Archive for the ‘insomnia and sleep issues’ Category

Resilience through Sleep

June 12, 2015 Comments off

Resilience through Sleep
Source: Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy

The functions of sleep have been an ongoing question for clinicians and researchers interested in the sleeping brain. Historically, sleep was considered as a general restorative process where the brain and the body were mostly inactive. This concept had to be revised first when “paradoxical sleep”, also known as rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep was discovered with the surprising observation of an intense activation in the polysomnographic signal while the sleeper appeared completely inactive physically, a sleep stage also named rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM) [1]. Subsequent studies have shown that REM and non-REM sleep states contribute to the homeostasis in functions such as emotion regulation and learning and memory, as well as cardiovascular, metabolic, and immune functions [2]. An interesting suggestion about the possible function of REM sleep has been proposed [3]. Using a computer model, these authors suggest that one mechanism of REM sleep is to remove certain mode of interactions between neurons, a process they named “reverse learning” or “unlearning”. These authors discussed that one function of REM sleep could be to “forget” irrelevant information as well as to remember relevant information for survival and adaptation. Using polysomnography in humans [4,5], proposed that slow-wave-sleep (SWS) is important for cortical pruning, a process essential to neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the molecular and cellular changes in neuronal networks occurring in response to inputs from the environment. Such a neurophysiologic process is an important part of learning, memory and adaptation mechanisms.

Health problems and stress in Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing employees

June 5, 2015 Comments off

Health problems and stress in Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing employees
Source: Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences

Stress is high in software profession because of their nature of work, target, achievements, night shift, over work load. 1. To study the demographic profile of the employees. 2. To access the level of job stress and quality of life of the respondents. 3. To study in detail the health problems of the employees. All employees working in IT and BPO industry for more than two years were included into the study. A detailed questionnaire of around 1000 IT and BPO employees including their personal details, stress score by Holmes and Rahe to assess the level of stress and master health checkup profile were taken and the results were analysed. Around 56% had musculoskeletal symptoms. 22% had newly diagnosed hypertension,10% had diabetes, 36% had dyslipidemia, 54% had depression, anxiety and insomnia, 40% had obesity. The stress score was higher in employees who developed diabetes, hypertension and depression. Early diagnosis of stress induced health problems can be made out by stress scores, intense lifestyle modification, diet advice along with psychological counselling would reduce the incidence of health problems in IT sector and improve the quality of work force.

Sleep in the Military: Promoting Healthy Sleep Among U.S. Servicemembers

April 14, 2015 Comments off

Sleep in the Military: Promoting Healthy Sleep Among U.S. Servicemembers
Source: RAND Corporation

Sleep disturbances are a common reaction to stress and are linked to a host of physical and mental health problems. Given the unprecedented demands placed on U.S. military forces since 2001, there has been growing concern about the prevalence and consequences of sleep problems for servicemembers. Sleep problems often follow a chronic course, persisting long after servicemembers return home from combat deployments, with consequences for their reintegration and the readiness and resiliency of the force. Therefore, it is critical to understand the role of sleep problems in servicemembers’ health and functioning and the policies and programs available to promote healthy sleep. This report provides the first comprehensive review of sleep-related policies and programs across the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), along with a set of actionable recommendations for DoD, commanders, researchers, and medical professionals who treat U.S. servicemembers. The two-year multimethod study also examined the rates and correlates of sleep problems among post-deployed servicemembers, finding negative effects on mental health, daytime impairment, and perceived operational readiness. The research reviewed evidence-based interventions to treat sleep disturbances among servicemembers and veterans and exposed several individual- and system-level barriers to achieving healthy sleep. Implementing evidence-based treatments is just one step toward improving sleep across the force; as the research recommendations highlight, it is equally important that policies and programs also focus on preventing sleep problems and their consequences.

Publication analysis on insomnia: how much has been done in the past two decades?

March 30, 2015 Comments off

Publication analysis on insomnia: how much has been done in the past two decades?
Source: Sleep Medicine

Insomnia has been a rising public concern in recent years. As one example of a multidisciplinary topic, the theme of insomnia research has gradually shifted over time; however, there is very little quantitative characterization of the research trends in insomnia. The current study aims to quantitatively analyze trends in insomnia publications for the past 20 years. We retrospectively analyzed insomnia-related publications retrieved from PubMed and Google Scholar between 1994 and 2013, and to analyze insomnia-related publications from different perspectives. We investigated the major areas of research focus for insomnia, journal characteristics, as well as trends in clinical management and treatment modalities. The resulting 5,841 publications presented an exponential growth trend over the past two decades, with mean annual growth rates at nearly 10% for each publication type. Analysis of major research focuses indicated that depression, hypnotics and sedatives, questionnaires, and polysomnography are the most common topics at present. Furthermore, we found that while studies on drug therapy and adverse effects decreased in the most recent 5 years, the greatest expansion of insomnia publications were in the areas of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia and alternative therapies. Collectively, insomnia publications present a continuous trend of increase. While sedative and hypnotic drugs dominated the treatment of insomnia, non-pharmacological therapies may have great potential for advancement in future years. Future research effort is warranted for novel tools and clinical trials, especially on insomnia treatments with inadequate evidence or not-yet-clear efficacy and side effects.

