Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders, Technology, Weight Research / 13.12.2017 Interview with: “Video Game Addicts” by Michael Bentley is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Marsha Novick, MD Associate professor of pediatrics and family and community medicine, Penn State College of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The results of this study solidify some well-established data concerning childhood obesity – namely that children who watch more television and have a more sedentary lifestyle are more likely to have an overweight or obese BMI compared with those who are more active. The survey results highlight some associations between increased technology use and difficulty with sleep quantity in children and adolescents. The data suggest:
  • ​​Increased technology use at bedtime, namely television, cell phones, video games and computers, is associated with a decrease in the amount of sleep children are getting. These children were more likely to be tired in the morning and less likely to eat breakfast.
  • Specifically, children who reported watching TV or playing video games before bed got an average of 30 minutes less sleep than those who did not, while kids who used their phone or a computer before bed averaged an hour less of sleep than those who did not.
  • The data also suggests that children with overweight or obesity were more likely to have trouble falling asleep and trouble staying asleep than their normal BMI counterparts
  • When children were reported by their parents to use one form of technology at bedtime, they were more likely to use another form of technology as well.
Author Interviews, Education, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 12.10.2017 Interview with: Jack Peltz, Ph.D. Clinical assistant professor in Psychiatry Rochester Medical Center 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Menopause, Sleep Disorders / 02.10.2017 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders, University of Michigan / 22.08.2017 Interview with: Galit Dunietz, Ph.D., MPH Epidemiologist, Sleep Disorders Center Department of Neurology University of Michigan Ann Arbor MI 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 26.07.2017 Interview with: Rachel Y. Moon, M.D. Division Head, General Pediatrics Professor of Pediatrics University of Virginia School of Medicine Charlottesville, VA 22908 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pain Research, Rheumatology, Sleep Disorders / 20.06.2017 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Melatonin, Sleep Disorders / 06.06.2017 Interview with: 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® 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Sleep Disorders / 25.04.2017 Interview with: Michael K. Scullin, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Director, Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory Baylor University Waco, TX 76798 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Sleep Disorders / 15.04.2017 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Insomnia / 31.03.2017 Interview with: Qiao He Master’s degree student China Medical University Shenyang, China 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Sexual Health, Sleep Disorders / 27.03.2017 Interview with: Jen-Hao Chen PhD Assistant Professor Department of Health Sciences and School of Public Affairs University of Missouri - Columbia 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  (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 11.03.2017 Interview with: 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 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. (more…)
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Sleep Disorders / 07.03.2017 Interview with: Rauno Joks, MD Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine Chief, Division of Allergy & Immunology Program Director, Allergy &Immunology Fellowship SUNY Downstate Medical Center 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders / 04.03.2017 Interview with: Dr. Simone Baiardi MD Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, ENT, JAMA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders, UT Southwestern / 02.03.2017 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Sleep Disorders / 27.02.2017 Interview with: Kelly L. Sullivan, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Epidemiology Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health Georgia Southern University Statesboro, Georgia 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. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Neurology, Sleep Disorders / 25.02.2017 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Inflammation, Sleep Disorders / 07.02.2017 Interview with: Mark Robert Zielinski, MD Department of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School and Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System West Roxbury, MA 02132 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.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders / 27.01.2017 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Memory, Sleep Disorders / 16.12.2016 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Insomnia, JAMA / 02.12.2016 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 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). (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Outcomes & Safety, Sleep Disorders / 28.11.2016 Interview with: Luc Schlangen PhD Principal Scientist at Philips Lighting Research Eindhoven the Netherlands 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders, Technology / 01.11.2016 Interview with: 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 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. 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Depression, JCEM, Menopause, Sleep Disorders / 28.09.2016 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NEJM, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders / 30.08.2016 Interview with: Prof. Craig Anderson, PhD Professor of Stroke Medicine and Clinical Neuroscience Medicine, The George Institute for Global Health University of Sydney 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Mental Health Research, Sleep Disorders / 26.08.2016 Interview with: Donna Littlewood PhD School of Health Sciences Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health The University of Manchester 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Sleep Disorders / 17.08.2016 Interview with: Frida Rångtell PhD Student Department of Neuroscience, Division of Functional Pharmacology Uppsala University, Sweden 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. Blue LED Warehouse or bedroom lights have a much lower effect on this because they are not shining straight into the viewer's eyes, like phone LEDs. 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Pulmonary Disease, Sleep Disorders / 11.08.2016 Interview with: 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 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, PTSD, Sleep Disorders / 19.07.2016 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, NYU, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Sleep Disorders, Stroke, Weight Research / 09.07.2016 Interview with: Azizi Seixas, Ph.D. Post-Doc Fellow Department of Population Health Center for Healthful Behavior Change NYU School of Medicine 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. (more…)