Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Not enough deep sleep could raise blood pressure

Not getting enough deep sleep could raise the blood pressure in men, a new study reports. Findings showed that men who do not get enough slow-wave sleep are 80% more likely to develop high blood pressure.
The study was published in the August 29 online edition of American Heart Association’s journal, Hypertension. It gives further credence to other research that has associated sleep problems with a high risk of obesity and cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension.
The study involved a group of 784 men with an average age of 75. The men were part of another study called Outcomes of Sleep Disorders in Older Men. None of the subjects had high blood pressure in 2003-2005, at the start of the study. During the follow up in 2007-2009, researchers found that 243 men had high blood pressure. The men were then divided into four groups. The groups were ranked from the lowest amount of slow-wave sleep to the highest amount of slow-wave sleep.
Researchers found that after adjusting for age, race and body mass index (BMI) and other factors, the association between low slow-wave sleep and high blood pressure remained.
Dr. Susan Redline, one of the researchers involved in the study, told U.S. News and World Report that blood pressure usually drops during sleep. This mostly happens during slow-wave sleep.
If you are not getting enough deep sleep, your blood pressure could be higher during the day.

Photo By: Eric Schmuttenmaer

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nose spray reduces childhood apnea-linked inflammation

Early research shows certain steroid nasal sprays may help to reduce the inflammatory cell proteins in children that are linked to sleep apnea. A study included in the June of Archives of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery looked at how children who were due to have their adenoids and tonsils removed reacted to the drug fluticasone furoate.
The study involved 24 children from the ages of 2 to 12 years old, with sleep apnea. The children were divided into two groups. About half of the children received doses of the nasal spray once a day for two weeks prior to surgery. The control group did not use the nasal spray.
After children in both groups had their adenoids and tonsils surgically removed, the researchers examined the adenoids. While all of the adenoids weighed about the same, the treatment group had lower levels of the inflammatory cell protein IL-6. The cell protein has been linked to the development of sleep apnea.
In the study’s conclusion, the authors stated that steroid nasal spray could potentially be part of future pediatric sleep apnea treatments. The findings support previous research that found nasal fluticasone reduced the frequency of breathing pauses in children with obstructive sleep apnea in children.
The research is still in its early phases and parents should be aware that steroid nasal sprays are not a recognized obstructive sleep apnea treatment for children. The standard treatments include surgery, CPAP and weight loss. Some children with sleep apnea may benefit from wearing an oral appliance during sleep.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that about two percent of healthy young children have sleep apnea. The sleep disorder occurs when soft tissue in the back of throat collapses and blocks the airway during sleep.
Most children with sleep apnea have a history of loud snoring. This may include obvious pauses in breathing and gasps for breath. Parents often notice that the child seems to be working hard to breathe during sleep.
Read more about obstructive sleep apnea in children. Get help at an AASM-accredited sleep center near you.

Photo by: olaerik

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Amount of sleep time linked to risk of teen suicide

Not getting enough sleep can lead to worrisome side effects such as daytime sleepiness and even memory loss. However, did you know that it can be associated with other consequences such as suicidal ideation (thinking of committing suicide)? Studies have confirmed that long total sleep times and short total sleep times (TSTs) are linked to suicidal ideation among adults. The hypothesis that total sleep times also are risks for teens was recently tested, and the results are published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Researchers used the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to conduct their study. The survey included school-based and nationally representative samples. Researchers analyzed the link between suicidality and sleep, accounting for age, sex, race and ethnicity, feelings of sadness, and substance abuse.

About 15 percent of students reported suicidal ideation, 10 percent said they had planned suicide, five percent attempted it, and two percent said that their attempt had required treatment. The teens that had five hours of sleep or less had a higher risk of suicidality than those who had a total sleep time of eight hours. The same goes for teens who had 10 hours of sleep or more.
The findings suggest that both short and long TSTs are risk factors for suicidality in teenagers. More studies need to be done to examine whether or not sleep duration is a causal or modifiable risk factor for teens.

Read more about the realtionship between sleep and suicide.

If you think your teen may have problems sleeping, visit an AASM-accredited sleep center near you.
Photo By: Carlos Perez

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sleep-disordered breathing and bedwetting could go hand in hand

Does your child have problems wetting the bed at night? Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) could be playing a role. A recent study, conducted on 5-10 year olds, searched for the link between SDB and tonsil and adenoid swelling in children with enuresis (bedwetting). The study also examined what part brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels play in measuring how severe SDB is in children have enuresis. BNP is an amino acid that is produced by the heart when the heart muscle cells have been majorly stretched.
There are two types of bedwetting. A child who is a primary bed wetter has not regularly stayed dry during sleep for 6 months straight. A person who is a secondary bed wetter has stayed dry for 6 months, but then starts bedwetting at least twice a week for about 3 months.
Surveys, taken by parents with 5-10 years olds, were reviewed for signs of SDB and bedwetting. The children with SDB were clinically examined. BNP levels were calculated in 33 children with SDB and wet their beds, and also in 30 healthy children who wet their beds.
Of the children studied, about 15% had primary enuresis, and about 47 children (30%) had SDB. However, there was a lower occurrence of SDB and bedwetting when age increased. BNP levels were much higher in children who bed wet. Thirty-three children with bed wetting problems and SDB underwent adenotonsillectomies. Twenty-nine children improved; 15 were completely cured. All of the children with enuresis and SBD who had the surgery showed a big decrease in daytime enuresis.
To find out more about SDB and bedwetting visit www.yoursleep.aasmnet.org
If you think your child may have a sleep disorder, visit an AASM accreditedsleep center.

Photo By: Steven Yeh

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Staying asleep: The other side of insomnia

Stare at the ceiling. Toss and turn. Glare at the clock. Toss and turn. It’s the typical pattern of insomnia

But did you know that there is more than one symptom of insomnia? A new study of insomnia symptoms emphasizes that having trouble falling asleep is only part of the problem. And it’s not even the most common insomnia symptom. The results are published in the Aug. 1 issue of SLEEP.

The study involved 6,791 adults. They completed telephone surveys as part of theAmerica Insomnia Survey (AIS). Insomnia was measured using the Brief Insomnia Questionnaire (BIQ). An estimated 24 percent of AIS participants had insomnia.

Results show that staying asleep was a bigger problem than falling asleep. Among people with insomnia, 61 percent had trouble “maintaining” sleep. They often woke up during the night. Also, 52 percent of people with insomnia woke up too early in the morning.Only 38 percent of insomniacs had trouble “initiating” sleep. It took them at least 30 minutes to fall asleep at night.

In fourth place was “nonrestorative” sleep. Twenty-five percent of people with insomnia reported waking up still feeling tired or unrested.

Symptom combos also were common. More than half of people with insomnia had two or more of the four symptoms. The study also measured the rates of 21 medical conditions.

What were the most common problems? About 50 to 60 percent of people with insomnia had chronic back or neck pain, or other chronic pain. Seasonal allergies also were common. People with insomnia also rated their health lower than people without insomnia.

Many proven treatments for insomnia are available. Both cognitive behavioral therapy and medications are effective. A board-certified sleep specialist can determine which treatment is best for you.

Contact an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center if you have an ongoing problem with insomnia.

Read more blog posts about insomnia.

Photo by: robotbrainz