Starting School Before 8:30 AM Associated With More Anxiety and Depression in Adolescents

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jack Peltz, Ph.D.

Clinical assistant professor in Psychiatry
Rochester Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Approximately 90% of high-school aged adolescents get either
insufficient sleep during school nights or barely meet the required
amount of sleep (ie, 8–10 hours) expected for healthy functioning.(1)

In fact, sleep problems and insufficient sleep are so pervasive for
adolescents that they could be considered an epidemic due to their
adverse impact on adolescent mental and physical health.(2–5)

As a result,addressing insufficient adolescent sleep represents a critical
point of study and intervention. The growing body of evidence suggests
that later school start times (SST), 8:30 AM or later as recommended
by the American Academy of Pediatricians,6 convey
multiple benefits on adolescents, including improved sleep, better
mental and physical health, and improved academic outcomes.(7–10)

This research, however, has focused on the direct effects of delaying
school start times, or specifically how moving SST back directly predicts changes
in an outcome (eg, mental health, academic achievement). This
type of analysis precludes examining the important role that SST
might play as a condition or context under which other sleeprelated
processes take place. For instance, earlier school start times might exacerbate
the impact of sleep-related processes on adolescent behavioral
health outcomes. Thus, incorporating school start times as a larger contextual variable
that might moderate models of sleep and adolescent functioning
represents a gap in the literature and a unique opportunity to advance
conceptual models. Accordingly, the current study examines
the moderating role of school start times on the associations between sleep hygiene,
sleep quality, and mental health.

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Half of Menopausal Women Report Getting Insufficient Quality Sleep

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Anjel Vahratian PhD MPH Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist Branch Chief at the National Center For Health Statistics   Centers for Disease Control and PreventionDr. Anjel Vahratian PhD MPH

Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist
Branch Chief at the National Center For Health Statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

MedicalResearch.com: Why did you conduct this study?

Response: Our research focuses on the health of women as they age and transition from the childbearing period. During this time, women may be at increased risk for chronic health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

As insufficient sleep is a modifiable behavior that is associated with these chronic health conditions, we wanted to examine how sleep duration and quality varies by menopausal status.

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Despite Sleep Benefits To Teens, Only Half of Parents Support Later School Start Times

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Galit Dunietz, Ph.D., MPH Doctor of Philosophy Department of Neurology University of Michigan  Ann Arbor MI

Dr. Dunietz

Galit Dunietz, Ph.D., MPH
Epidemiologist, Sleep Disorders Center
Department of Neurology
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor MI

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Insufficient sleep has a negative impact on health, cognition and mood and is linked to motor vehicle accidents. However, sleep loss in adolescents has become an epidemic and arises in part from biological processes that delay sleep and wake timing at the onset of puberty. This biology does not fit well with early school start times (before 8:30 a.m.). Despite recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to delay school start times, most schools in the U.S. have current start times before 8:30 a.m.

In this nationally representative study of US parents of teens, we examined whether parents supported or opposed later school start times (after 8:30 a.m.). We also examined what may have influenced their opinions.

We found that only about half of surveyed parents of teens with early school start times supported later school start times. Opinions appeared to depend in part on what challenges and benefits were expected to result from the change.

For example, parents who expected an improvement in their teen’s academic performance or sleep quantity tended to support the change, whereas parents that expected negative impact on afterschool activities or transportation opposed delays in school start times.  We also found that parents had misconception about sleep needs of their adolescents, as the majority perceived 7-7.5 hours of sleep as sufficient, or possibly sufficient even at this young age when 8-10 hours are typically recommended.

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Mobile Message Delivery Can Help Parents Learn Safe Infant Sleep Practices

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Rachel Y. Moon, M.D. Division Head, General Pediatrics Professor of Pediatrics University of Virginia School of Medicine Charlottesville, VA 22908

Dr. Moon

Rachel Y. Moon, M.D.
Division Head, General Pediatrics
Professor of Pediatrics
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Charlottesville, VA 22908

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Approximately 3500 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly during sleep in the US every year. Even though there are safe sleep recommendations, many parents do not follow them because of misinformation or misconceptions.

Therefore we tested 2 complementary interventions to promote infant safe sleep practices. The first was a nursing quality improvement intervention aimed at ensuring that mothers would hear key messages and that there was appropriate role modeling of safe sleep practices by hospital personnel.

The second was a mobile health intervention, in which mothers received videos and text messages or emails with safe sleep information during the baby’s first two months of life. We randomized mothers to receive either the safe sleep interventions or breast-feeding interventions (the control interventions). Mothers who received the mobile health intervention reported statistically significantly higher rates of placing their babies on their back, room sharing without bed sharing, no soft bedding use, and pacifier use, compared with mothers who received a control intervention. Although the nursing quality improvement intervention did not influence infant safe sleep practices, there was an interaction such that mothers who received both the safe sleep nursing quality improvement intervention and the safe sleep mobile health intervention had the highest rates of placing their babies on the back.

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SIMPONI ARIA (golimumab) Improved Sleep and Pain in Ankylosing Spondylitis Trial

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Atul A. Deodhar, MD, MRCP, FACP, FACR Professor of Medicine Medical Director, Rheumatology Clinics Medical Director, Immunology Infusion Center Oregon Health & Science University 

Dr. Deodhar

Atul A. Deodhar, MD, MRCP, FACP, FACR
Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, Rheumatology Clinics
Medical Director, Immunology Infusion Center
Oregon Health & Science University 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The GO-ALIVE study (CNTO148AKS3001) is a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of golimumab, an anti-TNFα monoclonal antibody, administered intravenously (IV), in adult patients with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS). The primary objective is to evaluate the efficacy of golimumab 2 mg/kg in patients with active AS by assessing the reduction in signs and symptoms of AS. The secondary objectives include assessing efficacy related to improving physical function, range of motion, health-related quality of life, and other health outcomes.

A total of 208 patients who had a diagnosis of definite  ankylosing spondylitis (per modified New York criteria) and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) ≥4, total back pain visual analogue scale (VAS) ≥4, and CRP ≥0.3 mg/dL were randomized.  Patients were treated with IV golimumab (n=105) at Weeks 0, 4, and every 8 weeks through Week 52 or placebo (n=103) at Weeks 0, 4, and 12, with crossover to IV golimumab at Week 16 and through Week 52.

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Continuous Release REMfresh® Mimics Natural Melatonin Release

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David C. Brodner, M.D</strong>. Founder and Principle Physician, The Center for Sinus, Allergy, and Sleep Wellness Double Board-Certified in Otolaryngology (Head and Neck Surgery) and Sleep Medicine Assistant Clinical Professor, Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine Medical Director, Good Samaritan Hospital Sleep Laboratory Senior Medical Advisor, Physician’s Seal, LLC®

Dr. Brodner

David C. Brodner, M.D.
Founder and Principle Physician, The Center for Sinus, Allergy, and Sleep Wellness
Double Board-Certified in Otolaryngology (Head and Neck Surgery) and Sleep Medicine
Assistant Clinical Professor
Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine
Medical Director, Good Samaritan Hospital Sleep Laboratory
Senior Medical Advisor, Physician’s Seal, LLC®

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders affect an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans, and long-term sleep deprivation has been associated with negative health consequences, including an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, obesity and depression.

