вторник, 7 декабря 2010 г.

Introducing Sleep Apnea Comfort Pillows

Contour Products, a leader in the sleep support and ergonomic body comfort industry, is introducing three exciting cash-and-carry products for the home health market: the new Contour CPAP Pillow that offers outstanding comfort and freedom to mask users; the Contour Cool Mesh Memory Foam Pillow a "breathable" pillow offering unprecedented cool, dry comfort; and the updated BackMax, a portable three- piece wedge system that can be configured into eight positions for complete body support and relaxation.
These products are affordable, effective, easy- to-clean and have self-explanatory packaging ideal for retailers and medical distributors focused on customer satisfaction.
Using new "sleep science", the orthopedic Contour Cool Mesh Memory Foam Pillow aligns the head and neck and gives soft, cool, clean, dry, breathable support with the combination of a unique 3-D mesh layer made of 99% air and a premium-grade memory foam core. Perspiration passes through the mesh layer and air circulates under the head and neck. This pillow is ideal for everyone including those suffering from allergies and asthma.
The new Contour CPAP Pillow is an upgrade to the original best seller. It ensures sleep apnea patients are comfortable and in compliance. The new version has a more precise molded design. Hollowed-out areas on the pillow accommodate all major masks and hoses. The pillow alleviates mask pressure, helps prevent leaks and has a thicker, more comfortable cover. A new accessory kit is available and the pillow has a 5-year warranty.
The BackMax matches the natural curvature of the spine and can be zipped into a variety of configurations for effective total body support. The BackMax relieves pain in the back, hips, legs and feet and improves circulation. The BackMax has soothing dual massage components, medical-grade support foam, a fleece cover and a carrying case.

пятница, 3 декабря 2010 г.

Later school start times may improve sleep in adolescents

A study in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that after a one-hour delay of school start times, teens increased their average nightly hours of sleep and decreased their "catch-up sleep" on the weekends, and they were involved in fewer auto accidents.
When school started one hour later students averaged from 12 minutes (grade nine) to 30 minutes (grade 12) more self-reported nightly sleep. The percentage of students who got at least eight hours of sleep per weeknight increased significantly from 35.7 percent to 50 percent; students who got at least nine hours of sleep also increased from 6.3 percent to 10.8 percent. The average amount of additional weekend sleep, or "catch-up sleep," decreased from 1.9 hours to 1.1 hours. Daytime sleepiness decreased, as reported by students using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Average crash rates for teen drivers in the study county in the two years after the change in school start time dropped 16.5 percent compared to the two years prior to the change, while teen crash rates for the rest of the state increased 7.8 percent over the same time period.
"It is surprising that high schools continue to set their start times early, which impairs learning, attendance and driving safety of the students," said senior author Barbara Phillips, MD, director of the UK Healthcare Good Samaritan Sleep Center in Lexington, Ky.
A survey concerning the sleep habits of students from an entire county-wide school district in Kansas was distributed before and after a change in school start times. In April 1998, (Year One), a total of 9,966 students (66 percent of the total population of middle and high-school students enrolled in the county) from grades six to 12 completed questionnaires concerning their sleep habits on school nights and non-school nights and various aspects of daytime functioning. In April 1999, (Year Two), 10,656 students (72.8 percent of the total population of middle and high-school students enrolled in the county) filled out the same questionnaire. School times during Year One were 7:30 a.m. for high schools and 8 a.m. for middle schools. In Year Two high schools and middle schools started one hour later at 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m.
Separate crash rates were computed for the county that changed high school start times and for the state as a whole. State-collected measures of collision statistics by age and residence of driver were used to compute crash rates per 1,000 licensed drivers for teen drivers before and after the change in school start times in both the county in which the start times changed and in the rest of the state where start times remained unchanged.
The county crash rates were considerably higher than the rest of the state prior to the change in school start times. According to the authors the elevated crash rates may have been caused by the fact that the study county was in the center of a rapidly expanding metropolitan area. Phillips attributed the decrease in auto accidents after the change in school start times to improved vigilance, as the students were able to get more sleep.
The authors report that both social and biological pressures appear to cause a shift in sleep patterns during the transition to adolescence, with the result that adolescents stay up progressively later. As a result, adolescents get an inadequate amount of sleep due to early school start times, which increases their daytime sleepiness and may in turn increase their odds of crashing their vehicles while driving.

