WBEZ | sleep http://www.wbez.org/tags/sleep Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Lack of Deep Sleep May Set the Stage for Alzheimer's http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-edition/2016-01-04/lack-deep-sleep-may-set-stage-alzheimers-114356 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/i-7k2bqk2-x3-a0b22475d71cf07830204fc88154f8fba8809588-s800-c85 (1).jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res460845431" previewtitle="Jeffrey Iliff (right) and Bill Rooney, brain scientists at Oregon Health &amp; Science University, look over an MRI. The school has an especially sensitive MRI unit that should be able to detect precisely when during sleep the brain is being cleansed of toxins."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Jeffrey Iliff (right) and Bill Rooney, brain scientists at Oregon Health &amp; Science University, look over an MRI. The school has an especially sensitive MRI unit that should be able to detect precisely when during sleep the brain is being cleansed of toxins." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/23/i-7k2bqk2-x3-a0b22475d71cf07830204fc88154f8fba8809588-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Jeffrey Iliff, right, and Bill Rooney, brain scientists at Oregon Health &amp; Science University, look over an MRI. The school has an especially sensitive MRI unit that should be able to detect precisely when during sleep the brain is being cleansed of toxins. (Courtesy of Oregon Health &amp; Science University)" /></div><div><div><p>There&#39;s growing evidence that a lack of sleep can leave the brain vulnerable to Alzheimer&#39;s disease.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;Changes in sleep habits may actually be setting the stage&quot; for dementia, says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ohsu.edu/academic/som/ngp/faculty-profile.cfm?facultyID=869">Jeffrey Iliff</a>, a brain scientist at Oregon Health &amp; Science University in Portland.</p><p>The brain appears to clear out toxins linked to Alzheimer&#39;s during sleep, Iliff explains. And, at least among research animals that don&#39;t get enough solid shut-eye, those toxins can build up and damage the brain.</p><p>Iliff and other scientists at OHSU are about to launch a study of people that should clarify the link between sleep problems and Alzheimer&#39;s disease in humans.</p><p>It has been clear for decades that there is some sort of link. Sleep disorders are very common among people with Alzheimer&#39;s disease.</p><p>For a long time, researchers thought this was simply because the disease was &quot;taking out the centers of the brain that are responsible for regulating sleep,&quot; Iliff says. But two recent discoveries have suggested the relationship may be more complicated.</p><p>The first finding emerged in 2009, when researchers at Washington University in St. Louis&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2789838/">showed</a>&nbsp;that the sticky&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/part-2-what-happens-brain-ad/hallmarks-ad">amyloid plaques</a>&nbsp;associated with Alzheimer&#39;s develop more quickly in the brains of sleep-deprived mice.</p><p>Then, in 2013, Iliff was a member of a team that discovered&nbsp;how&nbsp;a lack of sleep could be speeding the development of those Alzheimer&#39;s plaques: A remarkable cleansing process takes place in the brain during deep sleep, at least in animals.</p><p>What happens, Iliff says, is &quot;the fluid that&#39;s normally on the outside of the brain, cerebrospinal fluid &mdash; it&#39;s a clean, clear fluid &mdash; it actually begins to recirculate back into and through the brain along the outsides of blood vessels.&quot;</p><p>This process, via what&#39;s known as the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/labs/nedergaard-lab/projects/glymphatic_system">glymphatic system</a>, allows the brain to clear out toxins, including the toxins that form Alzheimer&#39;s plaques, Iliff says.</p><p>&quot;That suggests at least one possible way that disruption in sleep may predispose toward Alzheimer&#39;s disease,&quot; he says.</p><div id="res460845321" previewtitle="Jeffrey Iliff (left), a brain scientist at Oregon Health &amp; Science University, has been studying toxin removal in the brains of mice. He'll work with Bill Rooney, director of the university's Advanced Imaging Research Center, to enroll people in a similar study in 2016."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Jeffrey Iliff (left), a brain scientist at Oregon Health &amp; Science University, has been studying toxin removal in the brains of mice. He'll work with Bill Rooney, director of the university's Advanced Imaging Research Center, to enroll people in a similar study in 2016." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/23/mri-alzheimers-2_custom-bd8342b65cfd3f1b591bc9e64f04f7796cebc637-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 216px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Jeffrey Iliff, left, a brain scientist at Oregon Health &amp; Science University, has been studying toxin removal in the brains of mice. He'll work with Bill Rooney, director of the university's Advanced Imaging Research Center, to enroll people in a similar study in 2016. (Courtesy of Oregon Health &amp; Science University)" /></div><div><div><p>To know for sure, though, researchers will have to study this cleansing process in people, which won&#39;t be easy.