Sleep/wake cycles are regulated by melatonin, levels of which normally begin to rise in the mid- to late evening and remain high for the majority of the night. Levels begin to decline towards early morning, as the body’s wake cycle in triggered. Melatonin levels typically decline with age, with a significant decrease after age 40.

And as people age, their bodies may no longer produce enough melatonin to ensure adequate sleep. In addition to difficulties falling asleep, sleep in older populations can include fragmented and sustained sleep problems. Melatonin supplementation has been shown to promote and maintain sleep in older populations.

In this study, we compared the pharmacokinetics (PK) profile of REMfresh®, a continuous release and absorption melatonin (CRA-melatonin), with that of a leading immediate-release melatonin (IR-melatonin) formulation.

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Cycles of Poor Sleep Then Crashing Leads To Loss of Creativity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michael K. Scullin, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Director, Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory Baylor University Waco, TX 76798

Dr. Scullin

Michael K. Scullin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Director, Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In studio-based courses (e.g., design, architecture, art), students have a large project due at the end of the semester that requires creativity and attention to detail. Anecdotally, they will work long hours without sleep to finish the project.

The problem is that cutting back on sleep may actually be impeding their ability to execute the project successfully.

We used wristband actigraphy (a device that detects movement and light) to monitor sleep for one week in 28 interior design students—many of whom had a final project due. At the beginning and end of the week, the participants completed tests of attention and creativity.

We found that students slept less than contemporary recommendations (7 to 9 hours; Associated Professional Sleep Societies) on approximately half of the nights, and shorter sleep was associated with declining attention and creativity scores across the week. The more thought provoking result was that many individuals showed inter-night variability in how long they slept (e.g., going from 4 hours to 11 hours to 5 hours to 8 hours, etc.). Inter-night variability in sleep duration was an even stronger predictor than total sleep time in how creativity scores changed across the week.

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Sleep Difficulties Linked to Survival Among Women With Breast Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Claudia Trudel-Fitzgerald Ph.D. FRQS Postdoctoral research fellow & Clinical psychologist (OPQ) Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA 02115

Dr. Trudel-Fitzgerald

Claudia Trudel-Fitzgerald Ph.D. 
FRQS Postdoctoral research fellow & Clinical psychologist (OPQ)
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Boston, MA 02115

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There is very limited research on the association between sleep characteristics and survival among individuals with cancer. However, this is an important question, especially among breast cancer patients because sleep disturbances are frequently reported by these women. Preliminary studies have suggested that sleep duration is related to mortality. The novel findings of our research indicate that not only sleep duration, but also changes in sleep duration before versus after diagnosis, as well as regular difficulties to fall or stay asleep, may also be associated with mortality among women with breast cancer over a period of up to 30 years.

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Insomnia Linked to Increased Risk of Stroke and Heart Attack

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Qiao He

Master’s degree student
China Medical University
Shenyang, China

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Sleep is an important factor for biological recovery functions, but in modern society, more and more people have complained having sleep problems like insomnia, one of the main sleep disorders. It is reported that approximately one-third of the German general population has been suffering from insomnia symptoms. In decades, many researchers have found associations between insomnia and bad health outcomes. Insomnia seems to be a big health issue. However, the results from previous studies regarding the association of insomnia and cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events were inconsistent. Therefore, we conducted this study.
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LGBTQ+ Patients Have Poor Sleep Compared to Heterosexuals

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jen-Hao Chen PhD Assistant Professor Department of Health Sciences and School of Public Affairs University of Missouri - Columbia

Dr. Jen-Hao Chen

Jen-Hao Chen PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Health Sciences and School of Public Affairs
University of Missouri – Columbia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: It has been well known that sexual minority adults in the US have worse health as compared with heterosexual peers. Queer folks are found to have poorer physical, mental and behavioral health outcomes because of their marginalized status and social environments. But we know very little about prevalence of sleep problems in the population of sexual minorities compared to heterosexual people. Do sexual minorities lose sleep? Do they wake up more often during the night? Do they sleep less? This study aims to address this important gap in the LGBT health literature. Using recent nationally representative data, we exam whether sexual minority adults have greater odds of having short sleep duration and poor sleep quality. In addition, we also investigate sexual minorities’ sleep in the context of gender and race/ethnicity  Continue reading

Poor Sleep In Early Childhood Linked to Later Cognitive and Behavioral Problems

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Elsie M. Taveras, MD MPH Chief, Division of General Pediatrics Director, Pediatric Population Health Management Director, Raising Healthy Hearts Clinic

Dr. Taveras

Dr. Elsie M. Taveras, MD MPH
Chief, Division of General Pediatrics
Director, Pediatric Population Health Management
Director, Raising Healthy Hearts Clinic
MassGeneral Hospital for Children

MedicalResearch.com: What are the primary findings of this study and why are they important?

Response: The primary findings of this study are that children who get an insufficient amount of sleep in their preschool and early school age years have a higher risk of poor neurobehavioral functioning as reported by their mothers and independently by their teachers at age 7. These behaviors included poorer executive function and more hyperactivity/inattention, emotional symptoms, conduct problems, and peer relationship problems.

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Sleep Duration and Exhaled Nitric Oxide in Asthma and Health Adults

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Rauno Joks, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
Chief, Division of Allergy & Immunology
Program Director, Allergy &Immunology Fellowship
SUNY Downstate Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There are circadian and circannular patterns to many diseases, including allergy and asthma. Humans spend roughly one-third of their lifetimes asleep. Your immune system never sleeps, but shifts its activity when you sleep.

It is known that asthma disease activity can be worse at night – the reasons for this are complex, and may involve changes in allergic responses.

We found, in a preliminary study of both adults with and without asthma, that longer duration of nighttime sleep was associated with lower levels of exhaled nitric oxide, a biomarker which is elevated in exhaled breath of those with allergic asthma. This may carry over into the afternoon as well, but the sample size was too small to fully conclude that.

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Drug-Induced Sleep Endoscopy With Cardiorespiratory Monitoring For OSA

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Simone Baiardi MD Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna

Dr. Simone Baiardi

Dr. Simone Baiardi MD
Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum
University of Bologna

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Drug-induced sleep endoscopy (DISE) is an useful tool for studying the upper airway dynamic in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), and it’s crucial for the therapeutic choice (especially for non ventilatory treatment, such as surgery). The main limits of DISE are the lack of standardization of procedure and the low inter-observer reliability among non-experienced ENT surgeons.

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea More Common In Obese Adolescents With Enlarged Tonsils

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ron B. Mitchell, MD Professor and Vice Chairman, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery William Beckner Distinguished Chair in Otolaryngology Chief of Pediatric Otolaryngology UT Southwestern and Children's Medical Center Dallas Dallas, TX 75207

Dr. Ron Mitchell

Ron B. Mitchell, MD
Professor and Vice Chairman,
Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery
William Beckner Distinguished Chair in Otolaryngology
Chief of Pediatric Otolaryngology
UT Southwestern and Children’s Medical Center Dallas
Dallas, TX 75207

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has not been widely studies in adolescents. This is one of a few studies that was targeted at 12-17 year olds who were referred for a sleep study for possible OSA. The study included 224 adolescents (53% male). aged 12 to 17 years. The mean BMI was 33.4 and most were either Hispanic or African American (85.3%). A total of 148 (66.1%) were obese. Most adolescents referred for a sleep study (68%), had  Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Normal-weight adolescents were least likely to have OSA at 48%, while obese children were most likely at 77%. Severe OSA was most likely in obese males with tonsillar hypertrophy.

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More Children Means Increasingly Less Sleep For Mothers

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kelly L. Sullivan, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Epidemiology Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health Georgia Southern University Statesboro, Georgia

Dr. Sullivan

Kelly L. Sullivan, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Epidemiology
Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, Georgia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The original aim of this study was to determine which factors were associated with getting sufficient sleep in men and women. In this analysis, we considered many possible influences including BMI, age, race, education, marital status, exercise, employment status, and income in addition to having children in the household. The aim was to determine which factors were most strongly associated with insufficient sleep in men and women specifically in order to inform efforts to best address their sleep challenges.

In this study, we found that younger women with insufficient sleep time were more likely to have children in the household compared with women who reported sufficient sleep. Each child in the household was associated with a nearly 50% increase in a woman’s odds of insufficient sleep.

This finding held after controlling for the potential effects of age, exercise, employment status and marital status. Children in the household were also associated with the frequency of feeling unrested among younger women, but not among younger men. Women with children reported feeling tired about 25% more frequently compared to women without children in the household.

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Excessive Sleeping May Be Early Marker of Dementia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Matthew P. Pase Sidney Sax NHMRC Fellow, Department of Neurology Boston University School of Medicine Investigator, Framingham Heart Study;  Senior Research Fellow, Swinburne University of Technology. Boston MA 02118

Dr. Matthew Pase

Dr. Matthew P. Pase
Sidney Sax NHMRC Fellow, Department of Neurology
Boston University School of Medicine

Investigator, Framingham Heart Study;
Senior Research Fellow, Swinburne University of Technology.
Boston MA 02118

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Sleep disturbances are common in dementia. However, most studies have focused on patients who already have dementia and so it is unclear whether disturbed sleep is a symptom or a cause of dementia.

We studied 2,457 older participants enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study, a large group of adults sampled from the community in Framingham, Massachusetts. We asked participants to indicate how long they typically slept each night. Participants were then observed for the following 10-years to determine who developed dementia, including dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. Over the 10 years, we observed 234 cases of dementia. Information on sleep duration was then examined with respect to the risk of developing dementia.
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Inflammasomes Might Be Involved in Making You Sleep More When Sick or Sleep Deprived

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mark Robert Zielinski, MD
Department of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School and Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System
West Roxbury, MA 02132

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Anecdotally, people have known that the immune system and sleep are related. In the last several decades this relationship has been systematically investigated. This work led to important findings that several molecules that enhance inflammation including interleukin-1 beta regulate sleep. Interleukin-1 beta is known to increase sleep and sleep intensity after sleep loss and in response to pathogens. However, it was unknown how these effects are connected. Interestingly, the NLRP3 inflammasome is a protein complex that senses changes in the local environment and subsequently activates pro-inflammatory molecules including interleukin-1 beta. Therefore, we wanted to see if the NLRP3 inflammasome is involved in sleep regulation. 

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Task Force Finds Insufficient Evidence To Screen All Adults

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Alex Krist, MD MPH Task Force member Associate Professor Fairfax Family Medicine Residency Co-director, Ambulatory Care Outcomes Research Network Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Alex Krist

Dr. Alex Krist, MD MPH
Task Force member
Associate Professor
Fairfax Family Medicine Residency
Co-director, Ambulatory Care Outcomes Research Network
Virginia Commonwealth University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been found to be associated with serious health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, OSA can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, which can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, increase involvement in motor vehicle crashes, and lead to an increased risk of death. Estimates show that OSA affected between 10 and 15% of the U.S. population in the 1990s, and rates may have increased over the past 20 years, so the Task Force wanted to examine the evidence on screening adults without symptoms or symptoms for obstructive sleep apnea.

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Active Memory Blocker Prevents Experiences During Sleep From Being Remembered

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Roi Levy
The Leslie and Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center,
The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences
Bar Ilan University
Ramat Gan, Israel

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Long-term memory after an experience takes many hours to be reach its final form. During the consolidation period, the nascent memory is labile: the consolidation can be interrupted by new experiences, or new experiences that are too insignificant to be remembered can capture the consolidation process, and thereby be remembered.

To avoid potentially maladaptive interactions between a new experience and consolidation, a major portion of the consolidation is deferred to the time in which we sleep, when new experiences are unlikely. For over 100 years, studies have demonstrated that sleep improves memory formation. More recent studies have shown that consolidation occurs during sleep, and that consolidation depends on the synthesis of products that support memory formation. Consolidation is unlikely to be shut off immediately when we are awakened from sleep. At this time, even a transient experience could capture the consolidation, leading to a long-lasting memory of an event that should not be remembered, or could interfere with the consolidation. We have identified a mechanism that prevents long-term memories from being formed by experiences that occur when awakened from sleep.

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Insomniacs May Benefit From Internet Delivered Program

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lee M. Ritterband, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences Director, Center for Behavioral Health and Technology University of Virginia School of Medicine Ivy Foundational Translational Research Building Charlottesville, VA 22903

Dr. Lee M. Ritterband

Lee M. Ritterband, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences
Director, Center for Behavioral Health and Technology
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Ivy Foundational Translational Research Building
Charlottesville, VA 22903 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, a non-pharmacological intervention, is the first line recommendation for adults with chronic insomnia (see recommendations made earlier this year from the American College of Physicians). Access to CBT-I, however, is limited by numerous barriers, including a limited supply of behavioral medicine providers. One way to help improve access to this effective treatment is to develop and evaluate additional delivery methods of CBT-I, including Internet-delivered CBT-I.

This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of an Internet-delivered CBT-I program (SHUTi: Sleep Healthy Using The Internet) over the short-term (9-weeks) and long-term (1-year).

