significantly lower performance on measures of executive function, including verbal working memory (sentence span) and word fluency. The special brain imaging (proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging) showed decreases in the mean neuronal metabolite ratio of N-acetyl aspartate/choline in the left hippocampus and right frontal cortex, indicating possible neuronal injury in these areas.

Symptomatic childhood sleep-disordered breathing includes a range of conditions in which children have difficulties with breathing when they are asleep. The conditions range from simple snoring to the most severe condition, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In children, OSA may be associated with enlarged tonsils, long-term allergy, or obesity. About two in every hundred children have OSA. The symptoms of OSA are loud snoring at night, disrupted, restless sleep, undue tiredness, and difficulties in concentration. If untreated, researchers believe that it may lead to a number of long-term problems with health and learning. Children with disorders of sleep have previously been shown to have memory problems, lower general intelligence, and worse executive function (the ability to adapt to new situations), and may have behavioral problems similar to those of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Previous work has shown that adults with sleep apnea have abnormalities of parts of their brain, specifically the frontal cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus, but this is the first study to investigate similar changes in children. The authors speculate that untreated childhood OSA could permanently alter a developing child's cognitive potential, but that the changes in metabolites are not necessarily permanent--in other diseases where changes have been found they can be reversed with treatment.

If these results are confirmed in other children with OSA, and if these results are reversible with treatment, it will highlight the importance of treating children for OSA as soon as possible. In addition, the measurement of metabolites may be a way of measuring how well children are responding to treatment.

###
* * * * * * * * EMBARGO: MONDAY, 21st August, 5 P.M. PDT * * * * * * * * *

Citation: Halbower AC, Degaonkar M, Barker PB, Earley CJ, Marcus CL, et al. (2006) Childhood obstructive sleep apnea associates with neuropsychological deficits and neuronal brain injury. PLoS Med 3(Cool: e301

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030301

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-03-08-halbower.pdf

Related image for press use: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-03-08-halbower.jpg

· Caption: Single Voxel Localizer Image of the hippocampus for Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in a normal child

CONTACT:
Ekaterina Pesheva
John Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland United States of America
+1 (410) 516-4996
+1 (410) 283-1966 pager
epeshev1@jhmi.edu

About PLoS Medicine
PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org
http://www.plosmedicine.org/

About the Public Library of Science

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All works published in PLoS Medicine are open access. Everything is immediately available without cost to anyone, anywhere--to read, download, redistribute, include in databases, and otherwise use--subject only to the condition that the original authorship is properly attributed. Copyright is retained by the authors. The Public Library of Science uses the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:38 am    Post subject: Mayo clinic discovers new type of sleep apnea Reply with quote

Mayo Clinic
1 September 2006

Mayo clinic discovers new type of sleep apnea

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Researchers at Mayo Clinic have identified a new type of sleep apnea they call "complex sleep apnea." The findings will be published in the September issue of the journal Sleep.

The two previously known types of sleep apnea include obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. In obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form, the throat muscles relax and the airway is narrowed, momentarily cutting off breathing and resulting in noisy snoring. With central sleep apnea, the brain does not send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. The newly discovered type, complex sleep apnea, is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apneas.

Patients with complex sleep apnea at first appear to have obstructive sleep apnea and stop breathing 20 to 30 times per hour each night. But unlike typical obstructive sleep apnea patients, their breathing problem is not completely alleviated by a CPAP (continuous airway pressure) machine, which functions like a pneumatic splint to open a patient's airway. Instead, once the CPAP is applied to complex sleep apnea patients, the obstruction seems to dissipate, but still they do not breathe properly. Symptoms of central sleep apnea then appear and fragmented sleep results, due to frequent pauses in breathing.

"All of us in our sleep lab have observed for years that there are patients who appear to have obstructive sleep apnea, but the CPAP doesn't make them all that much better -- they still have moderate to severe sleep apnea even with our best treatment and subjectively don't feel they're doing very well," says Timothy Morgenthaler, M.D., Mayo Clinic sleep medicine specialist, pulmonologist and lead study investigator. "When they put on a CPAP machine, they start to look like central sleep apnea syndrome patients. This phenomenon has been observed for years, but this study is the first attempt to categorize these people."

The study involved a retrospective review of 223 patients consecutively referred to the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center over one month, plus 20 consecutive patients diagnosed with central sleep apnea. The investigators found that complex sleep apnea comprised 15 percent of all sleep apnea patients, while 84 percent had obstructive sleep apnea and 0.4 percent had central sleep apnea. They also discovered that males have a higher tendency to have complex sleep apnea. Dr. Morgenthaler says this may be due to less stable respiratory control in males than females. The complex sleep apnea patients had sleep and cardiovascular histories similar to the obstructive sleep apnea patients. The complex sleep apnea patients also had fewer complaints about waking up after initially falling asleep than those with central sleep apnea (32 percent vs. 79 percent). The investigators found that complex sleep apnea could be diagnosed based on patients' sleep patterns defined at their initial diagnostic exams plus lack of response to CPAP.