</p></div></div></div><p>Iliff studied the glymphatic system in living mice by looking through a window created in the skull. The system also involved a powerful laser and state-of-the-art microscope.</p><p>With people, &quot;we have to find a way to see the same sort of function, but in a way that is going to be reasonably noninvasive and safe,&quot; he says.</p><p>The solution may involve one of the world&#39;s most powerful magnetic resonance imaging machines, which sits in a basement at OHSU. The MRI&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/research/centers-institutes/airc/airc-7t-instrument.cfm">unit</a>&nbsp;is so sensitive, it should be able to detect changes that indicate precisely&nbsp;when&nbsp;the glymphatic system gets switched on in a person&#39;s brain, says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/research/centers-institutes/airc/faculty-staff/bill-rooney.cfm">Bill Rooney</a>, who directs the university&#39;s Advanced Imaging Research Center.</p><p>When humans enter deep sleep, and toxin removal begins, there should be a particular change in the signal coming from certain salt molecules. That would indicate that fluid has begun moving freely through the brain.</p><p>In young, healthy brains, the signal should be &quot;robust,&quot; Rooney says, indicating that the toxin removal system is working well. In the brains of older people, and those who are likely to develop Alzheimer&#39;s, the signal should be weaker.</p><p>Rooney and Iliff have received&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pgafamilyfoundation.org/news/news-articles/2015-news-items/adi-alzheimers-press-release">funding</a>&nbsp;from the Paul G. Allen Foundation to test their approach. They hope to begin scanning the brains of participants within a year.</p><p>One challenge, though, will be finding people able to fall asleep in the cramped and noisy tunnel of the magnetic resonance machine.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a tricky thing because it&#39;s a small space,&quot; Rooney says. &quot;But we&#39;ll make people as comfortable as possible, and we&#39;ll just follow them as they go through these natural stages of sleep.&quot;</p><p>If Rooney and Iliff are right, the experiment will greatly strengthen the argument that a lack of sleep can lead to Alzheimer&#39;s disease. It might also provide a way to identify people whose health is at risk because they aren&#39;t getting enough deep sleep, and it could pave the way to new treatments.</p><p>&quot;It could be anything from having people exercise more regularly, or new drugs,&quot; Rooney says. &quot;A lot of the sleep aids don&#39;t particularly focus on driving people to deep sleep stages.&quot;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/01/04/460620606/lack-of-deep-sleep-may-set-the-stage-for-alzheimers?ft=nprml&amp;f=460620606" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 04 Jan 2016 10:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-edition/2016-01-04/lack-deep-sleep-may-set-stage-alzheimers-114356 How Do Successful People's Sleep Patterns Compare to the Average American? http://www.wbez.org/news/science/how-do-successful-peoples-sleep-patterns-compare-average-american-114283 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gettyimages-482184469_wide-6efbbf06bb00baca8dfe58b136371fa0fc790a9f-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res460935701" previewtitle="How do successful people's sleep patterns compare to average people?"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="How do successful people's sleep patterns compare to average people?" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/24/gettyimages-482184469_wide-6efbbf06bb00baca8dfe58b136371fa0fc790a9f-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="How do successful people's sleep patterns compare to average people? (Seb Oliver/Getty Images/Cultura RF)" /></div><div><div><p>Are successful people&#39;s sleep patterns giving them a leg-up on average people?</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;Successful&quot; people get more shut-eye than you might expect, with more than 50 percent of 21 surveyed clocking in at 6-8 hours every night.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.homearena.co.uk/kc/tips/sleep-patterns-of-21-winners/">An infographic put together by a U.K. furniture store called HomeArena</a>&nbsp;(which coincidentally sells mattresses) shows the sleep routines of 21 political leaders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, media moguls and TV personalities.</p><p>There&#39;s a serious range here &mdash; from Winston Churchill&#39;s nightly five hours to Ellen DeGeneres&#39; more luxurious eight hours.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.homearena.co.uk/kc/tips/sleep-patterns-of-21-winners" target="_blank">Take a look</a>.</p><div id="res460929739">&nbsp;</div><p>The average amount of sleep per night from these successful people is 6.6 hours. So how does that compare to those of us who are not world leaders or titans of industry?