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Patient Room Lighting Improves Sleep in Hospital Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Luc Schlangen PhD
Principal Scientist at Philips Lighting Research Eindhoven
the Netherlands

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main finding

Response: Everyone knows that sleep is critical to one’s overall health and well-being. Yet one-third of the general adult population report difficulties sleeping. Ongoing social commitments and work routines make it difficult to make sleep a priority, also in hospitals.

People increasingly recognize that the usage of light emitting electronic devices before bedtime is compromising sleep. Consequently, many people started to use these devices in a more sleep-permissive mode during the evening, using algorithms that automatically dim down the intensity and blue content of their tablet and smart phone screens as the evening progresses. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that brighter daytime light conditions help to improve mood and nighttime sleep quality.

These observations inspired us to undertake a joint study with the Maastricht University Medical Center. In the study we explored whether a tunable lighting system with extra daytime brightness and lower light intensities and warmer tones of light in the evening and night, can improve sleep and wellbeing in hospital patients. We found that the system was well appreciated and helped hospital patients to fall asleep more rapidly. Moreover, after 5 days in a room with such a dynamic lighting system patients slept longer by almost 30 minutes as compared to a standardly lit room.

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Study Recommends Children Avoid Mobile Screens Before Bedtime

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics Statistics Editor for the Cochrane Skin Group (Honorary Associate Professor, Nottingham University) Institute of Primary Care and Public Health Cardiff University

Dr. Ben Carter

Dr Ben Carter PhD
Senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics
Statistics Editor for the Cochrane Skin Group
(Honorary Associate Professor, Nottingham University)
Institute of Primary Care and Public Health
Cardiff University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study leads from the growing use of mobile and media device use in children. We report the impact of devices leads to poorer sleep outcomes.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Using or even merely access to your mobile and media device should be restricted 90 minutes prior to bedtime.

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Nighttime Hot Flashes With Sleep Disruption Linked To Depressive Symptoms During Menopause

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hadine Joffe, MD, MSc Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School Vice Chair for Psychiatry Research Director of Division of Women's Mental Health / Dept of Psychiatry / Brigham and Women’s Hospital Director of Psycho-Oncology Research / Dept of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care /Dana Farber Cancer Institute www.brighamwharp.org

Dr. Hadine Joffe

Hadine Joffe, MD, MSc
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Vice Chair for Psychiatry Research
Director of Division of Women’s Mental Health / Dept of Psychiatry / Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Director of Psycho-Oncology Research / Dept of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care /Dana Farber Cancer Institute
www.brighamwharp.org

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: We conducted this study to advance our understanding about causes of mood disturbance in the menopause transition that are specifically related to menopause. We used an experimental model to dissect out the contributions of hot flashes and sleep disturbance from contribution of changing levels of estrogen because hot flashes, sleep problems, and estrogen fluctuations co-occur and are difficult to distinguish from one another. Understanding whether hot flashes and/or sleep disturbance are causally related to mood disturbance will help us identify who is at risk for mood changes during the menopause transition. This is incredibly important now that we are finding effective non-hormonal treatments for hot flashes and sleep disruption.

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Study Finds CPAP Improved Quality of Life But Did Not Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. Craig Anderson, PhD
Professor of Stroke Medicine and Clinical Neuroscience
Medicine, The George Institute for Global Health
University of Sydney

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We wished to prove whether treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP ) can modify the risk of cardiovascular disease. The is a lot of association data from epidemiological and clinical studies but no large scale international clinical trials assessing the effects of CPAP on the prevention of serious cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.

Our study in nearly 3000 adults with prior heart attack or stroke and moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea showed that CPAP treatment did not prevent recurrent cardiovascular events or major cardiovascular risk factors. However CPAP did improve wearers’ sense of wellbeing, mood and work productivity.

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How Does Poor Sleep Affect Risk of Suicide?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Donna Littlewood PhD
School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
The University of Manchester

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This was the first qualitative study to examine the role of sleep problems in relation to suicidal thoughts and behaviours. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 participants, who all had experienced major depressive episode(s) and suicidal thoughts and behaviours.

Data were analysed with thematic analysis which identified three interrelated pathways whereby sleep contributed to suicidal thoughts and behaviours.

The first was that being awake at night heightened the risks of suicidal thoughts and attempts, which in part was seen as a consequence of the lack of help or resources available at night.

Secondly, the research found that a prolonged failure to achieve a good night’s sleep made life harder for respondents, adding to depression, as well as increasing negative thinking, attention difficulties and inactivity.

Finally, participants said sleep acted as an alternative to suicide, providing an escape from their problems. However, the desire to use sleep as an avoidance tactic led to increased day time sleeping which in turn caused disturbed sleeping patterns – reinforcing the first two pathways.

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Daytime Bright Light May Reduce Adverse Sleep Effects of Blue Light At Bedtime

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Frida Rångtell PhD Student Department of Neuroscience, Division of Functional Pharmacology Uppsala University, Sweden

Frida Rångtell

Frida Rångtell PhD Student
Department of Neuroscience, Division of Functional Pharmacology
Uppsala University, Sweden

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous studies have demonstrated that evening use of electronic devices emitting blue light, e.g. tablet computers, increases time to fall asleep, reduces the quality of slow-wave sleep (a sleep stage that has for instance been shown to boost memory consolidation and immune functions), and decreases the time in rapid eye movement sleep (which has been proposed to play a role in emotional regulation and consolidation of emotional memories). One explanation could be the blue light-mediated suppression of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin.

In the current experiment however, after 6.5 hours of constant bright light exposure during the day, there were no effects on sleep or melatonin levels after reading a traditional book versus the same book on a self-luminous tablet for two hours before bedtime. Even though the light from the self-luminous tablet was enriched in blue light. Our null findings may at first glance appear surprising, especially in light of previous epidemiological findings linking the use of electronic devices before bedtime with sleep disturbances.

One plausible explanation for these discrepant results across experiments, in our view, is that bright light exposure during daytime – similar to that employed in the present study (~570 lux over 6.5 hours prior to evening light stimulation) – has previously been shown to attenuate the suppressive properties of evening light exposure on melatonin levels.

Our results could therefore suggest that light exposure during the day, e.g. by means of outdoor activities or light interventions in offices, may help combat sleep disturbances associated with evening blue light stimulation. Finally, it must be borne in mind that reading is generally considered to be a cognitively demanding task. Thus, it could be speculated that evening reading may contribute to greater sleep pressure, which may have hampered our ability to detect differences in sleep between the tablet reading and physical book reading conditions. A recent study involving young children has for instance demonstrated that reading at bedtime is associated with improved sleep, as indicated by longer total nocturnal sleep duration.

