Health Risks of Long-Term Sleep Deprivation

Lost sleep causes more than just bags under your eyes.

Getting enough sleep is a basic human need that all too often gets overlooked in the rush to squeeze more hours into the day. Ignoring that need, however, can lead to serious health consequences: Sleep deprivation jeopardizes your safety, ability to concentrate, mental stability, and long-term well-being.

“The more people look into it, the more they find significant health problems associated with a lack of sleep,” said William Kohler, MD, medical director ...

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ER Visits Tied to Ambien on the Rise

Adverse reactions to popular sleep meds rose almost 220 percent between 2005 and 2010, study finds.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of emergency-room visits related to sleep medications such as Ambien, according to a new U.S. study.

Adverse reactions to zolpidem — the active ingredient in the sleep aids Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar and Zolpimist — rose almost 220 percent between 2005 and 2010, researchers from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found.

The study ...

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Caffeine Really Does Help Truck Drivers Avoid Crashes, Study Finds

A study of Australian truck drivers has found that caffeine greatly reduced the number of car accidents caused by fatigue.

Some people skip caffeine because it causes them to “crash.” But for truck drivers, a new study suggests caffeine may be the secret to steering clear of a crash.

Truck drivers who typically consumed caffeine were far less likely than other drivers to be involved in traffic accidents, according to an Australian study in the British Medical Journal that controlled for ...

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‘Violent Behavior’ Occurs in Many Adult Sleepwalkers, Study Finds

Those with disorder risk injury, fatigue and other health problems, researchers report.

Adults don’t always outgrow sleepwalking, and among those who don’t, 58 percent may become violent and sometimes injure either themselves or their sleeping partner, a new study shows.

Not only that, these sleepwalkers suffer a host of health problems during their waking hours, the researchers noted.

“Daytime sleepiness is a frequent problem in adults affected with sleepwalking,” said study author Dr. Yves Dauvilliers, director of the sleep lab at Gui-de-Chauliac Hospital ...

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‘Highway Hypnosis’: Train Crash Is Clear Case of Sleep Deprivation, Experts Say

News reports say that William Rockefeller, the driver of the train wreck, may have experienced “highway hypnosis,” but experts say that’s really just a way to say he was sleep-deprived, likely due to his odd work hours

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2013 — On Sunday, a Metro-North train took a turn at 82 miles per hour — nearly three times the 30 MPH speed limit — and derailed, killing four passengers and injuring more than 60 others. As the victims’ families ...

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Toddler Snoring May Lead to Unruly Behavior

Loud snoring, which occurs in nine percent of children two to three years of age, related to behavior problems.

Persistent snoring in preschoolers, which puts them at risk for worse behavior, is most common in children in poorer families and in those breastfed for short times or not at all, a prospective study showed.

After adjustment for demographic variables, frequent snoring was significantly associated with socioeconomic status and duration of breastfeeding, according to Dean W. Beebe, PhD, of the University of Cincinnati ...

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Poor Sleep Hampers Vaccine Effectiveness

Adults who slept less than six hours nightly weren’t adequately protected from virus.

Lack of sleep can reduce the effectiveness of vaccinations, according to a new study.

Researchers measured the sleep patterns of 125 adults who received the three-shot course of the vaccine to protect against hepatitis B. The immune systems of participants who slept less produced fewer antibodies in response to the vaccine and blood tests showed that they did not meet the standard of protection from the virus.

People who slept ...

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Bad Sleep Tied to Cognitive Decline

Three different studies all support the concept that sleep disturbances are associated with cognitive decline among older individuals.

Common sleep problems may be a sign of impending cognitive decline or even Alzheimer’s disease, according to results of several studies reported here.

Sleeping too little or too much, abnormal breathing during sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness all were significantly associated with cognitive impairment — years later in some cases.

The studies were presented at a “featured research session” during the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference ...

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Short Sleep May Signal Stroke Risk

Chronically sleeping less than 6 hours per night significantly increased the rate of stroke symptoms among middle-age to older individuals of normal weight who had low risk of sleep-disordered breathing.

People who habitually sleep less than 6 hours appear to be at risk of developing symptoms that may predict future stroke, researchers reported here at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Study participants with normal body mass indices (BMIs) who slept less than 6 hours a night had a ...

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Too Little Sleep Makes Jack a Dull Surgeon

More than one quarter of surgeons reported being “impaired” as a result of being tired.

Despite new limits on resident work hours almost half of the orthopedic residents at two of Harvard’s hospitals said they were fatigued during work hours, and 27 percent said they were impaired by lack of sleep.

Moreover, the doctors-in-training said they average just a little over 5 hours’ sleep daily during work weeks, Frank McCormick, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues reported in the May 21 ...

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