I was surprised at the amount of scientific research on sleep that is being performed. Here are overviews of some of the research about sleep.
Newly released findings from Bradley Hospital published in the Journal of Sleep Research have found that acute illnesses, such as colds, flu, and gastroenteritis were more common among healthy adolescents who got less sleep at night. Additionally, the regularity of teens' sleep schedules was found to impact their health. The study, titled "Sleep patterns are associated with common illness in adolescents," was led by Kathryn Orzech, Ph.D. of the Bradley Hospital Sleep Research Laboratory.
Researchers from UCL have found that children with irregular bedtimes are more likely to have behavioural difficulties.
The study, which is published in the journal Pediatrics, found that irregular bedtimes could disrupt natural body rhythms and cause sleep deprivation, undermining brain maturation and the ability to regulate certain behaviours.
As the NHS prepares to launch Stoptober 2013, new research published in Psychology, Health & Medicine has found another reason to quit smoking -- giving up smoking improves sleep. Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death and while the numerous health problems directly caused by smoking are well documented, less is known about the effects of smoking on sleep.
Sleep increases the reproduction of the cells that go on to form the insulating material on nerve cell projections in the brain and spinal cord known as myelin, according to an animal study published in the September 4 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The findings could one day lead scientists to new insights about sleep's role in brain repair and growth.
The amount of sleep children get has a direct bearing on their performance in school and their mental and physical health. Snap shot studies suggest that the more kids use electronic media the less sleep they get, and that their sleep is more likely to be disturbed. But how much does watching TV or playing on the computer affect sleep patterns as children grow up?
Poor sleep quality and quantity during pregnancy can disrupt normal immune processes and lead to lower birth weights and other complications, finds a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study published today in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Women with depression also are more likely than non-depressed women to suffer from disturbed sleep and to experience immune system disruption and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Well-rested teenagers tend to make more healthful food choices than their sleep-deprived peers, according to a study led by Lauren Hale, PhD, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. The finding, presented at SLEEP 2013, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, may be key to understanding the link between sleep and obesity.
The study by Peter Liu, MD, PhD, an LA BioMed lead researcher, found that insulin sensitivity, the body's ability to clear glucose (blood sugar) from the bloodstream, significantly improved after three nights of "catch-up sleep" on the weekend in men with long-term, weekday sleep restrictions.
The study involved 4,970 community-dwelling adults ages 55 and older from the 2004 wave of the Health and Retirement Study who reported having ever consumed alcohol, and who had completed all binge drinking and insomnia-related questions. Participants reported the number of days on which they had "four or more drinks on one occasion" in the prior three months. Responses were used to calculate the mean number of binge drinking days per week, which was the primary predictor. Participants also reported the frequency of difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, waking too early or feeling unrested in the morning. Those reporting any of these "most of the time" were considered to have an insomnia symptom, which served as the outcome.
Since previous research has shown that people who report short or long sleep are more likely to have worse health over time, such as weight gain, heart disease and diabetes, the new study suggests that people's jobs may predispose them to unhealthy sleep patterns that could detrimentally affect their health. The findings go against the concept that physical activity in general seems to be healthy, and physical activity tends to be good for sleep.
Results show that higher fat consumption was associated with increased objective daytime sleepiness, while higher carbohydrate intake was associated with increased alertness. There was no relationship between protein consumption and sleepiness or alertness. These findings were independent of the subjects' gender, age, and body mass index as well as the total amount of sleep they were getting and their total caloric intake.
With work and entertainment operating around the clock in our modern society, sleep is often a casualty. A bevy of research has shown a link between sleep deprivation and cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, and obesity. However, it's been unclear why sleep loss might lead to these effects. Several studies have tested the effects of total sleep deprivation, but this model isn't a good fit for the way most people lose sleep, with a few hours here and there. In a new study by Keith Pugh, Shahrad Taheri, and George Balanos, all of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, researchers test the effects of partial sleep deprivation on blood vessels and breathing control. They find that reducing sleep length over two consecutive nights leads to less healthy vascular function and impaired breathing control.
Increasing the number of hours of sleep adolescents get each night may reduce the prevalence of adolescent obesity, according to a new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Results of the study show that fewer hours of sleep is associated with greater increases in adolescent body mass index (BMI) for participants between 14 and 18-years-old. The findings suggest that increasing sleep duration to 10 hours per day, especially for those in the upper half of the BMI distribution, could help to reduce the prevalence of adolescent obesity.
If you're pulling and all-nighter to finish a term paper, a new parent up all night with a fussy baby, or simply can't sleep like you once could, then you may be snoozing on good health. That's because new research published in The FASEB Journal used mice to show that proper sleep patterns are critical for healthy metabolic function, and even mild impairment in our circadian rhythms can lead to serious health consequences, including diabetes and obesity.
A new study found that obstructive sleep apnea, a common form of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), is associated with increased rates of ADHD-like behavioral problems in children as well as other adaptive and learning problems.
Sleeping just five hours a night over a workweek and having unlimited access to food caused participants in a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder to gain nearly two pounds of weight.