воскресенье, 28 ноября 2010 г.

Higher BMI Linked to Less Sleep

A study from Walter Reed Medical Center shows that higher BMI is linked to getting less sleep. Not only is sleep quality important to maintain a healthy weight, but sleep duration is also important to keep weight stable. Results of a newer study show that people who sleep less have a higher body mass index (BMI).
Findings presented Sunday, May 17, 2009 at the American Thoracic Society's 105th International Conference in San Diego, show that fourteen nurse volunteers enrolled in the Integrative Cardiac Health Project at the Walter Reed Medical Center had higher BMI’s as the result of less sleep, compared to nurses who slept longer.
The researchers engaged the nurses in nutritional counseling sleep and stress management, and exercise training, analyzing total activity, body temperature, and body position; facilitated by use of an actigraphy armband. The study revealed that even increased activity did not equate to lower BMI for the nurses who slept less.
Lead investigator Arn Eliasson, M.D. says, "When we analyzed our data by splitting our subjects into 'short sleepers' and 'long sleepers,' we found that short sleepers tended to have a higher BMI, 28.3 kg/m2, compared to long sleepers, who had an average BMI of 24.5. Short sleepers also had lower sleep efficiency, experienced as greater difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep."
Additionally, people who sleep less may be more stressed, leading them to eat more, thus accounting for the increased BMI associated with less sleep. "Higher perceived stress may erode sleep. Stress and being less rested may cause these individuals to be less organized than normal weight individuals, meaning they would have to make more trips and take more steps to accomplish the same tasks. This might add to their stress and encourage other unhealthy behaviors like stress eating," says Dr. Eliasson.
Other unhealthy behaviors might explain the exact link between higher BMI and increased weight in people who sleep less. The researchers are also planning studies to measure hormone levels. The authors speculate that less sleep may disrupt the balance of the hormone leptin that tells us when we have had enough to eat, leading to increased food consumption and higher BMI.

среда, 24 ноября 2010 г.