According to Dr. Morgenthaler, no known factors influence risk for complex sleep apnea. An effective treatment has not been identified, but research continues to test breathing assistance machines to alleviate this condition's symptoms.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:58 pm    Post subject: Need to pull an all-nighter? Reply with quote

Children's Hospital Boston
7 September 2006

Need to pull an all-nighter?

Reducing nitric oxide gas in the brain may help us stay awake
People who must stay awake for long shifts – soldiers, pilots, truckers, students, doctors, parents of newborns – may take comfort from new research showing that preventing the gas nitric oxide from building up in the brain may ward off the sleep urge.

The research, conducted by investigators from Children's Hospital Boston and the University of Helsinki (Helsinki, Finland), ties together previous observations about sleep and finds that nitric oxide production in a specific region of the brain – the basal forebrain – is both necessary and sufficient to produce sleep. The findings appear in two related papers in the August 18 issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry and the September 5 issue of the European Journal of Neuroscience.

"This understanding of sleep physiology should provide a completely new basis for the development of drugs to prevent excessive sleepiness or to promote sleep," says study co-author Paul Rosenberg, MD, PhD, a researcher in the Neurobiology Program at Children's Hospital Boston, and a physician in the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children's and in the Sleep Disorders Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

In 1997, senior investigator Tarja Porkka-Heiskanen MD, PhD, now at the University of Helsinki, first showed that when cats are awake for prolonged periods, a compound called adenosine accumulates in their brains, ultimately producing sleep. Once asleep, adenosine levels gradually decline. Rosenberg had been studying how the brain regulates the accumulation of adenosine in the brain for over 10 years, and, in 2000, he and his colleagues demonstrated in brain cells from rats that adenosine's release is stimulated by nitric oxide. The two teams decided to collaborate.

Studying mildly sleep-deprived rats – kept awake for an extra three hours – they found that nitric oxide production in the basal forebrain, but not in other parts of the brain, increased, by 50 to 150 percent. When they injected compounds that inhibit nitric oxide production into this region of the brain, adenosine levels did not increase and sleep was completely abolished (one type of inhibitor abolished dreaming, or REM, sleep, and the other non-REM sleep). The results were identical when the researchers injected a compound that scavenges nitric oxide – mops it up and renders it inactive.

In contrast, when the basal forebrain was infused with a nitric oxide "donor" – an agent that boosts nitric oxide levels – during a normal sleep-wake cycle, adenosine levels increased and the rats fell into a sleep much like the "recovery" sleep that occurs after prolonged wakefulness. Blocking adenosine receptors with caffeine prevented this nitric-oxide-induced slumber.

Rosenberg sees the most pharmaceutical promise in developing drugs that prolong wakefulness by curbing production of nitric oxide or scavenging the gas once it's produced. The opposite – a sleeping pill made from nitric oxide donors -- would be much harder, he says, since these compounds would likely break down before ever reaching the brain. However, one of the ways nitric oxide promotes sleep is by stimulating production of a signaling molecule called cyclic GMP, and it may be possible to achieve the same effect by using drugs that block cyclic GMP's breakdown, Rosenberg says.

One surprise in the research was that the main message telling the brain to go to sleep probably does not come from neurons, but from neighboring glial cells, which appear to produce the greatest amounts of nitric oxide. Until recently, glial cells have been assumed to play only a supportive role in the brain. Rosenberg speculates that the molecules that turn on nitric oxide production in glial cells (as yet undiscovered) might provide additional targets for drug development.

###
The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Academy of Finland, the European Union, the Finnish Medical Society and the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, and an ESRS Sanofi-Synthelabo Research Award.

Children's Hospital Boston is home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 500 scientists, including eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, nine members of the Institute of Medicine and 11 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is a 347-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children's also is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about the hospital and its research visit: www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:48 pm    Post subject: Why sleep? Flies tell us why Reply with quote

American Association for the Advancement of Science
21 September 2006

Why sleep? Flies tell us why

Sleep is a mystery. Scientists do not know why we need sleep. But, adults know they need sleep and parents know children need sleep. Other living beings need sleep. But why? Resting restores our body, so rest should be enough.

Scientists hypothesize -- that is, they suggest a solution based on what they know and follow up this hypothesis with experiments -- that our bodies require sleep so our brain can process what we have learned during the day.

Scientist Dr. Indrani Ganguly-Fitzgerald used fruit flies in a series of experiments. She learned that when flies used their brains, they needed more sleep. It starts when flies are very young – they need a lot of sleep like babies – and the need to sleep continues as the flies get older.

