If you enjoy pondering life's many mysteries, here's a good one: Why do we sleep? You know you need sleep, because that's what your body tells you. But what does sleep actually do? "There are as many theories of sleep's functions as there are sleep researchers," Mehdi Tafti, a geneticist at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, says in a recent ScienceNews article. The article focuses on recent sleep studies that try to explain the purpose behind sleep, from its effect on metabolism to the role it plays in memory and learning.
Drinking and driving is always dangerous. Add a life-threatening sleep disorder and you have a recipe for disaster. According to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, patients with obstructive sleep apnea are more vulnerable than healthy people to the effects of alcohol while driving. The study, conducted by researchers at the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health in Australia, followed 38 untreated patients with sleep apnea and 20 control participants.
Ever wonder how a dolphin can sleep without drowning or why a bat sleeps upside down? Well, you won't have to wonder any more. Check out how our favorite animals sleep below.
NPR's Fresh Air interviewed author Po Bronson on his new book NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, which examines new research that is bringing about changes in parenting. The author discusses with Fresh Air the consequences of children not getting enough sleep. "High schools are starting earlier and earlier around the country, and it's had a dramatic effect," Bronson told NPR. "A few districts — intrepid districts, looking at the science of sleep — have been willing to bite the bullet and trust the science ...
You might be getting more sleep than you think. Elderly women who reported shorter and poorer quality of sleep actually had longer and less-fragmented sleep than elderly men, according to a recent study in the journal SLEEP. The study, conducted by researchers in the Netherlands, examined 956 participants ages 59 to 97 years old. Participants were asked to wear an actigraph — an accelerometer that measures sleep activity — and keep a sleep diary for six consecutive nights.
Reading is always a good activity, and reading before bed is a particularly good choice for kids of all ages and for parents. A relaxing, routine activity like reading right before bedtime helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety. Here are some new books that might help you understand more about the importance of getting a good night's sleep.
Obese patients with type 2 diabetes who experience obstructive sleep apnea saw an improvement in their condition after losing weight, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The "apnea" in sleep apnea refers to a breathing pause that lasts at least 10 seconds. There are a number of factors that increase risk of sleep apnea, including being overweight.
Sleep is important for both men and women, yet a recent article in the Wall Street Journal notes that mattress and bed manufacturers tend to cater to women. Not anymore. The Wall Street Journal reports that manufacturers are now focusing on a new niche: "macho" mattresses. What makes a bed "macho"?
Sleep medicine service providers Sleep HealthCenters LLC and REM Medical Corporation have merged, according to a recent press release from the companies. "The REM Medical and Sleep HealthCenters merger is the beginning of a focused strategy to provide a national network of high-quality, comprehensive sleep medicine centers," said Paul Valentine, who serves on the National Sleep Foundation's Development Committee and is chief executive officer for Sleep HealthCenters.
Clayton Sleep Institute and its special partner the National Sleep Foundation are teaming up to present the 7th Annual Midwest Updates in Sleep Medicine on November 13-14, 2009, in St. Louis, Missouri. The 2009 Updates offer a unique forum for clinicians and researchers to present findings, explore advances and examine ideas about the science of sleep. Learn the latest in sleep medicine, join your colleagues and friends and meet some new ones at the 7th Annual Midwest Updates in Sleep Medicine. CME will be provided.