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Monthly Archives: September 2014

  • National Sleep Foundation Pushing for Drowsy Driving Laws

    In an effort to put a stop to the rising number of automobile accidents that police reports indicate are due to drowsy driving, the National Sleep Foundation is pushing to create legislation to increase awareness and create a higher level of responsibility for the problem. Though most people are familiar with drowsy driving, and may confess to having fallen asleep behind the wheel themselves, the issue has not commanded the type of attention that drunk driving does, so the NSF has decided to take action. This week they introduced the Drowsy Driving Reduction Act of 2015 and distributed its details to the transportation chairs of the House and Senate of every state in the country. Continue reading

  • Rebranding Sleep

    As sleep scientists learn more and more about sleep and its importance, it is becoming increasingly clear that the need for it is very real, and the absence of quality and quantity sleep poses a danger to our well being.  Sleep serves a number of vital purposes, from restoring and rejuvenating the brain and body to providing us with the physical and mental health to overcome disease and elevate our moods. But because sleep has traditionally been viewed as a sort of luxury – an option that we can choose whether to prioritize or not – we have slowly chipped away at our society’s sleep health until we have reached the point where we are chronically sleep deprived. According to a National Sleep Foundation Survey, nearly 40% of American adults accidentally fall asleep at least once per month and one in twenty do so while driving. Forty-five percent of America’s teens don’t get the sleep that they are supposed to, leaving a quarter of them nodding off in class and not much learning going on. Continue reading

  • Consistent Sleep Apnea Treatment Reverses Brain Damage

    A ground-breaking study into the impact of CPAP therapy for those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea has revealed that consistent use of the device can actually reverse white matter damage that has occurred in the brain and return those who have suffered apnea-related brain damage to their original function.

    The study was conducted by scientists from the Sleep Disorders Center at San Raffaele Hospital and Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, Italy, and its results were published in the September issue of the journal Sleep.  According to lead author, clinical psychologist and principal investigator Vincenza Castronovo, PhD, “ Structural neural injury of the brain of obstructive sleep apnea patients is reversible with effective treatment. Treatment with CPAP, if patients are adherent to therapy, is effective for normalizing the brain structure.” Continue reading

  • Couples Sleep Better, But May Need to Adapt

    One of the little-known benefits of marriage is that it’s been scientifically proven that couples have healthier sleep and better quality sleep. Though the reason behind this isn’t clear, sleep experts believe that marriage stabilizes sleep routines and that couples tend to keep each other in line regarding the times that they go to sleep and the times that they wake up. But what about couples that sleep on different schedules? What happens when an early bird marries a night owl, or work schedules are in conflict? Continue reading

  • Believing You Slept Poorly Impacts Performance

    It is widely known and accepted that the human body requires somewhere between 7 and nine hours of sleep per night, and that failure to get that amount of sleep can have a significant impact on our mood, our health, our performance on physical and cognitive tests, and more. But a new study out of Colorado College has indicated that in addition to lack of sleep impacting us negatively, the mere belief that we did not get the sleep that we need is enough to effect our performance. Continue reading

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