In her experiment, she kept some young flies in a tube by themselves. They did not sleep much. Some other young flies were put together with older flies in a big jar and they needed a lot of sleep because they had been taking in information from the other flies.

Tests with older flies showed that they needed sleep to, for their brains to process the information they learned during the day.


She wanted to know more so she watched flies that were taught a lesson. Afterward the flies slept a lot. Later they did well when they had a test. Some flies were not allowed to sleep much, and they made mistakes on their tests.

As a geneticist, someone who studies genes and how they work in living things, Dr. Ganguly-Fitzgerald wanted to understand what happens in our bodies. "I tested the flies we studied and they all had genes involved in memory and information processing in the brain," she said. "I looked at some flies called dunces and they did not have these genes."

Understanding how sleep works with memory allows researchers to understand diseases in humans and to experiment until they can find medicine or cures for people with memory diseases like Alzheimer's disease and depression.

Dr. Ganguly-Fitzgerald's work show to other scientists that flies can be a good method of studying the connection between sleep and memory. "Of all genes known to cause human diseases," she explains, "more than 60 percent are found in the fruit fly."

Special advice from Dr. Ganguly-Fitzgerald: "For kids, from parents: Sleep now, Play better later. For parents: Let kids play now, they will sleep better later."
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:48 am    Post subject: I have a question Reply with quote

Why we sleep at night and what is nightmare??? Very Happy


I'm John Jeheiel P. Madridejos. My teacher in computer is Sir Allan Parungao
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:11 am    Post subject: what are dreams Reply with quote

Dear Dr. de Dios,

I am a member of PES Young PAETech. I want to ask what causes nightmare and its harmful effects. How can we avoid it?

Thank you.

John Albert M. Samuel
Grade 6 - Roxas
PES
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Dr.de Dios

I am a member of Young PAETech from PES. I would like to know why are there some people who walk while sleeping?

Emersan D. Baldemor
Grade 6 - Roxas
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the following links may answer your questions:

Why do we sleep at night?

http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/night.html
http://www.sleepfoundation.org.....&id=57
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/episode3/sleep/
http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/clock.html
http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay.....tired.html

What are the sleep cycles?

http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/cycles.html

What are dreams?

http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/dreams.html
http://www.asdreams.org./subidxeduq_and_a.htm
http://www.sciencemuseum.org.u.....in/130.asp

What are nightmares?

http://www.asdreams.org./subidxedunightmares.htm

What is sleepwalking?

http://www.crescentlife.com/di.....alking.htm
http://www.sleepfoundation.org......php?id=22
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medline.....000808.htm
http://familydoctor.org/160.xml
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 9:35 am    Post subject: Star Sleeper Reply with quote

Garfield and the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research have teamed up to bring you information on sleep and how it helps kids do their best at whatever they do.

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/healt.....p/starslp/
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:44 pm    Post subject: New studies in the journal sleep focus on helping children, Reply with quote

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
1 October 2006

New studies in the journal sleep focus on helping children, women sleep better

WESTCHESTER, Ill., September 29 -- New studies in the October 1st issue of the journal SLEEP report the following findings:

The refusal of young children to go to bed at night can cause unnecessary stress for members of their family. However, parents and guardians can take comfort in knowing that behavioral treatments are an effective means for resolving a child's bedtime problems and night wakings.

The study, conducted by Jodi A. Mindell, PhD, of St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, is based on a review of 52 treatment studies, participated by 2,500 infants and toddlers, by a task force appointed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

"The results indicate hat behavioral therapies produce reliable and durable changes in bedtime problems and night wakings in infants and children," wrote Mindell. "Across all studies, 94 percent report that behavioral interventions produced clinically significant improvements in bedtime problems and/or night wakings. Approximately 82 percent of children benefit from treatment and the majority maintain these results for three to six months."

Mindell noted that additional research is needed to examine the delivery methods of treatment, longer term efficacy and the role of pharmacological agents.

According to Mindell, studies have shown that 20 to 30 percent of young children have significant bedtime problems and/or night wakings. In addition, night wakings are among the most common sleep problems in infants and toddlers, with 25 to 50 percent of children over the age of six months waking during the night, added Mindell.

AASM offers the following tips to help a 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 (e.g., chocolate and sodas). Try not to give him or her any medicine that has a stimulant at bedtime (e.g., cough medicines and decongestants).

Experts recommend that infants (three to 11 months) get 14 to 15 hours of sleep per night, while toddlers get 12 to 14 hours, pre-schoolers 11 to 13 hours and school-age children 10 to 11 hours.