Insomnia in women with breast cancer linked to heart rate

This study is the first to analyze both hormonal and autonomic responses in metastatic breast cancer patients suffering from insomnia.
Westchester, Ill. –A study in the October 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) is a significant predictor of insomnia in women with breast cancer and confirmed that longer nocturnal wake episodes were associated with a flatter diurnal cortisol slope.
Results of this study confirmed a relationship between frequent awakenings and abnormal cortisol (a steroid hormone that regulates blood pressure), rhythms in metastatic breast cancer, thus concluding that a disrupted cortisol rhythm may have serious medical implications in women with breast cancer.
With the addition of demographics, disease severity and psychological variables, findings suggest that Vagal regulation, assessed via RSA, an important marker of parasympathetic tone, is the most consistent and significant predictor of sleep continuity disturbance. Diminished RSA has been associated with both worse medical and psychiatric health. Previous studies suggest that RSA is associated and may even be predictive for insomnia in healthy subjects.
“It was surprising to see that the strongest association was between a parasympathetic nervous system dysregulation and sleep problems even after we considered patients’ age, their disease severity, type of treatment and psychological variables such as pain and stress,” said the study’s lead author, Oxana Palesh, PhD, Research Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester Cancer Center.
Insomnia symptoms were associated with a lower baseline of RSA. Lower RSA is associated with decreased parasympathetic functioning in insomniacs, and weakened parasympathetic functioning is associated with increased stress and decreased emotional regulation.
The study included 99 women who had metastatic breast cancer or recurrent breast cancer and who were over the age of 45. Thirty-nine patients took antidepressant medications in this study, and 19 took medications specifically prescribed for treating disrupted sleep during study baseline. Participants collected saliva for cortisol measurement for two days, completed questionnaires, wore actigraphs to monitor their sleep-wake cycles for three days, and participated in the Trier Social Stress Task (TSST) approximately one-to-two weeks after the cortisol baseline collections. The TSST is a standardized social and cognitive stress test. Demographic and cancer diagnosis history was collected from the women through self-report.
Heart rate dysregulation (diminished or low respiratory sinus arryhthmia) during a stress task was associated with four objective measures of sleep disruption: sleep efficiency, wake after sleep onset, average number of awakenings and average length of waking episode.
Estimates from two nights of actigraphy indicate that participants spent about eight hours in bed and had wakefulness after sleep onset (WASO) of more than 71 minutes. They also had an average of 15 wake episodes each night with an average duration of 4.81 minutes.
While demographics explained some portion of the development of sleep disruption, four of the six sleep parameters examined (Sleep efficiency, wakefulness after sleep onset, mean number of waking episodes and average length of waking episodes) were best explained by low RSA.
In healthy people, cortisol levels peak early in the morning and level-out by the end of the day. However, in one-third to two-thirds of women with metastatic breast cancer, circadian rhythms are disrupted and diurnal cortisol slopes are either flattened, have multiple peaks, or are elevated at the end of the day. In the non-cancer population, evidence shows that people with insomnia have an elevated response to stress in general. Psychiatric disorders, including major depression, are linked with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) dysregulation. Past research has linked insomnia to activation of the stress-response system, which results in an increased level of cortisol.
Sleep disruption is two to three times more common in cancer patients than in the general population; these disturbances may exacerbate concurrent cancer and/or treatment related symptoms such as fatigue, mood disturbance, and gastrointestinal distress, psychiatric illness and may lead to reduce quality of life and overall health.
According to Palesh, one of the best interventions for regulation of autonomic functioning is diaphragmatic breathing. Any number of stress management techniques would be effective, including biofeedback treatment, hypnosis, visualization exercises, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and yoga.

пятница, 19 ноября 2010 г.

Poor Night's Sleep Increases Odds of Stroke, Heart Attack

Failure to get a good night's sleep can boost the odds of having a stroke or heart attack. Researchers say poor quality sleep increases inflammatory hormones that lead to poor blood vessel health. Past studies have looked at acute sleep deprivation that occurs for more than 24 hours. The new study shows an increased risk of heart attack and stroke that can happen from six or less hours of good sleep.

Less than Six Hours of Sleep Boosts Inflammatory Markers

For the study, researchers measured inflammatory markers in the bloodstream, matching their findings with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index survey and hours of sleep.
Fibrinogen, IL-6 and C-reactive protein, inflammatory markers that can mean poor blood vessel health were found to be higher in people who reported less than six hours of sleep, compared to those getting six to nine hours. C-reactive protein levels that are widely used to gauge a person’s risk for heart attack and stroke were about 25 percent higher in people sleeping less.
Alanna Morris, MD, a cardiology fellow at Emory University School of Medicine says, "Most of the studies looking at the body's response to lack of sleep have looked at subjects who have been acutely sleep deprived for more than 24 hours in experimental sleep laboratories. Nothing of this sort has been investigated in epidemiologic studies.”
Dr. Morris says, "For people who got little sleep, the C-reactive protein levels were increased, but still in the range of what health authorities would consider low to intermediate risk. However, our study population represents a community-based population [as opposed to patients in the hospital or with known cardiovascular disease], so they have overall lower risk and lower C-reactive protein levels than many of the high risk populations in other studies."
Previous research finds sleeping seven or more hours a night leads to a longer life. The new study lends insight into why sleeping less is tightly linked to high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and psychological stress, but "It remains uncertain whether short sleep duration contributes directly to cardiovascular mortality, or whether it is a mediating or moderating factor," explains Morris.
Even after correcting for other risk factors like stroke, obesity and diabetes, poor quality sleep was still found to raise inflammation associated with poor blood vessel health. The findings that poor sleep could increase the chances of stroke and heart attack come from a survey of 525 middle-aged people participating in the Morehouse-Emory Partnership to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities (META-Health). The findings are presented by Dr. Morris today at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago.