Highlights from the October Issue of the Journal SLEEP Include Studies Relating to Obesity, Sleep Apnea, and Pregnancy
WESTCHESTER, Ill., Oct. 3 -- Highlights from the Oct. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP include the following findings:
Middle-Age Adults Who Sleep Less Are More Likely to be Obese
Adults between 32 and 49 years of age with self-reported sleep durations of less than seven hours per night have higher average body mass indexes and are more likely to be obese than those with sleep durations of seven hours. The study results remained significant even after controlling for potentially confounding variables such as depression, physical activity, and ethnicity. “The results from this study suggest that sleep deprivation could play a significant role in the etiology of obesity in some individuals,” the authors write.
Treating Sleep Apnea Halts the Progressive Increase in Patient Healthcare Costs
Results of a study show that overall physician visits and fees increase in the five years leading up to a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and then decrease over the next five years of treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). The largest drop in visits and fees occurs during the second year of treatment. “CPAP results in a long-term health benefit, as measured by the use of healthcare services,” the authors write.
Snoring and Other Symptoms of Sleep-Disordered Breathing Increase during Pregnancy
Self-reported symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) increase during pregnancy and are associated with higher levels of daytime sleepiness, according to a study of 155 women. In addition to snoring, these symptoms include gasping, choking, and difficulty breathing. The results show more symptoms of SDB in women who have higher initial body mass indexes and who experience larger changes in neck circumference during pregnancy. “These results are important,” the authors write, “because they suggest that, during pregnancy, some women may develop OSA.”
Short Sleep Durations May Reflect Lifestyle Choices Instead of Natural Sleep Needs
The short sleep durations of many young adults do not reflect a need for less sleep, resulting instead in significant sleep debts, according to a study of 17 volunteers between 18 and 32 years of age. On the first day of extended 12-hour nocturnal and four-hour midday sleep opportunities, the total sleep time for volunteers increased by an average of 4.9 hours. Participants with shorter habitual sleep durations fell asleep more quickly and more often during testing than those with longer habitual durations. “These results have wide-ranging implications because of the documented adverse effects of sleep restriction,” the authors write.
Caring for a Spouse with Alzheimer’s Disease Affects Sleep Quality and Duration
The spouses of patients with more severe Alzheimer’s disease (AD) report significantly more sleep problems and more functional impairment due to poor sleep than controls. These caregivers report poorer subjective ratings of sleep quality, daytime dysfunction and total impairment resulting from sleepiness. “The caregivers of patients with moderate to severe AD may be at greater risk for other behavioral and health-related consequences,” the authors write.
SLEEP is the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.
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