A child who gets enough sleep and sleeps well is more likely to be cheerful during the day. The better the child sleeps, the happier the entire family will be.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MANY WOMEN WITH OSA SYMPTOMS DELAYING DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT, POSTPONING THEIR ABILITY TO SLEEP BETTER AND CREATING A BURDEN ON OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

The first report on healthcare utilization in women with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) reports an increase in the years prior to the diagnosis of OSA, but then a decrease in the following two years. This conclusion demonstrates the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of OSA so that women can sleep better faster and, too, our healthcare system is less burdened.

Katsuhisa Banno, MD, and colleagues of the Sleep Disorders Center in St. Boniface General Hospital's Section of Respiratory Diseases studied 414 women with OSA. According to the results, there was an increase in fees in the two years before, and a decrease in fees in the two years following, diagnosis. In addition, the number of physician claims in the two years preceding diagnosis rose, and then fell in the following two years. Furthermore, the number of clinic visits in the two years prior to diagnosis increased, and declined in the two years following diagnosis.

"Our results showed that sleep-clinic evaluation (correcting diagnosis and recommending treatment) in patients with OSA may lead to a significant reduction in physician claims and ambulatory clinic visits. Early diagnosis and treatment of OSA may thus contribute to a significant cost savings to healthcare systems," the authors wrote.

OSA occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway. This keeps air from getting into the lungs. OSA afflicts an estimated 15 million to 20 million Americans, as well as millions more who remain undiagnosed and untreated.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), the most common and effective treatment for OSA, provides a steady stream of pressurized air to patients through a mask that they wear during sleep. This airflow keeps the airway open, preventing the pauses in breathing that characterize sleep apnea and restoring normal oxygen levels.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ELDERLY CAREGIVERS OF ALZHEIMER PATIENTS MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO ILL-EFFECTS OF SLEEP DISTURBANCE

The burden placed on an elderly caregiver whose spouse suffers from Alzheimer disease can often cause sleep disturbance, which can, in turn, lead to early physical signs of cardiovascular problems. This finding pinpoints further the detrimental effects a poor night of sleep can have on a person's well-being, and advises the elderly of the importance of sleep in maintaining their health.

The study, conducted by Brent T. Mausbach, PhD, and colleagues of the University of California, San Diego, focused on 40 elderly spousal caregivers of patients with Alzheimer disease, who participated in an in-home full-night polysomnography and had other tests performed. The results indicated that wake after sleep onset (WASO) was positively associated with norepinephrine levels, indicating that caregivers with greater time spent awake during the night had elevated plasma norepinephrine concentrations. In addition, WASO was significantly related to plasma D-dimer.

Sleep needs change over a person's lifetime. Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults -- seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

Not sleeping well can lead to a number of problems. Older adults who have poor nighttime sleep are more likely to have, in addition to health problems, a depressed mood, attention and memory problems, excessive daytime sleepiness, more nighttime falls, and use more over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids. Poor sleep is also associated with a poorer quality of life.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LIGHT DEPRIVATION HINDERS ABILITY TO REGULATE SLEEP-WAKE CYCLE

The amount of light exposure can have a profound effect on an individual's sleep pattern. Stronger light intensity enables noradrenergic locus coeruleus (LC) neurons, which regulate arousal, to function normally and, therefore, provide a circadian regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. Light deprivation, on the other hand, induces a loss of noradrenergic fibers which, in turn, throws a person's sleep-wake rhythm out of kilter.

The study, conducted by Mónica McGonzález, PhD, and Gary Aston-Jones, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, focused on rats, that were maintained on a light-dark (LD) schedule or in constant darkness (DD) for three to four weeks, and treated with DSP-4, a neurotoxic agent specific for noradrenergic-LC projections. Vigilance states were analyzed before and three weeks after LC lesion. The DSP-4 lesion was verified by immunohistochemistry of noradrenergic fibers in the frontal cortex.

"DSP-4 decreased the amplitude of the sleep-wake rhythm in LD animals by significantly decreasing wakefulness and increasing sleep during the active period," the authors wrote. "However, DSP-4 had no effect on the sleep-wake cycle of DD animals. Moreover, DD itself decreased the amplitude of the sleep-wake cycle similar to that of the neurotoxic lesion of the noradrenergic system in LD animals.

This study is particularly useful for those persons suffering from shift work, a circadian rhythm sleep disorder that occurs due to a work schedule that takes place during the normal sleep period. This schedule requires you to work when your body wants to sleep. Then you have to try to sleep when your body expects to be awake. The timing of when you sleep and wake is much different than what your internal body clock expects.

This sleep problem causes you to have trouble sleeping or to be severely tired. It is most often reported due to the night and early-morning shifts. These workers typically sleep one to four hours less than average. They also feel that the quality of their sleep is very poor. They do not feel refreshed when they wake up. This can hinder their performance at work. It can also make them less alert. This can put them at risk of an injury on the job.

