Wednesday, April 25, 2012

RLS risk higher with history of obstructive lung disease, estrogen use

A history of obstructive lung disease nearly tripled the risk of restless leg syndrome in a recent study group. The risk of restless leg syndrome was 2½ times higher for patients using estrogen.

The study looked at 535 health records from Tucson. The records were part of another project looking at sleep disordered breathing and heart disease. But researchers also used the information to determine a 1.7 percent incidence of restless leg syndrome in these patients. And people with obstructive lung disease were 2.8 times more likely to develop restless leg syndrome.

The restless leg syndrome was associated with insomnia and increased sleepiness. The study appears in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Restless leg syndrome results in a strong urge to move the legs. It often comes with other uneasy feelings deep inside the legs. Lying or sitting still can be very hard. Learn more about restless leg syndrome or locate an accredited sleep center near you to assist with restless leg syndrome or other sleep disorders.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

RBD patients waiting years before seeing a physician

People with REM sleep behavior disorder wait an average of nearly nine years before getting diagnosed, a new study reported. REM sleep behavior disorder occurs when a sleeping person acts out vivid dreams. These dreams are often filled with action, and may even be violent.

A study out of Scotland looked at 30 REM sleep behavior disorder patients. The patients were asked why they took so long to see a physician. Most (59 percent) said they didn’t think the symptoms were serious enough. Nearly as many (56 percent) said their REM sleep behavior disorder was mild or infrequent. Other patients (47 percent) believed the symptoms would go away or they simply didn’t know enough about REM sleep behavior disorder to seek help.

The patient’s bed partner was an important influence. The decision to seek treatment for REM sleep behavior disorder was made jointly by patient and partner in 47 percent of the cases. The study appeared in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

REM sleep behavior disorder episodes tend to get worse over time. Early episodes may involve mild activity. Later episodes can be more violent. At some point it is likely to result in an injury. Either the person dreaming or the bed partner may be hurt.

REM sleep behavior disorder can be confused with sleepwalking and sleep terrors. Learn more about REM sleep behavior disorder and other sleep disorders. For treatment, or if you need any help sleeping, locate an accredited sleep center near you.

Image courtesy Jeezny

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Getting spouses involved may improve CPAP compliance

Having a CPAP user’s spouse involved may improve adherence. A study in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine followed 23 married men who were treated with continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP is the first-line treatment for sleep apnea. The men reported that when their spouse’s assisted them with CPAP, they were more likely to use the treatment.

Researchers looked at whether the spouses were encouraging or negative about their husband’s using CPAP, and whether they collaborated or were demanding. When spouses worked with their husbands, there was a moderate influence improving CPAP adherence. When spouses were negative or demanding, or even encouraging, there was no effect on CPAP compliance. The study suggested that physicians could improve CPAP compliance by teaching spouses how to become involved.

Visit the Your Sleep website to find out if you are at risk for sleep apnea and learn more about CPAP. For help with treating sleep apnea, locate an AASM-accredited sleep center near you.

Image courtesy Anthony Citrano

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Study shows high rate of truckers with undiagnosed sleep apnea

Truck drivers are not the best judges at diagnosing their own sleep apnea, a new study reports. Research showed that self-diagnosis and symptom reports fell far short of determining sleep apnea when compared to home testing. Only 4 percent of 517 commercial vehicle drivers in Australia reported an earlier diagnosis of sleep apnea. The study found another 41 percent when drivers were tested with home monitors.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been associated with a higher risk of motor vehicle crashes. In December, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced new rules for the maximum hours of work per shift and mandatory rest periods for truck drivers. The FMCSA reduced by 12 hours the maximum number of hours a truck driver. Truck drivers also were mandated a break of at least 30 minutes after every eight hours worked.

The truckers in the Australian study worked an average of 65 hours a week. When surveyed, 40 percent of the drivers said they had trouble staying awake while driving in the last month. Of the commercial operators diagnosed with sleep apnea, less than half used continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP is the first-line treatment for sleep apnea.

The study appears in the April edition of the journal SLEEP. Visit the Your Sleep website to find out if you are at risk for sleep apnea. Get help for sleep apnea at an AASM-accredited sleep center.

Image Courtesy KOMUnews

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sleep-disordered breathing linked with depression

Snorting, gasping or stopping breathing while asleep has been associated with nearly all depression symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed 9,714 Americans for a new study appearing in the April issue of SLEEP. The CDC determined that the likelihood of depression increased with the frequency of sleep-disordered breathing.

Symptoms reported included feelings of hopelessness and feeling like a failure. The association was made regardless of factors like weight, age, sex or race. The CDC study is the first nationally representative sampling to look at obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and depression. Similar links have been made in previous studies, but in samples that were much smaller and more specific.

The study’s authors suggested that physicians screen for depression in the presence of sleep-disordered breathing, or vice versa. The said such screenings could help reduce the high incidence and under-diagnosis of both of these disorders.

Read more blog posts about sleep and depression. Or learn more about insomnia, or take a short quiz to test how well you sleep.