</p><p>Turns out, the difference is pretty negligible &mdash; the &quot;successful&quot; people get 12 minutes less than the average American. According to<a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/166553/less-recommended-amount-sleep.aspx">&nbsp;this 2013 Gallup poll,&nbsp;</a>the average American gets 6.8 hours of sleep every night.</p><p>So it appears hard to link &quot;success&quot; to any particular sleep pattern. Both the successful people and the average Joes are getting less sleep on average than what experts typically recommend, which is seven to nine hours for adults, Gallup says.</p><p>Here are a few other interesting sleep-facts from that Gallup poll:</p><blockquote><ul><li>Americans are getting far less sleep than they used to.&nbsp;In 1942, the average American used to get 7.9 hours of sleep per night on average &mdash; over an hour more than they do now.</li><li>Americans think they need more sleep.&nbsp;&quot;43 percent say they would feel better if they got more sleep,&quot; according to Gallup.</li><li>Older Americans sleep the most.&nbsp;67 percent of adults over 65 told Gallup that they sleep more than seven hours every night. Sleeping the least are people with less than $30,000 annual household income, people that have children under 18, and 18 to 29 year olds.</li></ul></blockquote><p>Another recent poll, this one by the Time Use Survey, found that the average American adult slept 8 hours and 45 minutes every day. That&#39;s a lot more than the Gallup poll&mdash;but it also included naps and &quot;pre-sleep activities,&quot;&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/06/18/the-average-american-gets-nearly-nine-hours-of-sleep-each-day-yes-you-read-that-right/">The Washington Post reported.</a></p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/24/460929475/how-do-successful-peoples-sleep-patterns-compare-to-the-average-american?ft=nprml&amp;f=460929475" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 24 Dec 2015 12:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/science/how-do-successful-peoples-sleep-patterns-compare-average-american-114283 As Aging Brain's Internal Clock Fades, a New Timekeeper May Kick-In http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-edition/2015-12-24/aging-brains-internal-clock-fades-new-timekeeper-may-kick-114282 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/sleepinggrandma-10333730926eaf0fc16cc4d1e74d4884c01583db.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res460597648" previewtitle="Age takes a toll on our internal clocks."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Age takes a toll on our internal clocks." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/21/sleepinggrandma_custom-67a7e6cfd11a886ca1c64626cd444d76894ddf06-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Age takes a toll on our internal clocks. (Universal Stopping Point Photography/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>Ever notice the catnaps that older relatives take in the middle of the day? Or how grandparents tend to be early risers?</p></div></div></div><p>You&#39;re not alone.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mcclung.pitt.edu/Home.html">Colleen McClung</a>&nbsp;did, too. A neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, McClung wanted to know what was going on in the brain that changes people&#39;s daily rhythms as they age.</p><p>We all have a set of so-called clock genes that keep us on a 24-hour cycle. In the morning they wind us up, and at night they help us wind down. A&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/early/recent">study out</a>&nbsp;Monday in <em>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</em>&nbsp;found that those genes might beat to a different rhythm in older folks.</p><p>&quot;When you think about the early bird dinner specials, it sort of fits in with their natural shift in circadian rhythms,&quot; says McClung. &quot;There is a core set of genes that has been described in every animal &mdash; every plant all the way down from fungus to humans &mdash; and they&#39;re pretty much the same set of genes.&quot;</p><div id="res460795347">The genes are the master controllers of a bunch of other genes that control processes ranging from metabolism to sleep. When you woke up this morning, the timekeeping genes told a gland in your brain to give a jolt of the stress hormone cortisol to wake up. Tonight, they&#39;ll tell a gland to spit out melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy.</div><p>&quot;You can think of them as sort of the conductor of an orchestra,&quot; says McClung. They make sure all the other genes keep time.</p><p>It&#39;s been known for a long time that older people experience disruptions in these rhythms. Their orchestras seem to go off the beat, but it isn&#39;t known why. So, McClung and her colleagues looked at brain tissue samples from about 150 people &mdash; some young, some old &mdash; taken immediately after death. The researchers determined which genes were expressed at the time of death in samples of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that sits right behind the forehead and is associated with memory and cognition.</p><p>&quot;What we found in this study was that as people get older, they tend to have a loss of rhythmicity in a number of these core clock genes,&quot; she says. It&#39;s likely throwing their timing out of whack. That finding was expected.