One of the ways to cope with working an overnight shift is to adjust the lighting of your work space. Intense light exposure will enable your body to adjust to the "daytime-like" conditions in your office, and make you more alert and effective at your job. When it's time for you to go to sleep, take the steps necessary to make your bedroom dark. This will train your body to go to sleep at a bright time of day.

Sleep problems from shift work affect male and female workers of all age groups. Those who have unusual work hours are most likely to have it. Estimates are that two-to-five percent of the general population is affected, not including people who work early-morning shifts.

###
SLEEP is the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine 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.

To arrange an interview with an AASM spokesperson regarding any of these studies, please contact Jim Arcuri, public relations coordinator.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:51 am    Post subject: Children's sleep difficulties: Reports differ from children Reply with quote

Society for Research in Child Development
14 November 2006

Children's sleep difficulties: Reports differ from children to parents


Elementary-school-aged children commonly experience sleep problems, but little research has addressed the reasons behind this phenomenon. A new study finds that children of this age say they have sleep difficulties much more often than their parents report such problems.

The findings, published in the November/December 2006 issue of the journal Child Development, are based on questionnaires completed by 300 pairs of 8-year-old twins and their parents in England and Wales. The researchers chose to study twins because such studies provide an opportunity to look at both genetic and environmental influences on a range of sleep characteristics and problems.

In the study, children reported more frequent sleep problems than their parents acknowledged. For example, 45 percent of children said they usually had difficulties falling asleep, while only 17 percent of parents reported this to be the case in their children.

The authors speculate that there may be many explanations for this discrepancy. For example, regarding night waking, parents may be unaware when their children wake during the night if the children go back to sleep easily. The inconsistency may also be due to difficulties children experience in reporting their problems, which may lead them to overestimate their troubles. Regarding delays in falling asleep, children, like adults, may over-estimate their sleep problems because of the way in which memory is processed around sleep in people who report certain sleep difficulties, such as insomnia.

It may be helpful for parents to ask their children directly about their sleep patterns and any difficulties they are encountering. Further research should be done to determine whether children are accurate reporters of their sleep problems.

The study also found some ties between different sleep problems. For example, children who resisted going to sleep were also more likely to have trouble falling asleep.

The authors examined the extent to which children's sleep problems are caused by genes and by environmental factors. They conclude that reports by parents suggest that genes play a larger role in most children's sleep problems compared to children's own reports. This could be explained by rater bias (that is, parents may accentuate similarities between their identical twins), or it could be that children and parents report on different aspects of sleep problems.

Regardless of who is providing the information, both genetic and environmental influences are likely to influence most of the sleep problems the study assessed. This means that some children could be more vulnerable than others for certain sleep difficulties as a result of their genes. Environmental influences (such as bullying at school, illness, and other stressors) were even more significant than genetic influences for most of the sleep problems.

###
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE ON NOVEMBER 14, 2006 (12:01 AM)

Summarized from Child Development, Vol. 77, Issue 6, A Twin-Study of Sleep Difficulties in School-Aged Children by Gregory, AM, Frühling, VR, and Eley, TC (University of London). Copyright 2006 The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. All rights reserved.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:36 am    Post subject: Learning During Sleep? Reply with quote

Learning During Sleep?
December 5, 2006
Max Planck Society


Max Planck researchers in Heidelberg are investigating communication between memory areas during sleep

If I can’t remember this morning where I put my car keys last night, it’s due to my memory failing me again. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg have been investigating how memories might be consolidated. Their new study offers the hitherto strongest proof that new information is transferred between the hippocampus, the short term memory area, and the cerebral cortex during sleep. According to their findings and contrary to previous assumptions, the cerebral cortex actively controls this transfer. The researchers developed a new technique for their investigations which promises previously impossible insight into the largely under-researched field of information processing in the brain (Nature Neuroscience, November 2006).

The question of how the brain stores or discards memories still remains largely unexplained. Many brain researchers regard the consolidation theory as the best approach so far. This states that fresh impressions are first stored as short-term memories in the hippocampus. They are then said to move within hours or a few days - usually during deep sleep - into the cerebral cortex where they enter long-term memory. Investigations by Thomas Hahn, Mayank Mehta and the Nobel Prize winner Bert Sakmann from the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg have now shed new light on the mechanisms that create memory. According to their findings, the areas of the brain work together, but possibly in a different way from that previously assumed. "This is a technically sophisticated study which could have considerable influence on our understanding of how nerve cells interact during sleep consolidation," confirmed Edvard Moser, Director of the Centre for the Biology of Memory in Trondheim, Norway.


