Sleeping Pill Linked to Hospital Falls

Mayo Clinic phasing out Ambien because of study findings.

The sleep drug Ambien (zolpidem) greatly increases hospital patients’ risk of falling, a new study finds.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., looked at data on more than 16,000 hospitalized patients and found that the fall rate for those who took Ambien was more than four times higher than for those who did not take the drug — just over 3 percent compared with 0.7 percent.

Ambien is a commonly used sleep ...

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Sleep Positioners Linked to Infant Suffocation

These devices endanger babies’ lives and should not be used, U.S. agencies warn.

Parents should not use commercially available “infant sleep positioners” unless they are prescribed by their pediatrician. The devices have been associated with suffocation deaths, U.S. health officials warn.

The U.S. Centers of Disease and Prevention released a report detailing one such case and including findings from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which has documented 13 deaths linked to infant sleep positioners in a 13-year period.

“Infant sleep positioners pose ...

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Sleep Meds Linked to Hip Fractures in Nursing Home Residents

Researchers linked the class of sleeping pills that includes Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata to a higher risk for hip fractures in a new study, but experts say insomnia and a poor sleep environment may be to blame, not the sleep drugs.

Some sleep-inducing medications may be tied to an increased risk of hip fractures, according to a study published today in the the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

A research team led by Sarah D. Berry, M.D., M.P.H., of Harvard ...

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Sleep May Be Brain’s ‘Cleaning’ Time, Mouse Study Suggests

Is waste-removal system at work during slumber?

Why do humans need sleep? That age-old question may have an answer, with scientists finding that slumber seems to help the brain clear away potentially harmful waste that builds up during the day.

The new study of mice found that by “taking out the trash” during sleep, the brain clears away toxins thought to be responsible for brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

“This study shows that the brain has different functional states when asleep and ...

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Sleep May Aid in Brain Repair, Mouse Study Finds

Meanwhile, sleep deprivation appeared to harm brain cells

The reproduction of cells involved in brain repair is boosted during sleep, according to a new study of mice.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, found that sleep increases the process by which certain cells, known as oligodendrocytes, form myelin. Myelin is the insulation on nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that allows electrical impulses to move rapidly from one cell to another.

In conducting the study, published in the Sept. 4 ...

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Sleep Affects Concussion-Testing Results, Study Finds

Athletes with the least shuteye had lower baseline scores.

Getting too little sleep the night before undergoing baseline concussion testing can skew results, a new study finds.

Baseline concussion testing depicts an athlete’s basic mental abilities, such as reaction time, working memory and attention span. Athletes who suffer a concussion retake the test, and if there is a large decrease in the score, they are typically banned from play until their score improves.

The study included more than 3,600 high school- and college-aged ...

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Poor Nutrition Can Bite Into Your Sleep

People with most varied diets are also best-rested, study finds.

What you eat can affect how well you sleep, according to a new study.

Researchers found that certain nutrients may play a role in sleep duration. And they also concluded that people who eat a wide variety of foods (an indicator of an overall healthy diet) had the healthiest sleep patterns.

“Although many of us inherently recognize that there is a relationship between what we eat and how we sleep, there have been ...

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Looking Sleepy Speaks Volumes, Study Says

Others may misjudge you because of your droopy eyelids, hangdog expression

Every face tells a story, and when you’ve had too little sleep the world sees it in technicolor, a new study suggests. What’s more, those red, puffy eyes and sagging eyelids likely influence what people think of you, the researchers say.

So, the next time you’re tempted to pull an all-nighter, consider that “other people might treat you differently because of the way you look when you haven’t slept,” said lead ...

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Live Longer With Enough Sleep

In our culture, we tend to value the ability to function on few hours of sleep. But not getting enough sleep can lead to health problems and even shorten your life.

There are an endless number of pursuits that make us want to push our bedtime later and later, from work to Facebook to our favorite TV shows. Making a habit of skimping on sleep can have a huge impact on health and even lead to a shorter life.

Studies have consistently ...

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Light Sleepers Vs. Heavy Sleepers

What makes someone a light sleeper, and how you can enjoy a deeper, heavier sleep? You’ll rest easy after learning these simple tips.

For some people, the slightest noise awakens them at night. For others, the wailing siren of a passing fire truck doesn’t disturb their slumber. Just why, though, remains a bit of a mystery.

Although many people are self-proclaimed light sleepers or heavy sleepers, researchers have found that little is actually known about why people react differently to noises and ...

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