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Study Raises Concerns About Sales of Secondhand CPAP Devices

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ken Kunisaki, MD, MS Associate Professor of Medicine Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System and University of Minnesota

Dr. Kunisaki

Ken Kunisaki, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Medicine
Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System and University of Minnesota and

Roxanne Prichard, PhD Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience University of St. Thomas

Dr. Prichard

Roxanne Prichard, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
University of St. Thomas

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: CPAP devices, or continuous positive airway pressure devices, are used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, a common condition that causes people to intermittently stop breathing during their sleep. This leads to poor sleep quality and often results in symptoms like excessive sleepiness in the daytime. In the United States, CPAP devices are classified by the Food and Drug Administration as Class II medical devices with possible risks; their sale requires a medical prescription. We were aware of online advertisements for secondhand, used CPAP machines, but we have not seen publications that have analyzed this practice.

Once a week, our research team monitored online advertisements for secondhand CPAP devices on Craigslist.org in 18 U.S. cities and areas over a one-month period. During that time, we found 270 advertisements, most of which did not describe who previously had used the device or why it was being sold. Only 5 of the advertisements mentioned anything about the legal requirements of a prescription and 61 percent of the devices included a used mask without information about its age or how it was cleaned.

CPAP devices create air pressure and attach to a nose or face mask that delivers that pressure to a patient’s airway, thereby keeping him or her breathing during sleep. The amount of air pressure delivered by the devices is adjusted for each patient and usually is determined by a medical exam that includes an overnight stay in a laboratory. Our study found that most of the Craigslist advertisements failed to mention the devices’ pressure settings—settings that were prescribed for the original owners.

The average price for a CPAP device listed on Craigslist was $291, much less than the $600 to $2,000 cost of a new device.

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Veterans with PTSD Have High Prevalence of Sleep Disorders

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jim Burch, MS, PhD Associate Professor Dept. of Epidemiology & Biostatistics Cancer Prevention & Control Program Arnold School of Public Health University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC and Health Science Specialist WJB Dorn Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Columbia, SC

Dr. Jim Burch

Jim Burch, MS, PhD
Associate Professor
Dept. of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Cancer Prevention & Control Program
Arnold School of Public Health
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC and
Health Science Specialist
WJB Dorn Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Columbia, SC

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Over 21 million Veterans live in the U.S., and nearly 9 million of them receive healthcare through the Veterans Health Administration, which is the largest integrated healthcare system in the U.S. The military population is particularly vulnerable to sleep disturbances due to their work schedules, living conditions, and other physical and psychological factors that accompany their jobs. However, previous studies have not comprehensively described the scope and characteristics of sleep disorders among Veterans. Sleep is considered a physiological necessity. Inadequate sleep has been associated with a wide range of adverse health outcomes, including an increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, psychiatric disorders, reduced quality of life, and increased mortality.

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Obese Black Patients With Abnormal Sleep Have Greater Stroke Risk Than Whites

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Azizi Seixas, Ph.D. Post-Doc Fellow Department of Population Health Center for Healthful Behavior Change NYU School of Medicine

Dr. Azizi Seixas

Azizi Seixas, Ph.D.
Post-Doc Fellow
Department of Population Health
Center for Healthful Behavior Change
NYU School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Compared with whites, blacks are disproportionately affected by strokes. The overwhelming prevalence of obesity among blacks compared to whites has been suggested as a possible explanation for the disproportionate rates of strokes among blacks compared to whites. Recent findings linking insufficient sleep and stroke as well as the disproportionate burden of insufficient sleep among blacks compared to whites might provide a unique mechanism explaining why blacks have higher rates of stroke. However, it is unclear whether insufficient sleep and obesity contributes to the higher rates of stroke among blacks compared to whites.

To test our hypothesis, we utilized data from the National Health Interview Survey from 2004-2013 with a sample size of 288,888 individuals from the United States. Using Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) analysis, a form of machine learning analysis, we assessed the mediating effects of BMI on the relationship between short sleep duration (≤6 hrs. total sleep duration), long sleep duration (≥9 hrs. total sleep duration), and stroke, and whether race/ethnicity differences in obesity moderated these relationships.

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Cancer Survivors Who Sleep Well May Not Have Increased Risk of Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Azizi Seixas, Ph.D. Post-Doc Fellow Department of Population Health Center for Healthful Behavior Change NYU School of Medicine

Dr. Azizi Seixas

Mr. Lloyd Gyamfi and
Azizi Seixas, Ph.D.

Post-Doc Fellow
Department of Population Health
Center for Healthful Behavior Change
NYU School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: An association exists between unhealthy sleep duration (short:≤6 hrs. or long sleep: ≥ 9hrs.) and cancer. The specific link between cancer and diabetes is unknown. Evidence suggests that cancer and diabetes may share common risk factors such as age, gender, race, being overweight an alcohol use. Based on the data extracted from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) dataset (2004-2013) with a sample size of 283,086, it was identified that individuals who had a history of cancer and who reported long sleep duration did not have increased risk of diabetes diagnosis.

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Sleep Duration Affects Diabetes Risk Differently in Men and Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Femke Rutters Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre Amsterdam, The Netherlands; EMGO+ Institute for Care Research

Dr. Femke Rutters

Dr. Femke Rutters
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre
Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
EMGO+ Institute for Care Research

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In the past 10 years the interest in sleep as a possible cause for obesity/diabetes has risen. But data up until now used mainly self-reported sleep and simple measures of diabetes (related parameters), such as fasting glucose. A study on well-measured insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function was lacking. Such a study could provide more information on the pathophysiology.

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Sleep Disturbances Associated With Development of PAD

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mako Nagayoshi, Ph.D, Assistant Professor Department of Community Medicine, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Science Nagasaki Japan

Dr. Mako Nagayoshi

Mako Nagayoshi, Ph.D, Assistant Professor
Department of Community Medicine,
Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Science
Nagasaki Japan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response:  Sleep apnea is a common in the US adult population; approximately 13% of men and 6% of women have moderate to severe sleep apnea. Short sleep duration also is highly prevalent in the population. Numerous biological pathways linking sleep disturbances to atherosclerosis have been identified, such as insulin resistance, inflammation, hypertension, and endothelial dysfunction. Yet, the association of sleep apnea and sleep duration with peripheral artery disease (PAD) is not well characterized.

This study provides some of first evidence that there is an association between sleep apnea and prevalent and incident PAD, with evidence for stronger associations with objectively measured sleep apnea and cross sectional PAD in blacks. In addition, short and long sleep duration were associated with PAD. These results identify sleep disturbances as a potential risk factor for PAD.

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Continent of Birth Linked To Healthy Sleep Duration

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Valerie Newsome, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow Department of Population Health, Division of Health and Behavior NYU Langone Medical Center

Dr. Valerie Newsome

Valerie Newsome, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow
Department of Population Health, Division of Health and Behavior
NYU Langone Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Although sleep duration has been related to a number of negative health outcomes, few studies have examined the relationship between place of birth and sleep duration. We examined data for 416,152 adult participants living in the United States between 2000-2013 who responded to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS); associations were explored between healthy sleep duration (7-8hrs.), references to unhealthy sleep duration (8 hrs.) and place of birth.