Comparison of Two Watch Schedules for Personnel at the White House Military Office President’s Emergency Operations Center

March 30, 2015 Comments off

Comparison of Two Watch Schedules for Personnel at the White House Military Office President’s Emergency Operations Center
Source: Human Factors

The aim of this study was to assess effectiveness of an alternative, 24-hr-on/72-hr-off watchstanding schedule on sleep and morale of personnel assigned to the President’s Emergency Operations Center (PEOC).

As part of the White House Military Office, PEOC personnel historically worked a 12-hr “Panama” watch schedule. Personnel reported experiencing chronic insufficient and disrupted sleep patterns and sought advice for improving their watchstanding schedule.

Participants (N = 14 active-duty military members, ages 29 to 42 years) completed the Profile of Mood State (POMS) three times: before, during, and after switching to the alternative schedule with 5-hr sleep periods built into their workday. Participants completed a poststudy questionnaire to assess individual schedule preferences. Sleep was measured actigraphically, supplemented by activity logs.

As indicated by POMS scores, mood improved significantly on the new schedule. Although average total sleep amount did not change substantively, the timing of sleep was more consistent on the new schedule, resulting in better sleep hygiene. PEOC personnel overwhelmingly preferred the new schedule, reporting not only that they felt more rested but that the new schedule was more conducive to the demands of family life.

Demands of family life and time spent commuting were found to be critical factors for acceptance of the alternative schedule. This new schedule will be most effective if personnel adhere to the scheduled rest periods assigned during their 24-hr duty.

A successful schedule should avoid conflicts between social life and operational demands. Results may lead to changes in the work schedules of other departments with similar 24/7 responsibilities.

National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary

February 4, 2015 Comments off

National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary
Source: Sleep Health

The objective was to conduct a scientifically rigorous update to the National Sleep Foundation’s sleep duration recommendations.

The National Sleep Foundation convened an 18-member multidisciplinary expert panel, representing 12 stakeholder organizations, to evaluate scientific literature concerning sleep duration recommendations. We determined expert recommendations for sufficient sleep durations across the lifespan using the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method.

The panel agreed that, for healthy individuals with normal sleep, the appropriate sleep duration for newborns is between 14 and 17 hours, infants between 12 and 15 hours, toddlers between 11 and 14 hours, preschoolers between 10 and 13 hours, and school-aged children between 9 and 11 hours. For teenagers, 8 to 10 hours was considered appropriate, 7 to 9 hours for young adults and adults, and 7 to 8 hours of sleep for older adults.

Sufficient sleep duration requirements vary across the lifespan and from person to person. The recommendations reported here represent guidelines for healthy individuals and those not suffering from a sleep disorder. Sleep durations outside the recommended range may be appropriate, but deviating far from the normal range is rare. Individuals who habitually sleep outside the normal range may be exhibiting signs or symptoms of serious health problems or, if done volitionally, may be compromising their health and well-being.

Fatigued Nurses: Assessing the Risk, Implementing the Defenses

February 2, 2015 Comments off

Fatigued Nurses: Assessing the Risk, Implementing the Defenses (PDF)
Source: Circadian

Sleep deprivation and fatigue are an ever-present challenge for health care workers. Thus far, most of the attention has been paid to sleep-deprived resident physicians and their increased risks of diagnostic errors, 1 needlestick injuries2 and complications in post-surgical patients, 3 which culminated in the 2011 decision by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to limit resident duty hours. 4 However, fatigue represents a similar high-risk occupational health and safety exposure for nurses.

Many factors are converging today to increase fatigue risks and costs in the nursing profession, and the need to address nurse fatigue has never been more urgent. The increasing cognitive skill demands of medical technology, the rapidly expanding patient loads resulting from the enactment of national health care, and the need to retain experienced nurses in the workforce make addressing fatigue, and sustaining nurse alertness and job performance around-the–clock, a vitally important issue.

Hat tip: IWS Documented News Service