There are a lot of sleep-related stories in the news this week. Here’s a rundown of several of them:
United Press International (UPI) reports on a new study shows that obstructive sleep apnea may worsen diabetes…
The study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, also confirmed the sleep disorder is very common among type 2 diabetes patients. Overnight polysomnography tests revealed 77 percent of the total of 60 diabetes patient in the study had obstructive sleep apnea. However, only five patients were previously evaluated for the disease, and none were undergoing treatment.
“Our findings have important clinical implications as they support the hypothesis that reducing the severity of obstructive sleep apnea may improve glycemic control,” Aronsohn says in a statement.
A story published on ModernMedicine.com talks about a study that shows children who are exposed to secondhand smoke may have more sleep problems…
Kimberly Yolton, Ph.D., of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues analyzed data from 219 children, aged 6 to 12 years, with physician-diagnosed asthma that had been recently treated. All children were exposed to SHS [secondhand smoke] from at least five cigarettes at home each day. Children’s cotinine levels were assessed, and caregivers responded to the Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire.
The researchers found that greater SHS exposure was associated with longer delays to sleep onset, more frequent parasomnias and sleep-disordered breathing, more daytime sleepiness, and more overall sleep disturbance.
Psychology Today has a interesting blog post about a new study that seems to indicate that we really do get less sleep now than we did in years past, even though it questions the reasons why…
These findings do call into question the results of the other surveys noted above that have shown an alarming increase in short sleep in recent decades. The change found in this review was only from 7.6% to 9.3% and was accounted for by those working full time. The primary limitations of these time use diary studies are that there are no data related to physiological sleep as opposed to self report of sleep and there may be biases in the samples such as more time-pressured individuals being less likely to complete this kind of survey.
There are data showing that working overtime is associated with problems such as high blood pressure, depression and obesity. Knutson et al point out that short sleep could be a factor in this finding. Given the large population of full time workers, even after the effects of the Great Recession, the impact of even mildly decreased sleep duration could be significant for our country and the health of workers.