It has been difficult up to now to use experiments to examine the brain processes that create memory. The scientists in Heidelberg developed an innovative experimental approach especially for this purpose. They succeeded in measuring the membrane potential of individual interneurones (neurones that suppress the activity of the hippocampus) in anaethetised mice. At the same time, they recorded the field potential of thousands of nerve cells in the cerebral cortex. This allowed them to link the behaviour of the individual nerve cells with that of the cerebral cortex. The researchers discovered that the interneurones they examined are active at almost the same time as the field potential of the cerebral cortex. There was just a slight delay, like an echo.

This was a surprising finding, because the interneurones suppress those neurones in the hippocampus which are supposed to write information to the cerebral cortex precisely during phases of high activity. According to Mayank Mehta the result can be interpreted in very different ways. "Either the mechanism contributes to memory consolidation, or the information transfer from one part of the brain to another during sleep does not proceed as we have previously assumed." The brain researchers now want to find out which of the possible explanations applies.

In any case, the scientists can use their new experimental method to investigate many other open questions in brain research. Thomas Hahn emphasised: "Putting the behaviour of a single neuron in the context of wider-scale patterns of activity promises to yield completely new insights into the principles according to which our brain is organised."

Original work:

Thomas Hahn, Bert Sakmann & Mayank R. Mehta
Phase-locking of hippocampal interneurons’ membrane potential to neocortical up-down states
Nature Neuroscience, November (2006)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:00 am    Post subject: Memory experts show sleeping rats may have visual dreams Reply with quote

Memory experts show sleeping rats may have visual dreams
Deborah Halber, MIT News Office Correspondent
December 18, 2006


Memories of our life stories may be reinforced while we sleep, MIT researchers report Dec. 17 in the advance online edition of Nature Neuroscience.

Matthew A. Wilson, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, and postdoctoral associate Daoyun Ji looked at what happens in rats' brains when they dream about the mazes they ran while they were awake.

In a landmark 2001 study, Wilson showed that rats formed complex memories for sequences of events experienced while they were awake, and that these memories were replayed while they slept--perhaps reflecting the animal equivalent of dreaming.

Because these replayed memories were detected in the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain, the researchers were not able to determine whether they were accompanied by the type of sensory experience that we associate with dreams--in particular, the presence of visual imagery.

In the latest experiment, by recording brain activity simultaneously in the hippocampus and the visual cortex, Wilson and Ji demonstrated that replayed memories did, in fact, contain the visual images that were present during the running experience.

"This work brings us closer to an understanding of the nature of animal dreams and gives us important clues as to the role of sleep in processing memories of our past experiences," Wilson said.

Reinforcing memories
By recording the spiking patterns of electrodes in individual neurons in the rats' brains, Wilson is able to compare the activity of the neurons when the animal is awake and asleep. It turns out that neurons activated when the animal experiences an event while awake are reactivated during sleep.

In addition, the region of the cortex that processes input from the senses and the hippocampus "talk" to each other during sleep, leading researchers to speculate that this process reinforces and consolidates memories.

But research to date lacked specific evidence that episodic memory--times, places and emotions related to events that make up our life stories--is reinforced in the cortex, the hippocampus or both during sleep.

For the first time, this work shows that the brain is replaying memory events in two locations at once--in the visual cortex and in the hippocampus.

"These results imply simultaneous reactivation of coherent memory traces in the cortex and hippocampus during sleep that may contribute to or reflect the result of the memory consolidation process," Wilson and Ji wrote.

This work is supported by the Brain Science Institute at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) in Japan and the National Institutes of Health.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:28 am    Post subject: Children who sleep less more likely to be overweight Reply with quote

7-Feb-2007

Northwestern University

Children who sleep less more likely to be overweight

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Research indicates that getting inadequate sleep has negative effects on children's social and emotional well-being and school performance. Now a Northwestern University study finds it also increases their risk of being overweight.

The study -- conducted in two waves of data collection approximately five years apart -- is the first nationally representative, longitudinal investigation of the relationship between sleep, Body Mass Index (BMI) and overweight status in children aged 3 to 18.

"Our study suggests that earlier bedtimes, later wake times and later school start times could be an important and relatively low-cost strategy to help reduce childhood weight problems," says Emily Snell. Snell is co-author of "Sleep and the Body Mass Index and Overweight Status of Children and Adolescents" in the Jan./Feb. issue of Child Development.

"We found even an hour of sleep makes a big difference in weight status," said Snell, a Northwestern doctoral student in human development and social policy. "Sleeping an additional hour reduced young children's chance of being overweight from 36 percent to 30 percent, while it reduced older children's risk from 34 percent to 30 percent."

The Northwestern study not only differs from most other investigations of the effects of sleep on children's weight in its five-year approach. It also helps disentangle the issue of whether sleep actually affects weight or whether children who already are overweight are simply poor sleepers. In addition, it takes into account the possible effects of other variables including race, ethnicity and income.