</p><p>But they also found something else: another set of genes that seemed to pick up a rhythm, but only in older brains. That second set of genes, McClung speculates, might be working like a backup clock that starts ticking when the main one becomes less reliable.</p><p>If that&#39;s the case, it could be contributing to neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases that tend to set in later in life, many of which involve changes in the sleep-wake cycle.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re particularly interested in a condition called&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/expert-answers/sundowning/faq-20058511">sundowning</a>, where people become agitated and irritable and anxious only in the evening, and this is usually in older people that have dementia,&quot; McClung says. Their backup clock genes might not be kicking in correctly, she says.</p><p>&quot;You can imagine that things actually get weaker with age, but that things can get stronger with age is really exciting,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/research/centers-institutes/oregon-institute-occupational-health-sciences/research/kretzschmar-lab-page.cfm">Doris Kretzschmar</a>, a neuroscientist with the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences. She studies circadian rhythms in flies and wasn&#39;t involved in the McClung study.</p><p>&quot;These mechanisms are really, really well-conserved. In&nbsp;<em>Drosophila&nbsp;</em>and humans, it&#39;s the same four genes that regulate the core clock. Even plants have clocks,&quot; says Kretzschmar. When they&#39;re thrown off, whether it&#39;s in humans or animals, all sorts of things can go awry. Digestion can lose its regularity, behavioral patterns can change, and sleep and memory can be disrupted.</p><p>&quot;No one really knows why age increases the risk for diseases like Alzheimer&#39;s and Parkinson&#39;s. This could provide a mechanism for that,&quot; says Kretzschmar.</p><p>&quot;Right now all we can say is that they become rhythmic, but we don&#39;t know if that&#39;s important,&quot; says McClung.</p><p>To find out, McClung and her colleagues will have to figure out what exactly those genes do. For that, they&#39;ll need more brains &mdash; mouse brains this time.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/12/22/460333217/as-aging-brains-internal-clock-fades-a-new-timekeeper-may-kick-in?ft=nprml&amp;f=460333217" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 24 Dec 2015 11:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-edition/2015-12-24/aging-brains-internal-clock-fades-new-timekeeper-may-kick-114282 A Bad Night's Sleep Might Do More Harm Than You Think http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-12-10/bad-nights-sleep-might-do-more-harm-you-think-114132 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gettyimages-150089491-30_custom-1f81c395c710ac136ee31be423e8ea0b0cac3876-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res458191478" previewtitle="Scenes like this, from Kolkata, are typical across some of India's biggest cities."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Scenes like this, from Kolkata, are typical across some of India's biggest cities." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/02/gettyimages-150089491-30_custom-1f81c395c710ac136ee31be423e8ea0b0cac3876-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 407px; width: 620px;" title="Scenes like this, from Kolkata, are typical across some of India's biggest cities. (Dibyangshu Sarkar /AFP/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>It&#39;s 11 at night in a busy commercial section of Chennai, a city of nearly 5 million in Southern India. All around me people are sleeping in the open air.</p><p>Men are curled up in the back of rickshaw wagons. Entire families camp out in shelters made of cardboard and tarp. A woman in a blue sari smiles and waves for me to come over.</p></div></div></div><div id="res458162133" previewtitle="Jane Marlen von Rabenau, a research associate at the lab, displays sleep aids the team is testing on participants, including an eye mask, earplugs, a pillow and a blanket."><div><div><p>She tells me her name is Anjalai &mdash; like some in this part of India, she goes by only one name &mdash; and says she&#39;s got the most basic setup: a woven blue mat laid out on a patch of dirt by the side of the street.</p></div></div></div><p>I ask her, &quot;What&#39;s it like to sleep in this spot?&quot;</p><p>Her smile fades.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s difficult,&quot; says Anjalai. &quot;There&#39;s so much noise from vehicles coming through.&quot;</p><p>The traffic isn&#39;t the half of it. People have tapped the power lines to hook up televisions right on the street &mdash; the blare echoes late into the night. Drunks wander by, shouting incoherently. Loudest of all: the dogs.</p><p>This scene &mdash; masses of people sleeping by the side of a noisy road &mdash; is pretty typical across some of India&#39;s biggest cities. In fact you see it in low-income countries around the world.</p><p>So it&#39;s clear that poverty can lead to poor quality of sleep. But maybe there&#39;s more to the poverty/sleep relationship than that.</p><p>Just a few steps from Anjalai&#39;s spot is the office of an unusual social science lab that is testing an intriguing theory: Could the sleep deprivation experienced by so many poor people without a proper home actually be keeping them trapped in poverty?