Many Americans fall asleep with their television on, their phone buzzing on the nightstand next to them, or with no curtains to cover the glow of streetlights outside their windows. A new study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) suggests that even a moderate amount of light during sleep hours can have negative effects on someone’s cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that causes breathing to stop throughout the night, resulting in snoring, daytime sleepiness, and more. Related to light exposure at night, untreated sleep apnea has been found to have adverse effects on cardiovascular health as well, specifically heart disease. Together, these two factors can be fatal to one’s health.
Many women know that the transition into menopause means a higher risk of several health issues, from heart disease to osteoporosis and more. However, a new study published by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) found a link between postmenopausal joint pain and sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night, resulting in loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, and more. Sleep apnea can be life-threatening, with ties to heart disease, stroke, cognitive decline, and negative mental health. Additionally, as this study shows, it could be connected to day-to-day joint pain and a loss of mobility.
Trigger warning: suicide, self-harm, mental health issues
Everyone has an off day from time to time, but feelings of depression can often become amplified when you’re sleep deprived, leading to imbalances in your personal life, professional life, and health that can quickly become overwhelming.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder that causes breathing to be disrupted during sleep. We often associate OSA with poor sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, snoring, and accelerated weight gain. But what many may not realize is how OSA can impact mental health, with the disorder being tied to depression, thoughts of suicide, and self-harm.
This past June, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), an organization dedicated to advancing sleep care and enhancing sleep health, declared that sleep is a biological necessity.
“It is the position of the AASM that sleep is essential to health, and we are urging educators, health care professionals, government agencies, and employers to prioritize the promotion of healthy sleep,” AASM President, Dr. Kannan Ramar states.
The declaration, which was written by members of the 2020-2021 AASM Board of Directors and has been endorsed by more than 25 relevant organizations, explains that there is a lack of sleep education at the medical-education levels, resulting in sleep being left out of many patient-practitioner conversations.
This is a hazard, not only to public safety, but to personal safety as well. Here’s why.
This past June, one of the biggest producers of CPAP machines, Philips Respironics, recalled millions of devices due to a malfunction: The foam used to reduce sound was found to degrade into chemicals that, according to the FDA, can cause serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.
This left the millions of sleep apnea sufferers impacted by the recall to choose between getting rest at night or using a device that could be harming them—at least until Philips Respironics works through a solution with the FDA. Which, according to Philips, could take a year, minimum.
Thankfully, there is already an effective first line of treatment for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, and an alternative treatment for severe sleep apnea patients intolerant to CPAP: oral appliance therapy.
Many know what Alzheimer’s and dementia are, but what about cognitive impairment? While cognitive impairment is not a widely used term, understanding what it means is important to comprehending the spectrum under which Alzheimer’s and dementia are housed.
As defined by the CDC, cognitive impairment is when a person has trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect their everyday life. Cognitive impairment is not just a disability experienced by those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and it doesn’t just impact the elderly. This life-altering condition is also experienced by those who’ve had a stroke, a traumatic brain injury, and/or live with a developmental disability.
As far back as February 2011, the CDC has been warning Americans about the dangers of cognitive impairment, stating that the number of people affected by the condition will place significant stress on our healthcare system. An estimated 16 million people were living with cognitive impairment at the time of the report.
Now, in 2021, researchers have uncovered an important connection between cognitive impairment and sleep, a discovery that may help with the prevention of this far-too-often misunderstood condition.
Traditionally, naps have been a bit of a controversial topic in the realm of sleep. While a 20-30 minute nap in the middle of the day can enhance productivity, naps can also hurt nighttime sleep when taken too early in the day or too close to bedtime.
A recent study on sleep deprivation in low-income workers in India, however, found that naps have an interesting effect on productivity when an individual is sleep-deprived.
Before we dive into the study, though, let’s start with an overview of midday napping.
While earworms are (thankfully) not real worms, they’re still a nuisance. Oh, what are earworms? Well, they are those few song lyrics that play over and over in your head while you lay in bed—and they don’t just happen when we’re awake. As one researcher learned from personal experience, they can even happen while we’re sleeping!
A new observational study found that physical activity and sleep quality both play roles in health outcomes. This information is particularly important for those who do suffer from poor sleep, as physical activity not only improves sleep but can improve the overall health of those who struggle with sleep disorders.