As the new school year approaches, the National Sleep Foundation encourages parents and kids to put healthy sleep on the list of back-to-school necessities. Kids tend to sleep and wake up later during the summer, making the transition to the school-year sleep schedule difficult.
Here are some great "Back-to-School Sleep Tips" to help start your child's school year off right:
The September issue of Runner's World profiles Tera Moody, one of the best female long-distance runners in the United States, and her struggle with insomnia. Latin for "no sleep," insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. Insomnia is also used to describe the condition of waking up not feeling restored or refreshed. According to Runner's World, Moody, who is 28 years old, with few exceptions hasn't slept through the night since sixth grade. As a runner, Moody's body needs sleep more than usual.
The National Sleep Foundation is proud to announce the launch of a free sleep hotline: The National Sleep Foundation Hotline brought to you by Westin Hotels & Resorts. The hotline, 888-TIME4SLEEP (846-3475), will be open August 17 through September 15, from 6:00 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET. For 30 days, participating National Sleep Foundation Sleep Care Center members will help callers identify and troubleshoot common sleep issues. The hotline's hours of operation coincide with the peak hours when people are getting ready for bed or experiencing sleep problems.
The National Transportation Safety Board has issued six recommendations to the Federal Aviation Agency regarding pilot fatigue and obstructive sleep apnea after concluding an investigation of two pilots who fell asleep during a February 2008 flight. The pilots were flying from Honolulu to Hilo, Hawaii, when they fell asleep and flew past the plane's destination, traveling another 26 miles before waking up. In a letter to the FAA dated Aug. 7, NTSB ruled the flight crew's recent shift schedules and the captain's undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea contributed to the incident.
For years, sleep experts have advised adults to get seven to nine hours of sleep a night for optimal health and energy. However, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, have recently discovered a gene mutation that allows the carrier to function properly on less sleep than the average adult. A recent Associated Press article looked at a mother and daughter who share the gene DEC2, which is involved in circadian rhythm regulation. According to the article, the gene limits their sleep cycle to six hours a night.
Researchers have found obstructive sleep apnea to be more common in patients with severe asthma compared with patients with moderate asthma, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 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 ten seconds. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite efforts to breathe.
A recent article in the Washington Post looked at crash pads, makeshift homes used as an inexpensive housing option for regional airline flight crews. Crash pad owners told the Post that these dorm-like housing arrangements — accommodating 10 to 30 people at one time — are concentrated in cities with major airline operations fed by regional carriers. The article states that most crash pad tenants claim to have sleep issues and abnormal body clocks, attributed to sharing a room with co-workers and their constantly changing flight schedules.
Older adults with extreme sleep durations — less than five hours or more than 10 hours — had a markedly worse health-related quality of life compared with those who slept seven hours, according to an article in the journal SLEEP. The study, conducted by researchers at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain, followed 3,834 people aged 60 years and over from 2001 through 2003. Participants filled out questionnaires, and those with extreme sleep durations had worse physical and mental scores.
A recent piece on NPR examines snoring and how it can be a strong indicator of obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. More than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea, and it occurs in all age groups and both sexes. There are a number of factors, however, that can increase your risk of sleep apnea, such as having a small upper airway (or large tongue, tonsils or uvula), being overweight, or having a recessed chin, small jaw or a large overbite.
Do you find yourself taking a quick power snooze every once in a while? You're not alone. One-third of adults in the United States take naps, according to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center. The poll not only found that 34 percent of a nationally representative sample of 1,488 adults admitted to taking naps, but that more men reported catching a couple of quick Zzzs compared with women (38 percent versus 31 percent).