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News

  • Fitband user data shows American cities need more sleep

    Aug 21 2014...
    If you live in a big city, chances are your neighbors aren’t getting enough sleep. Board certified sleep physicians recommend 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and based on a newly released dataset, none of the major U.S. cities get that amount of sleep, on average.

    The wearable fitness tracking manufacturer Jawbone recently released its user data to the public. The device UP by Jawbone uses wrist actigraphy, a type of motion detector, to track how much sleep its users get per night. READ MORE>>
  • Gene mutation the real secret for successful short sleepers

    Aug 07 2014...
    New scientific evidence suggests that a small percentage of people have a short sleep gene. It allows them to retain their ability to think clearly and make informed decisions while sleeping very little.

    The research opposes the claims of some vocal short sleepers. These high-profile members of the so-called “sleepless elite” often brag about the competitive advantage of sleeping less than six hours per night. They preach that all of us can achieve more by sleeping less. READ MORE>>
  • Poor sleep tied to lower physical activity in people with PTSD

    Jul 21 2014...
    A new study suggests that poor sleep quality predicts lower physical activity in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    “We found that sleep quality was more strongly associated with physical activity one year later than was having a diagnosis of PTSD,” said lead author Lisa Talbot, postdoctoral fellow at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco. “The longitudinal aspect of this study suggests that sleep may influence physical activity.” READ MORE>>
  • Short sleep linked to aging brain

    Jul 02 2014...
    A new study finds that the less older adults sleep, the faster their brains age.

    Results show that each hour of reduced sleep duration changed the annual expansion rate of the ventricles by 0.59 percent. Ventricles are the internal chambers of the brain. Their expansion is a reliable marker for the risk of cognitive impairment. The study also found that reduced sleep sped up the annual decline rate in cognitive performance by 0.67 percent. READ MORE>>
  • Get fit this summer to improve your sleep

    Jun 25 2014...
    Your summer fitness plan will help to do more than flatten your belly. By losing at least 5 percent of your weight, you’ll sleep longer and more soundly, a new study shows.

    For example, for someone who weighs 200 pounds, losing just 10 pounds will pay off in your sleep quality. Another benefit of weight loss is feeling happy and more awake during the daytime. Past research shows high-quality sleep has major mood benefits. READ MORE>>
  • AASM doctors to answer your questions about sleep and depression

    Feb 06 2014...
    The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is teaming with PBS NewsHour on Thursday to educate patients about sleep and its link to depression. In February, two studies published in the journal SLEEP looked at how poor sleep increases your risk of depression. Two AASM physicians, Dr. Timothy I. Morgenthaler and Dr. Nathaniel Watson will be on hand to answer your questions.

    The chat will be held on Thursday, February 6, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST. To participate, use the Twitter hashtag #NewsHourChats and follow @AASMOrg. READ MORE>>
  • Night owls face disadvantages in high school years

    Nov 13 2013...
    Teenagers who stay up late during the school year are likely to have lower grades and more emotional problems than their morning lark counterparts, according to a study that looked at the long-term sleep habits of teens.

    The study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health involved a large sample of teens from across the country. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley looked at the teens’ academic records and reported bedtimes throughout their middle and high school years.

    About 30 percent of the teens had bedtimes later than 11:30 p.m. on school days and 1:30 a.m. in the summertime. This group was unable to meet their recommended 9 hours of sleep during the school year. As a result, these teens had lower GPA scores than their peers and more reported behavioral problems. READ MORE>>
  • Smartphones for sleep: Can sleep-tracking apps improve your sleep?

    Oct 23 2013...
    Health and fitness tracking are a booming business rooted in our smartphones. Calorie counters help us watch we eat. Workout trackers log the miles we run and bike. But can sleep apps improve the way we sleep?

    Search on the App Store or Google Play for sleep and you’ll find an assortment of sleep apps of varying quality. There are apps that generate white noise or soothing background sounds, apps that interpret your dreams and special alarm clocks that supposedly align with your sleep cycle.

    Sleep tracker apps tend to be the most popular. The apps use your smartphone’s motion sensor to detect your movements while you sleep – most require that you sleep with your phone under your pillow or next to you. In the morning, you’ll get a report with information about your sleep length and quality. READ MORE>>
  • Sleep helps boost production of brain cells

    Sep 05 2013...
    A new study finds yet another reason to get more sleep – it’s beneficial for the brain. 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.

    Scientists have known for years that many genes are turned on during sleep and off during periods of wakefulness. However, it was unclear how sleep affects specific cells types, such as oligodendrocytes, which make myelin in the healthy brain and in response to injury. Much like the insulation around an electrical wire, myelin allows electrical impulses to move rapidly from one cell to the next. READ MORE>>
  • Video: "Honor Thy Sleep" looks at sleep in America

    Jul 26 2013...
    The health website "Be Smart Be Well" recently produced a video called "Honor Thy Sleep", which looks at sleep in America. In the video, AASM President-Elect Timothy Morgenthaler, MD provides practical tips and answers common questions about sleep:

    READ MORE>>