napA short nap can help relieve stress and bolster the immune systems of men who slept only two hours the previous night, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Lack of sleep is recognized as a public health problem. Insufficient sleep can contribute to reduced productivity as well as vehicle and industrial accidents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, people who sleep too little are more likely to develop chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.

Nearly three in 10 adults reported they slept an average of six hours or less a night, according to the National Health Interview Survey.

“Our data suggests a 30-minute nap can reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep,” said one of the JCEM study’s authors, Brice Faraut, PhD, of the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité in Paris, France. “This is the first study that found napping could restore biomarkers of neuroendocrine and immune health to normal levels.” Read the rest of this entry

Firefighters May Have Undiagnosed Sleep Disorders

firefighters sleep problemsA recently concluded research study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has revealed that many firefighters may have undiagnosed sleep disorders.

Researchers examined nearly 7,000 firefighters from 66 fire departments across the United States. Of those, 37% suffered from a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, shift-work disorder and restless leg syndrome.

“These firefighters have also been found prone to car accidents or to have fallen asleep while driving”, the study findings have recorded. Chronic health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, depression and anxiety also have large probability among these firefighters, according to the research revelations. Read the rest of this entry

sleepImageAcross the globe more than a million exhausted people with sleep apnea—a sleep and breathing disorder caused when throat muscles relax and block the airway during sleep—get into car accidents, causing over a thousand deaths every year.

 Apnea is linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, an additional $3.4 billion in medical costs, and $16 billion in auto collision costs. Even though apnea has telltale signs (loud snoring, daytime fatigue), it remains totally undiagnosed in almost 75 percent of the people.

Polysomnography, the only diagnostic sleep study for sleep apnea is not cheap generally. the standard medical sleep study, requires a medical technician to attach 22 wires to a person’s body and monitor them all night long. The average cost is nearly $3,000. This is quite an out of the pocket expense for anyone. Follow-up tests are even more cost bearing and burdensome. The idea of doing clinical sleep studies once a month to monitor progress is a diagnostic crack-pipe fantasy. Read the rest of this entry

gestational diabetesWomen who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes bear seven times probability of suffering with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)  compared to the other pregnant women. A most recent research study concluded and due to be published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) revealed

Pregnancy is associated with sleep disturbances. Sleep is more disturbed in GDM than in P-NGT women. There is a strong association between GDM and OSA.

Prime objective of the research study was to assess the relationship between pregnancy, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) , and GDM.

“It is common for pregnant women to experience sleep disruptions, but the risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea increases substantially in women who have gestational diabetes,” said Sirimon Reutrakul, MD, who conducted the research at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “Nearly 75 percent of the participants in our study who had gestational diabetes also suffered from obstructive sleep apnea.”  Read the rest of this entry

strokeAccording to the findings of a recently concluded research study the atrial fibrillation (AF) may play an intermediary role in the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and stroke, research findings suggest.

Resaerchers at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, USA observed that  patients with OSA who had a stroke had significantly higher rates of atrial fibrillation, even after accounting for potential confounders, than their peers without stroke.

“This could potentially indicate that patients with OSA and AF need aggressive treatment to mitigate the risk of future stroke,” the researchers say, although they caution that as theirs was a case-control study, a causal relationship between AF and stroke could not be established. Read the rest of this entry

Glucose-Tolerance-Test-During-PregnancyResearchers have attempted exploring the relationships among sleep disturbances, glucose tolerance, and pregnancy outcomes.

Four validated sleep questionnaires were administered to 169 pregnant women at the time of 50-g oral glucose tolerance testing (OGTT) during the second trimester. Pregnancy outcomes were analyzed in 108 women with normal glucose tolerance (NGT).

Almost 41% of the participants had excessive daytime sleepiness ; 64% had poor sleep quality; 25% snored frequently; 29% had increased risk of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB); 52% experienced short sleep (SS); 19% had both increased SDB risk and Short sleep; and 14% had daytime dysfunction. Read the rest of this entry

Vitamins and Minerals to Stay Healthy

health vitamins mineralsVitamins and minerals are so important that health fails if you don’t get a steady supply of them. Do you know what you can do to make sure your body gets enough of all the vitamins and minerals it needs? Or how these nutrients lower the risk of diseases, including stroke, diabetes, sleep disorders, and cancers?

You can find out in Vitamins and Minerals, a Special Health Report from the doctors at Harvard Medical School. This instructive and empowering report will give you a practical understanding of the roles these nutrients play in protecting health and preventing illness. Read the rest of this entry

central sleep apneaAlong with obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea is one of the two main forms of sleep apnea, a dangerous class of sleep disorders characterized by an interruption of breathing of 10 seconds or more numerous times an hour during sleep.

Dangers of Central Sleep Apnea 

Although central sleep apnea is less common than obstructive sleep apnea, it is just as dangerous.

Central sleep apnea can result in severe morning headaches, daytime fatigue, anxiety, depression, short-term memory problems and difficulty focusing.  Read the rest of this entry

sleep aidsSome prescription medicines, as well as some prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids, can cause problems with sleep. The fix may be to adjust the type or dose of medication or seek sleep behavior therapy.

Prescription sleep aids and other prescription medications can interfere with much-needed sleep, reports the December 2012 Harvard Health Letter.

Sleep is essential to good health, and a lack of it can lead to sleep apneaheart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, weight gain, and diabetes. Yet one in five Americans struggle with insomnia every night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. “Prescription drugs can be a serious problem,” says sleep expert Dr Lawrence Epstein, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Some prescription sleep aids, when taken for long periods of time, become less effective and actually interfere with sleep.

Other types of prescription medications may also interfere with sleep. Some contain stimulants that make it difficult to fall asleep. Others—like steroids, antidepressants, and some medicines for migraine, heart disease, and allergies—can wake you with nausea, night sweats, or needing to go to the bathroom.

sleep studyIt is not just the amount of sleep that is important for good health, but the right type of sleep is also needed for an individual to prevent some of these more serious health problems,

Slow brain wave sleep allows the body to restore at the cellular level. Without this cellular repair, the risk of disease increases for obesity, diabetes, depression and hypertension.

The measurement of these brain waves, heart rates, oxygen levels and other body functions during sleep can only be diagnosed through a medical sleep study. Read the rest of this entry

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