</p><p><a href="http://medicalethics.med.upenn.edu/people/faculty/heather-schofield">Heather Schofield</a>, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, helped found the lab in Chennai five years ago as a kind of base camp for on-the-ground research on the root causes of poverty. It&#39;s in a low-rise concrete building, just above a shop selling generators.</p><p>The more Schofield worked here &mdash; and saw all the people sleeping on the street &mdash; the more she started to wonder if one of those root causes of poverty might be lack of sleep.</p><p>&quot;What does that do to you?&quot; she wonders. &quot;If you&#39;re at the level where you are that exhausted, how can you possibly function to be productive, to make good choices?&quot;</p><p><a href="https://www.med.upenn.edu/uep/user_documents/dfd16.pdf">Lab studies</a>&nbsp;certainly suggest that getting too little sleep night after night can put a serious crimp in many of your brain functions. It&#39;s harder to keep focus, to remember things, to solve math problems. But Schofield says not much is known about the real-world impact that chronic sleep deprivation could have on how people make decisions.</p><p>&quot;Does it change your preference over having stuff now versus having things in the future? Does it change how risk-averse you are?&quot;</p><p>If so, adds Schofield, you might find it harder to resist buying drinks after work instead of saving your money. Or maybe being perpetually fatigued makes you avoid decisions altogether &mdash; like figuring out how to get training for better-paid work. Schofield has noticed that when she herself is tired, &quot;I&#39;ll kind of put off choices that I know I should be making because I just don&#39;t have the mental energy to ... deal with them.&quot;</p><p>So Schofield has been setting up an experiment. She&#39;s recruiting poor people from the neighborhood around the lab for tests: How quickly can they do a computer task? Will they agree to give up payment today in exchange for higher pay tomorrow? Will they join a savings program? And most important, does the outcome change if the participants get more sleep?</p><p><img alt="Jane Marlen von Rabenau, a research associate at the lab, displays sleep aids the team is testing on participants, including an eye mask, earplugs, a pillow and a blanket." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/02/2015-08-18-13.37.15-30_sq-6fc4f11347dcaa52bf76035ea75a1a245be503b4-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 310px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Jane Marlen von Rabenau, a research associate at the lab, displays sleep aids the team is testing on participants, including an eye mask, earplugs, a pillow and a blanket. (Nurith Aizenman/NPR)" /></p><p>But Schofield can&#39;t make any comparisons unless she finds a way to actually improve the participants&#39; sleep. Her team started by testing out sleep aids. A research associate, Jane Marlen von Rabenau, shows me a few when I stop in at the lab for a tour: a pillow, an eye mask, earplugs, mosquito repellent. The list goes on.</p><p>They seem popular with some of the study participants who drop by.</p><p>Krishnamurthy is a 38-year-old rickshaw driver. By day he delivers sacks of vegetables loaded onto the back of a wagon attached to a tricycle. At night, he says, he sleeps in the wagon. And he found the eye mask and earplugs quite helpful.</p><p>&quot;Before it would take me as long as two hours to fall asleep,&quot; he says. &quot;But if I wear these things, in half an hour or even 15 minutes I&#39;m asleep.&quot;</p><p>But the aids didn&#39;t work for everyone. So now the team is trying another option: naps. The researchers have set up cots in the office.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a total of 12 beds right now, with foam mattresses,&quot; says von Rabenau.</p><p>Schofield hopes to get preliminary results from that effort within a few weeks. But completing the full sleep study will take eight months to a year at the earliest &mdash; with an additional six months to analyze and publish the findings.</p><p><em>Editor&#39;s note:&nbsp;Heavy rains over the past two days have caused massive flooding across Chennai. The lab referenced in this story is located in one of the affected areas and has temporarily closed. This story was reported before those events.</em></p><p><em>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/12/02/458059941/a-bad-nights-sleep-might-do-more-harm-than-you-think?ft=nprml&amp;f=458059941" target="_blank">via NPR</a></em></p></p> Thu, 10 Dec 2015 16:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-12-10/bad-nights-sleep-might-do-more-harm-you-think-114132 Common ADHD Medications Do Indeed Disturb Children's Sleep http://www.wbez.org/news/common-adhd-medications-do-indeed-disturb-childrens-sleep-113922 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/adhd-sleep_custom-e9340e2576e9308325674866f871739028e579b2-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res457144752" previewtitle="Boy sleeping in bed"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Boy sleeping in bed" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/23/adhd-sleep_custom-e9340e2576e9308325674866f871739028e579b2-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="(iStockphoto)" /></div><div><p>For a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, meeting the daily expectations of home and school life can be a struggle that extends to bedtime. The stimulant medications commonly used to treat ADHD can cause difficulty falling and staying asleep, a study finds. And that can make the next day that much harder.