Snell co-wrote the article with Northwestern's Emma K. Adam and Greg J. Duncan, assistant professor and professor of education and social policy, respectively. Adam and Duncan are fellows at the University's Institute for Policy Research and Center for Social Disparities and Health.

Their findings also suggest that later bedtimes play a greater role in the overweight status of children aged from 3 to 8, while earlier wake times play a greater role in children aged 8 to 13. No significant differences in the effect of sleep on weight was found between boys and girls nor was there evidence that children who slept more grew more in height.

The researchers used time diaries, in which the parents or caregivers of young children or children old enough to keep diaries themselves recorded all activities -- including bedtime, time asleep and wake time -- over the course of a weekday and weekend day. In analyzing the diaries, they found troubling age-related trends in sleep behavior.

By age 7, children were sleeping on average less than 10 hours on weekdays. By age 14, weekday sleep time fell to 8.5 hours. A full 16 percent of adolescents aged 13 to 18 were found to sleep fewer than seven hours on weekday nights. The National Sleep Foundation recommends children aged 5 to 12 years get 10 to 11 hours of sleep and adolescents get eight to nine hours.

"Many American children are simply not getting the sleep they need. Parents, policymakers and health care providers all are concerned about the obesity epidemic among children," says Snell. "Our results suggest that something as simple as helping children sleep more at night could reduce their risk of being overweight."

The 2,182 children examined in the study came from a nationally representative sample called the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:08 am    Post subject: Afternoon Naps Protect Your Heart, Study Finds Reply with quote

Afternoon Naps Protect Your Heart, Study Finds

By Jeanna Bryner
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 12 February 2007
12:17 pm ET

It might be smart to let your heavy eyelids carry you into dreamland during waking hours, because a new study finds that half-hour siestas can boost heart health and help prevent deadly cardiovascular disease.

Past studies have indicated that in countries where midday naps are common, as in the Mediterranean and parts of Latin America, rates of death from heart disease are lower than the average rates in non-napping regions.

Few of these studies, however, accounted for factors linked to heart disease risk, including physical activity, diet and age.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/hum.....sense.html
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:44 am    Post subject: Sleep disturbances affect classroom performance Reply with quote

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
15 February 2007

Sleep disturbances affect classroom performance

WESTCHESTER, Ill. -- As a night of bad sleep can have an adverse effect on an adult’s performance at work the next day, an insufficient amount of rest can also have a negative impact on how well middle or high school students perform in the classroom. A study published in the February 15th issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM) finds that adolescents who experience sleep disturbances are more likely to receive bad grades in school.

James F. Pagel, MD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, examined the results of 238 school district-approved questionnaires, filled out by students attending middle school or high school, which included a high frequency of sleep complaints. According to the surveys, students with lower grade point averages (GPAs) were more likely to have restless, aching legs when trying to fall asleep, difficulty concentrating during the day, snoring every night, a hard time waking up in the morning, sleepiness during the day, and falling asleep in class.

"While a series of previously-conducted studies all found that adolescents reporting inadequate sleep, irregular sleep patterns, and/or poor sleep quality do not perform as well in school as students without sleep complaints, this study provides additional evidence indicating that sleep disturbances occur at high frequencies in adolescents and significantly affect daytime performance, as measured by GPA," said Pagel.

Both restless legs and difficulty concentrating during the day are symptoms associated with the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a diagnosis that can be associated with poor school performance. It is important for parents to discuss their teen’s sleep-related problem with a primary care physician, and to have their teen screened for ADHD if necessary, added Pagel.

Teens are advised to follow these recommendations to getting a good night’s sleep, which will help lead to better school performance:


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.

###
JCSM is the official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). It contains published papers related to the clinical practice of sleep medicine, including original manuscripts such as clinical trials, clinical reviews, clinical commentary and debate, medical economic/practice perspectives, case series and novel/interesting case reports.

http://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 study, entitled, "Adolescent Sleep Disturbance and School Performance: The Confounding Variable of Socioeconomics", or to arrange an interview with an AASM spokesperson regarding this study, please contact Jim Arcuri, public relations coordinator.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:27 am    Post subject: Journal Sleep: Sleep deprivation affects moral judgment Reply with quote

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
1 March 2007

Journal Sleep: Sleep deprivation affects moral judgment

WESTCHESTER, Ill. – Research has shown that bad sleep can adversely affect a person's physical health and emotional well-being. However, the amount of sleep one gets can also influence his or her decision-making. A study published in the March 1st issue of the journal SLEEP finds that sleep deprivation impairs the ability to integrate emotion and cognition to guide moral judgments.

The study, conducted by William D.S. Killgore, PhD, and colleagues at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, was focused on 26 healthy adults, who made judgments about the "appropriateness" of various courses of action in response to three types of moral dilemmas on two separate occasions: at rested baseline and again following 53 hours of continuous wakefulness.