After adjusting for socio-demographic factors, health risks, and physician-diagnosed medical conditions, multivariate logistic regression revealed that respondents born in the Indian subcontinent were more likely to report healthy sleep duration, compared with US-born respondents (OR=1.86, 95% CI: 1.57-2.20, p < 0.001), while individuals born on the continent of Africa were least likely to report healthy sleep duration (OR= 0. 86, 95% CI: 0.73-1.02, p< 0.001). We also noted a trend suggesting that the longer immigrants reside in the U.S., the greater their likelihood to experience unhealthy sleep.

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Late Sleepers Don’t Have Higher BMI

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kelly Glazer Baron, PhD, MPH, C. B.S.M. Diplomate, Academy of Cognitive Therapy Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, IL 60611

Dr. Kelly Glazer Baron

Kelly Glazer Baron, PhD, MPH, C. B.S.M.
Diplomate, Academy of Cognitive Therapy
Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, IL 60611

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In contrast to several previous studies, being a late sleeper was not associated with higher BMI (good news for late sleepers!!) but it was associated with less healthy behaviors, more fast food, fewer vegetables, lower dairy. It may be possible that these late sleepers who are able to get enough sleep can compensate for their poor diet by controlling overall calories or it could possibly lead to weight gain over time if their habits continue over time.

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Drugs Labeled as ‘Sleep Disturbing’ May Not Contribute to Significant Sleep Disruption

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Anna-Therese Lehnich Zentrum für Klinische Epidemiologie (ZKE) c/o Institut für Medizinische Informatik Biometrie undEpidemiologie (IMIBE)

Anna Therese Lehnich

Anna-Therese Lehnich
Zentrum für Klinische Epidemiologie (ZKE)
c/o Institut für Medizinische Informatik
Biometrie undEpidemiologie (IMIBE)

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sleep disturbances and their consequences are often underestimated but they are of high importance with respect to public health. We were interested in the question whether drugs labeled as sleep disturbing in the summary of product characteristics actually lead to more sleep disorders like difficulties falling asleep, difficulties maintaining sleep, and early morning arousal. To answer this question, we analyzed data of 4,221 persons from Germany.

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Pacemaker Type Device Is Option For Sleep Apnea Patients Who Don’t Tolerate CPAP

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Richard J. Schwab, MD Professor, Department of Medicine Division of Sleep Medicine Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Division Co-Director, Penn Sleep Center University of Pennsylvania Medical Center Philadelphia, PA 19104

Dr. Richard Schwab

Richard J. Schwab, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine
Division of Sleep Medicine
Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Division
Co-Director, Penn Sleep Center
University of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Philadelphia, PA 19104

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Schwab: Hypoglossal nerve stimulation is a pacemaker (a tiny generator and a sensing lead) placed in the right side of the chest, but instead of using electrical pulses to control the heart, the device stimulates the hypoglossal nerve which is the nerve that controls the motion of the tongue. Patients use a remote control to turn on the device before going to sleep and turn it off upon waking up. Stimulation of the tongue moves the tongue forward which enlarges the upper airway. Continue reading

Shift Work May Increase Risk of Stroke

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David Earnest, Ph.D. Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine

Dr. David Earnest

David Earnest, Ph.D.
Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics
Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Earnest: When body clocks are disrupted, as they are when people engage in shift work or go to bed and get up at radically different times every few days, more severe ischemic strokes can result.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Dr. Earnest:  Whenever possible, go to bed and get up at the same time each day and keep regular mealtimes. If you do need to keep an irregular schedule, it is especially important to be mindful of stroke risk and try especially hard to eliminate other risk factors, such as hypertension and obesity.

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Inadequate Sleep Begins in Young Children and Worsens With Adolescence

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Summer Sherburne Hawkins, PhD, MS Assistant Professor Boston College School of Social Work Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Dr. S. S. Hawkins

Summer Sherburne Hawkins, PhD, MS
Assistant Professor
Boston College School of Social Work
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sleep is so important for all of us—especially for children and adolescents as their brains and bodies continue to develop. Inadequate sleep is associated with a number of health problems including obesity, cognitive functioning, and chronic illnesses. Increasing the amount and quality of sleep are public health priorities in the US. Currently, school-aged children are recommended to get at least 10 hours and adolescents to get 9-10 hours of sleep daily. However, less than one third of students report getting 8 or more hours of sleep during the school week and total sleep time decreases from infancy through adulthood.

The new Healthy People 2020 ‘Sleep Health’ target only monitors adolescent sleep and there are no national data for younger children. Thus, there is little known about the age that sleep issues may begin and whether the prevalence of sleep issues is changing over time. Furthermore, only a few studies have examined the social determinants of sleep in children and adolescents, particularly whether there are differences across racial/ethnic and educational groups.

An overarching gap in the literature remains—monitoring sleep and identifying disparities across the life course. Using a nationally-representative sample of US children and adolescents, we examined trends and social determinants of inadequate sleep in 6-17-year-olds.

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Melatonin May Improve Blood Pressure Control Through Circadian Rhythm Regulation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Denis Gubin
The Tyumen Medical University
Tyumen, Russia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Dr. Gubin: The older we get, the more likely our circadian rhythms are disrupted. For example, blood pressure, BP, not only tends to increase but as well become more irregular.

One of the possible causes is an age-dependent deficit of endogenous melatonin production. We have shown that exogenous melatonin helps to ameliorate both trends – lowers  blood pressure and also stabilizes and synchronizes blood pressure and heart rate variability.
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Daytime Naps May Raise Your Blood Pressure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wisit Cheungpasitporn, MD, Nephrology Fellow Project mentor: Stephen B. Erickson, MD Departments of Nephrology and Hypertension Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Dr. Wisit Cheungpasitporn

Wisit Cheungpasitporn, MD, Nephrology Fellow
Project mentor: Stephen B. Erickson, MD
Departments of Nephrology and Hypertension
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Cheungpasitporn: The prevention and management of hypertension continue to be major public health challenges. Studies have shown the benefits of napping, including reduction of fatigue and improvement of alertness, mood and work performance. However, there have also been increasing reported associations between napping and cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, strokes, and higher mortality from all causes. The risk of hypertension in adults who regularly take a nap is controversial.

