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Risk Of Motor Vehicle Accidents In Adolescents Increased By Sleep Problems And Sleepiness

A study in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that sleepiness at the wheel and poor sleep quality significantly increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents in adolescents. Results indicate that adolescent drivers were twice as likely to have had a crash if they experienced sleepiness while driving (adjusted odds ratio = 2.1) or reported having bad sleep (OR = 1.9). Eighty of the 339 students had already crashed at least once, and 15 percent of them considered sleepiness to have been the main cause of the crash. Fifty-six percent of students who had at least one previous crash reported driving while sleepy, compared with 35 percent of subjects who had not been in a crash.

Study Identifies That Multiple Risk Factors Existed In 78 Percent Of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Cases

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) continues to be the third leading cause of infant death, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), despite a decline in SIDS that is associated with a rise in safe-sleep practices for newborns and infants. A new study by Barbara M. Ostfeld, PhD and Thomas Hegyi, MD, professors in the Department of Pediatrics at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has identified that more than 96 percent of infants who died of SIDS were exposed to known risk factors, among them sleeping on their side or stomach, or exposure to tobacco smoke, and that 78 percent of SIDS cases contained multiple risk factors.

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Frequency Of Nightmare Recall Decreased By Severe Sleep Apnea

A study in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) report a significantly lower frequency of nightmares than patients with mild or no sleep apnea, indicating that OSA suppresses the cognitive experience of nightmare recall. Results show that the percent of participants with frequent nightmare recall decreased linearly as sleep apnea severity increased. Frequent nightmare recall, occurring at least weekly, was reported by 71.4 percent of people who did not have OSA and 43.2 percent of patients with mild OSA, which was defined as an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of five to less than 15 breathing pauses per hour of sleep.

Healthy Adults May Need Less Sleep As They Age According To Study

A study in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP suggests that healthy older adults without sleep disorders can expect to have a reduced "sleep need" and to be less sleepy during the day than healthy young adults. Results show that during a night of eight hours in bed, total sleep time decreased significantly and progressively with age. Older adults slept about 20 minutes less than middle-aged adults, who slept 23 minutes less than young adults. The number of awakenings and the amount of time spent awake after initial sleep onset increased significantly with age, and the amount of time spent in deep, slow-wave sleep decreased across age groups.

Wakeful Resting Linked To Improved Memory

New research from the US shows that resting while awake appears to strengthen memory, revealing new insights into how forms of rest other than sleep, affect the memory consolidation process. The findings suggest that even though it may not look like it, when we rest while awake, our brains are still working, something we may find hard to accept in an information technological world that is on the go 24/7. You can read about the findings of the study, by Dr Lila Davachi, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science at New York University, and colleagues, in the 28 January issue of the journal Neuron.

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What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSA ?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition which causes interruptions in breathing during sleep. It is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep as the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airway. In obstructive sleep apnea, breathing is interrupted by a physical block to airflow, despite the effort to breathe. The most noticeable sign of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring. However, not everyone who has OSA snores. According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is: " a disorder, first described in 1965, characterized by recurrent interruptions of breathing during sleep due to temporary obstruction of the airway by lax, excessively bulky, or malformed pharyngeal tissues (soft palate, uvula, and sometimes tonsils), with resultant hypoxemia and chronic lethargy.

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