Compared to baseline, sleep deprivation resulted in significantly longer response latencies (suggesting greater difficulty deciding upon a course of action) for moral personal dilemmas.

The findings suggest that continuous wakefulness has a particularly debilitating effect on judgment and decision making processes that depend heavily upon the integration of emotion with cognition, said Killgore, adding that the results provide further support to the hypothesis that sleep loss is particularly disruptive to the ventromedial prefrontal regions of the brain, which are important for the integration of affect and cognition in the service of judgment and decision making.

"Most of us are confronted with moral dilemmas nearly every day, although the majority of these choices are minor and of little consequence," said Killgore. "Although such decisions are inextricably steeped in social, emotional, religious and moral values, and their correct courses of action cannot be determined through scientific inquiry, it is well within the realm of science to ask how the brain goes about solving such dilemmas and what factors, whether internal or external to the individual, contribute to the judgments and decisions that are ultimately reached."

According to Dr. Killgore, these findings do not suggest that sleep deprivation leads to a decline in "morality" or in the quality of moral beliefs, but a latency to respond and the change in the leniency or permissiveness of response style as evidenced by the tendency to decide that particular courses of action were "appropriate" before and after sleep loss.

"Our results simply suggest that when sleep deprived, individuals appear to be selectively slower in their deliberations about moral personal dilemmas relative to other types of dilemmas," said Killgore.

The present findings may have implications for those in occupations that frequently require periods of extended sleep loss and in which real-world moral dilemmas may be encountered (e.g., emergency medical services, military personnel in combat, fire/rescue workers), noted Killgore. When sleep deprived, such personnel may experience greater difficulty reaching morally based decisions under emotionally evocative circumstances and may be prone to choosing courses of action that differ from those that they would have chosen in a fully rested state, added Killgore.

Experts recommend that adults get seven-to-eight hours of sleep on a nightly basis.

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.

http://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 study, entitled, "The Effects of 53 Hours of Sleep Deprivation on Moral Judgment", 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: Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:04 am    Post subject: Sleep Disorders Can Impair Children's IQs As Much As Lead Ex Reply with quote

Sleep Disorders Can Impair Children's IQs As Much As Lead Exposure
University of Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (March 13, 2007) - Three decades ago, medical investigators began sounding the alarm about how lead exposure causes IQ deficits in children. Today, researchers at the University of Virginia Health System say children with sleep disorders can face similar risks of intellectual impairment.

UVa researchers have been studying sleep disturbances in children with enlarged tonsils and adenoids for the past seven years. In a recent study, they discovered that youngsters who snore nightly scored significantly lower on vocabulary tests than those who snore less often.

"Vocabulary scores are known to be the best single predictor of a child's IQ and the strongest predictor of academic success," explains Dr. Paul M. Suratt, a pulmonologist who directs the UVa Sleep Laboratory.

According to Dr. Suratt, the vocabulary differences associated with nightly snoring are equivalent to the IQ dissimilarities attributed to lead exposure. "Studies show that, even at nontoxic levels, lead exposure can reduce a child's IQ by more than seven points," he notes.

Sleep disorders can be intellectually and behaviorally detrimental to children because they interrupt the deep sleep patterns needed for healthy development. At night, children with sleep disorders can be observed snoring, snorting, gasping, tossing and turning. During the day, these children can be irritable, hyperactive and unable to concentrate.

A key goal of the UVa researchers is to predict which children with sleep disorders are most likely to suffer cognitive impairment or develop behavior problems. "It's more difficult than you would think," Dr. Suratt explains. "Children with sleep disordered breathing may have cognitive impairment even if they don't completely stop breathing, even if their oxygen levels don't fall and even if they don't totally wake up."

In a series of studies involving six to twelve-year-olds, researchers have been piecing together a list of risk indicators. So far, snoring frequency combined with sleep lab results have proven to be the most reliable predictors of intellectual impairment and behavioral problems. Sleep duration and race appear to be important risk factors, too.

"One of our most recent studies found that kids who snore nightly and spend less time in bed score significantly lower on cognitive tests than children who snore less frequently and spend longer times bed," Dr. Suratt explains. "We've also found that obstructive sleep disordered breathing (OSBD) occurs more often in African American children and, therefore, places them at greater risk of cognitive impairment."

As part of their quest to accurately identify at-risk children, UVa researchers are now testing a device that records breathing sounds during sleep at home. When used in the lab, this method has proven more sensitive than existing equipment in detecting sleep apnea in children.

"We're getting closer to the day when we can quickly establish risk profiles and effective treatment plans for children with sleep disorders. Our goal is to minimize the cognitive and behavioral problems that often develop," says Dr. Suratt.
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