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Videogame Addiction Linked To Adolescent Sleep Loss and Obesity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ofir Turel, Ph.D Professor, Information Systems and Decision Sciences California State University, Fullerton Scholar in Residence, Department of Psychology University of Southern California

Dr. Ofir Turel

Ofir Turel, Ph.D
Professor, Information Systems and Decision Sciences
California State University, Fullerton
Scholar in Residence, Department of Psychology
University of Southern California

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Turel: The study emerged as a response to the growing societal concern regarding potentially problematic information system use” lifestyles”, including videogame addiction, among adolescents. Much research in this domain has focused on negative psychological (e.g., reduced wellbeing, depression) and social/life functioning (e.g., reduction in normal activities, diminished school performance). Less is known regarding potential physiological outcomes of videogame addiction.

Interestingly, the increase in videogame addiction-like symptoms among adolescents happened in conjunction with an increase in sleep curtailment and obesity in this population. These are too growing concerns in North America and perhaps elsewhere. Medical research implies that these three phenomena may be related. Hence, we hypothesized that videogame addiction will be associated with increased sleep curtailment and increased abdominal adiposity; and consequently, indirectly, with cardio-metabolic deficits.

Our findings suggest that videogame addiction predicts reduced sleep duration which in turn, predicts increased abdominal adiposity. Abdominal adiposity was associated with increased blood pressure, insulin resistance and triglycerides and reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Hence, sleep curtailment is an important mediating factor that helps translating videogame addiction into cardio-metabolic deficiencies.

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Swaddled Infants At Greater Risk of SIDS

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Anna Pease Senior Research Associate University of Bristol

Dr. Anna Pease

Dr Anna Pease
Senior Research Associate
University of Bristol

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Pease:  We tried to gather evidence of whether there was an association between swaddling for sleep and SIDS. This was a review, not a new original study, but it is the first time these data have been brought together to try to quantify any risk between swaddling and SIDS. We only found 4 studies and they were quite different making it difficult to pool the results. We did find, however, that the risk of SIDS when placing infants on their side or front for sleep increased when infants were swaddled.
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Full Moon Has Little Impact on Kids’ Sleep or Behavior

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jean-Philippe Chaput, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa Research Scientist, Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute Ontario, Canada

Dr. Jean Philippe Chaput

Jean-Philippe Chaput, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa
Research Scientist, Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Ontario, Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Chaput: Folklore has associated behaviors of animals and humans, and even werewolves, to moon phases of the lunar cycle. However, the empirical evidence that the moon exerts an influence on behaviors is weak and very limited. In order to verify if the full moon is associated with sleep and physical activity of children (and possibly debunk this myth), we used a 12-country study involving 5,812 participants and providing 33,710 24-hour accelerometer recordings of sleep and activity behaviors. Overall, we observed that sleep duration was 5 minutes (1%) shorter at full moon compared to new moon, while activity behaviors were not significantly associated with the lunar cycle in this global sample of children drawn from all inhabited continents. However, the magnitude of this effect on sleep duration is unlikely to be clinically significant from a public health standpoint and people should stop worrying about the full moon.

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Treating Insomnia May Improve Blood Pressure Control

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Haicong Li Director and Professor, Department of Geriatrics China-Japan Friendship Hospital Beijing, China.

Dr. Haicong Li

Haicong Li
Director and Professor, Department of Geriatrics
China-Japan Friendship Hospital
Beijing, China. 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Based on our clinical observations over the years, we noticed two common
phenomena:

  • One is that the occurrence of hypertension in patients with
    chronic sleep disorders tend to be higher than those with normal sleep
    conditions;
  • The other is that the blood pressure of some hypertensive
    patients cannot be lowered to normal level even with anti-hypertensive
    treatments, of which group many have sleep disorders.

So we hypothesized that the improvement of insomnia can effectively help lower the of
hypertensive patients and the combination of anti-hypertensive medication
and sedative-hypnotic drugs can achieve better therapeutic effects.
In our experiment, a total of 402 patients with a diagnosis of insomnia and
hypertension were selected and randomly divided into two groups. The
treatment group (202 cases) received standard antihypertensive treatment
with Estazolam and the control group (200 cases) received standard
antihypertensive treatment with placebo. We measured the sedentary
diastolic (SiSBP) and systolic blood pressure (SiDBP) before the treatment
and every 7 days during the experiment. To assess the sleep quality and
anxiety and depression levels of patients, we reported the scores of the
Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale
(HAMA) and the Hamilton Depression Scale-17 (HAMD 17) at the same time
points.

At the conclusion of the experiment, PSQI, HAMA, and HAMD17
scores were significantly lower than those of the control group (P&lt;0.001).
The insomnia treatment efficacy of Estazolam in the treatment group was
67.3%, significantly higher than that (14.0%) of the control group (P &lt;
0.001). The blood pressure of the treatment group showed significant improvement
throughout the experiment. By Day 28, the decrease of SiSBP and SiDBP in
the treatment group was significantly greater than that of the control group
(SiSBP: 10.5±3.9 vs. 3.4±2.5; DiSBP: 8.1±3.6 vs. 2.7±2.1, mmHg, P&lt;0.001)
and the compliance rate of goal BP (&lt;140/90 mmHg) was 74.8% with
Estazolam, compared to 50.5% with placebo (P&lt;0.001).

Thus, our findings indicated that the improvement of insomnia can significantly help lower the blood pressure in hypertensive patients.

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Artificial Outdoor Nighttime Lights Really Do Keep People Up At Night

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Maurice M. Ohayon, MD, DSc, PhD Chief of the Division of Public Mental Health and Population Sciences Director of the Stanford Sleep Epidemiology Research Centre (SSERC) John-Arrillaga PI & Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences School of Medicine, Stanford University Palo Alto, CA 94303

Dr. Maurice Ohayon

Maurice M. Ohayon, MD, DSc, PhD
Chief of the Division of Public Mental Health and Population Sciences
Director of the Stanford Sleep Epidemiology Research Centre (SSERC)
John-Arrillaga PI & Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
School of Medicine, Stanford University
Palo Alto, CA 94303 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Ohayon: Artificial Lights at night are known to be powerful disruptors of the normal sleep/wake cycle. Light exposure at night acts on suppressing and delaying melatonin secretion and exciting the central nervous system.

In this study we focused on the effects of the outdoor lights at night, (such as street lights and lights, outdoor light fixtures and advertising boards) as measured at nighttime by satellite observations.

We analyzed the sleep habits of a representative sample of the American general population that had been interviewed with the artificial intelligence system Sleep-EVAL.

We found that individuals living in areas at high level of radiance, such as can be found in the downtowns of metropolitan areas, have a delayed bedtime, delayed wake up time and, overall, shorter sleep duration, than people living in areas with low nighttime radiance.

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High Fat Diet Linked To Daytime Sleepiness and Increased Sleep Apnea

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Yingting Cao PhD Candidate
Population Research and Outcome Studies
School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: As sleep complains have reached a public concern, increasing number studies have investigated it. Most studies focused on the adverse effect of short sleep or poor sleep quality on health but fewer looked it the other way around. Laboratory studies have suggested the potential role of diet in regulating sleep, however, it has not been confirmed in population studies. So, we examined whether dietary factors are associated with sleep in a large cohort of middle-aged and older men in Adelaide, focusing on their sleep, as well as general health including chronic conditions. In this particular paper, we focused on macronutrient intake (we focused on nutrients and food levels in other papers) and sleep.

