A Poor Night’s Sleep May Be In Your Genes

A gene that regulates sleep and circadian rhythm may also be linked to aging, according to a new study, which may explain the increased risk for diseases that accompany poor sleep habits.

A lack of sleep can contribute to a host of negative health effects, and researchers say they now understand why. Working in mice, researchers found that a gene called SIRT1, which regulates circadian rhythm and sleep, is also linked to aging, according to a study published today in the ...

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Two Chemical Systems Help Keep Muscles Paralyzed During REM Sleep

What is actually going on inside of our bodies when we dream?

Imagine this: You’re having a vivid dream of something chasing you. You run and leap across buildings, jumping and spinning.

What keeps your body from actually acting out these movements during REM sleep, even as they play out so actively in your brain?

Scientists have pinpointed the mechanism that keeps our muscles paralyzed, and they say that understanding could be a boon to finding treatments for sleep conditions and disorders ...

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Poor Sleep Affects Immune System Much Like Physical Stress

Study findings could have implications for jobs that require rotating shift work, researchers say.

Severe sleep deprivation has the same effect on the immune system as physical stress, according to a new study.

Researchers in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom found sleep loss triggers the production of white blood cells, known as granulocytes, particularly at night.

“The granulocytes reacted immediately to the physical stress of sleep loss and directly mirrored the body’s stress response,” explained the study’s lead author, Katrin Ackermann, a ...

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Hospital Noise Fractures Sleep, Slows Healing

Study showed that when sleep was disrupted, even for a few seconds, heart rates increased.

Nighttime noise in hospitals adds up to poor sleep, which may hurt healing when patients need it most, researchers found.

In a laboratory sleep study, recorded hospital sounds of overhead paging, IV alarms, squeaky carts, and the like disrupted sleep and raised heart rates, Orfeu M. Buxton, PhD, of Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues reported.

Electronic alert sounds like ringing phones and IV ...

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Sleeping Pills Linked to Raised Risk of Death, Cancer

Researchers warn against chronic use, but one expert said underlying health woes could also be a factor.

Prescription sleeping pills may help you get some much needed rest at night, but using them routinely might also make it more likely that you will die or develop certain types of cancer, research suggests.

A new study suggests that those who take these medications are four times more likely to die than people who don’t take them. What’s more, the research shows that sleeping ...

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Yawning May Cool the Brain When Needed

Yawning helps keep the brain cool, and the sinuses play a role in that process by acting as bellows, a new report suggests.

Yawning isn’t triggered because you’re bored, tired or need oxygen. Rather, yawning helps regulate the brain’s temperature, according to Gary Hack, of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, and Andrew Gallup, of Princeton University.

“The brain is exquisitely sensitive to temperature changes and therefore must be protected from overheating,” they said in a University of Maryland news release. ...

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Could Low Melatonin Mean Higher Diabetes Risk?

Diabetes is one of the most serious health problems in the United States and around the world. According to Centers for Disease Control estimates, 1 in 10 American adults currently has diabetes. And, if the CDC projections are correct, those numbers will double or even triple over the next 40 years.

There are well-established links between disrupted sleep and risk of type 2 diabetes. But the exact relationship between the two is not fully understood. In the ongoing effort to better ...

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Rise in ER Visits Related to Sleep Medications

There’s more news about complications that can arise from prescription sleep medication: Side effects from a common prescription sleep aid are sending increasing numbers of people to emergency departments.

The number of people seeking emergency medical treatment for the adverse effects of sleep medications containing zolpidem has risen dramatically in recent years, according to a new federal report. Zolpidem is the active ingredient in several of the most commonly prescribed sleep medications, including Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar, and Zolpimist.

The report was ...

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Sleep Less, Weigh More

Calories in, calories out. We’ve all heard this basic, fundamental calculation regarding weight loss and weight gain. To lose weight, we must expend more calories than we take in. Consume more than you need, and the result? The pounds go on. Turns out, lack of sleep may increase daily calorie consumption, and contribute to weight gain.

There is a tremendous amount of evidence that sleep plays an important role in weight management. Insufficient sleep is strongly linked to obesity and metabolic ...

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Alzheimer’s and the Sleep Cycle

It is well-known that people with Alzheimer’s have difficulty with sleep. One of the areas the disease attacks is the sleep/wake center of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This results in severe problems with the timing of falling asleep and waking up – thus the link between Alzheimer’s and the sleep cycle. This can become maddening for family members and caregivers trying to cope with nighttime wanderings and people who sleep most of the day.

Interestingly, several recent ...

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