The main finding was that comparing with the lowest 25% fat intake (mean 58g/d), people in the highest 25% of fat intake reported more daytime sleepiness and had increased number of sleep apnea during the night.

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Inadequate Sleep Linked to Injury-Related Risk Behaviors Among High School Students

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Anne G. Wheaton, Ph.D.
Epidemiologist
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Population Health
Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch
Atlanta, GA  30341-3717 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Wheaton: Unintentional injury, mostly from motor vehicle crashes, is the leading cause of death for adolescents. Adolescents who do not get enough sleep are at an increased risk for motor vehicle crashes and other unintentional injury, such as sports injuries and occupational injuries. We evaluated the association between self-reported sleep duration on an average school night and several injury-related risk behaviors (infrequent bicycle helmet use, infrequent seatbelt use, riding with a driver who had been drinking, drinking and driving, and texting while driving) among more than 50 thousand US high school students.

The likelihood of each of five injury-related risk behaviors (infrequent bicycle helmet use, infrequent seatbelt use, riding with a driver who had been drinking, drinking and driving, and texting while driving) was significantly higher for students sleeping ≤7 hours on an average school night compared with 9 hours. Infrequent seatbelt use, riding with a drinking driver, and drinking and driving were also more likely for students sleeping ≥10 hours compared to 9 hours on an average school night. Although short and long sleep may simply be associated with other adolescent risk behaviors, insufficient sleep may cause individuals to take more risks and disregard the possibility of negative consequences. However, the study was cross-sectional, meaning the students were asked questions at one time point, so it is not possible to determine if there is a cause and effect association between sleep and these risk behaviors. Insufficient sleep may contribute to injury risk directly by slowing reaction time, impairing ability to pay attention, or causing a driver to fall asleep, but these results provide evidence that some of the increased risk associated with insufficient sleep might be due to engaging in injury-related risk behaviors.

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Truck Drivers With Sleep Apnea Who Don’t Use Their CPAP Have More Preventable Crashes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Stefanos N. Kales, MD, MPH, FACP, FACOEM Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School & Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Director, Occupational Medicine Residency Division Chief OEM, Cambridge Health Alliance

Dr. Stefanos Kales

Stefanos N. Kales, MD, MPH, FACP, FACOEM 
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School &
Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
Director, Occupational Medicine Residency
Division Chief OEM, Cambridge Health Alliance

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Kales: Up to 20% of all large truck crashes are due to drowsy or fatigued driving, which would account for almost 9,000 fatalities and up to 220,000 serious injuries. OSA is the most common medical cause of excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, and has been linked with negative impacts on attention, working memory, vigilance, and executive functioning. Past studies primarily of passenger car drivers have linked untreated OSA with a several-fold increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. They have also shown that effective treatment with CPAP reduces this risk close to that of unaffected drivers.

Although commercial truck drivers undergo a biennial examination to determine their medical fitness to safely operate a vehicle, there are currently no mandatory standards for OSA screening or diagnosis, in part because there have been no large-scale studies evaluating the crash risk of commercial drivers diagnosed with OSA.

Our study examined the results of the first large-scale employer program to screen, diagnose, and monitor OSA treatment adherence in the U.S. trucking industry  Continue reading

CPAP Benefits Sleep and Blood Pressure in Diabetics, But Not Glucose Control

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jonathan Shaw MD, FRACP, FRCP (UK), FAAHMS Associate Professor Domain Head, Population Health Research Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute Melbourne VIC 3004

Dr. Jonathan Shaw

Jonathan Shaw MD, FRACP, FRCP (UK), FAAHMS
Associate Professor
Domain Head, Population Health Research
Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
Melbourne VIC 3004

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Shaw: Over the last decade or so, there has been a lot of research connecting obstructive sleep apnoea with type 2 diabetes. They co-exist very frequently in the same individual, they are both much more common in overweight and obese people than in people of healthy weights, both improve with weight loss, and both are associated with other conditions such as hypertension and heart disease. In addition, there has been evidence that some of the key abnormalities occurring in sleep apnoea (in particular, fragmented sleep and intermittent low oxygen levels) may have a direct effect on glucose metabolism, and increase blood sugar levels. This led many people to suspect that untreated sleep apnoea might be one reason that type 2 diabetes is hard to control, and that treating sleep apnoea in people with type 2 diabetes would improve their blood sugar control.

We, therefore, undertook a large trial among people with type 2 diabetes, and previously unrecognised sleep apnoea, in which participants were randomised to either a group receiving specific treatment for sleep apnoea (continuous positive airways pressure, or CPAP, therapy at night) or to a control group.

Over the six months of the trial, we saw no benefit of CPAP therapy in regard to blood sugar control (as measured by HbA1c). Even when we looked at sub-groups with worse blood sugar control at the start or worse sleep apnoea or who did the best in terms of using CPAP every night, there was still no sign of benefit on blood sugar control. We did, however, see some other benefits of CPAP therapy, with less daytime sleepiness, improvements in quality of life and lower diastolic blood pressure.

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Genetics and Environment Influence Sleep Paralysis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Alice Gregory PhD Department of Psychology Goldsmiths, University of London London, UK

Dr. Alice Gregory

Alice Gregory PhD
Department of Psychology
Goldsmiths, University of London
London, UK

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Gregory: Sleep paralysis involves a total inability to move just as someone is falling asleep or waking up. This experience typically ends within seconds to minutes and is not usually a sign of any wider problem – yet it can be extremely frightening. This is in part because this experience is often accompanied by hallucinations.

To understand what is happening during episode of sleep paralysis it is useful to understand that there are different stages of sleep. One distinction is between Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep. During REM sleep the body is paralysed. Dreaming often occurs during REM sleep, so it has been proposed that this paralysis keeps us safe, by preventing us from ‘acting out our dreams’. During an episode of sleep paralysis, someone may have woken up but has retained certain features of REM sleep (specifically the paralysis and sometimes dream-related hallucinations).

While sleep paralysis is rather common and the public seem incredibly interested in learning more about this, it is surprising that there is such little research on this topic.

Certain risk factors for sleep paralysis have been proposed previously, such as experiencing stress. However, those suffering from this experience are keen for more information, which is currently unavailable. For this reason, we wanted to see whether we could identify other factors which were associated with sleep paralysis.

Furthermore, in reviewing the literature, we were stunned that while it seems obvious that genetic differences between people are likely to be important in explaining why certain people experience sleep paralysis and others do not – there was almost no work on this topic. We decided to investigate this further as well.

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