</p></div></div><p>As parents are well aware, sleep affects a child&#39;s emotional and physical well-being, and it is no different for those with ADHD. &quot;Poor sleep makes ADHD symptoms worse,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://psychology.unl.edu/pediatrichealthlab/people">Katherine M. Kidwell</a>, a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who led the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/ADHD-Medications-Make-it-Harder-For-Children-to-Sleep.aspx">study</a>. &quot;When children with ADHD don&#39;t sleep well, they have problems paying attention the next day, and they are more impulsive and emotionally reactive.&quot;</p><p>Stimulant medications boost alertness, and some studies have found a detrimental effect on children&#39;s sleep. They include amphetamines such as Adderall and methylphenidate such as Ritalin. However, other studies have concluded that the stimulants&#39; ameliorating effects improve sleep.</p><p>To reconcile the mixed results on stimulants and children&#39;s sleep, Kidwell and her colleagues undertook a meta-analysis, a type of study that summarizes the results of existing research. The team found nine studies that met their criteria. These studies compared children who were taking stimulant medication with those who weren&#39;t. The studies also randomly assigned children to the experimental group or the control group and used objective measures of sleep quality and quantity, such as assessing sleep in a lab setting or with a wristwatch-like monitor at home rather than a parent&#39;s report.</p><p>Taking a stimulant medication leads to poor sleep overall for children, the researchers reported online Monday in&nbsp;Pediatrics. They found that the more doses of medication a child took per day, the longer it took for that child to fall asleep at night. The study suggests that extended-release versions of stimulants, which are taken once a day, have less of an impact on how long it takes to fall asleep than immediate-release formulas, which are sometimes taken three times a day, with the last dose close to bedtime.</p><p>Furthermore, the quality of sleep, or sleep efficiency &ndash; the percentage of time one is asleep while in bed &mdash; was worse for those on stimulant medications, although those kids who had been on the drugs longer fared better than those who had just begun taking the medication. There was also a gender difference, with boys on stimulant medication getting poorer quality sleep than girls.</p><p>Finally, stimulants reduced the total amount of sleep children got at night. &quot;Families and pediatricians need to be aware that sleep problems are a real effect of stimulant medication,&quot; says Kidwell.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s really good to see this,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="https://psychology.fiu.edu/faculty/william-pelham/">William E. Pelham</a>, a clinical psychologist and Director of the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University, who studies ADHD in children and adolescents. Pediatricians are often quick to prescribe a medication without adequate follow-up, he says, and &quot;assessing sleep side effects is important &mdash; it needs to be something that pediatricians routinely do.&quot;</p><p>For families, Kidwell says that the bedtime routines all parents use &mdash; reading stories, sharing news about the day, quiet activities like coloring&mdash;are very helpful for kids with ADHD too. &quot;But parents may need to provide more structure, support, and simpler reminders for children with ADHD.&quot;</p><p>Aimee Cunningham is a freelance science journalist based in the Washington, D.C., area.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/24/457137288/common-adhd-medications-do-indeed-disturb-childrens-sleep?ft=nprml&amp;f=457137288" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 12:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/common-adhd-medications-do-indeed-disturb-childrens-sleep-113922 Up late? Looks like our paleo ancestors didn't sleep much either http://www.wbez.org/news/science/late-looks-our-paleo-ancestors-didnt-sleep-much-either-113367 <p><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Oivind%20HovlandGetty%20ImagesIkon%20Images.jpg" style="height: 461px; width: 620px;" title="Oivind Hovland/Getty Images/Ikon Images" /></div><div><p>In America, it seems only unicorns get seven or eight hours of sleep a night, and the rest of us suffer. And no wonder; we bask in the night with screens and lights that could be cutting rest unnaturally short. But people may be meant to sleep as little as 6 1/2 hours nightly and were doing so long before the advent of electricity and smartphones, researchers say.</p><p>To find that out, they consulted with some of the few people on the planet who live roughly the same lifestyle humans did in the Paleolithic.</p><p>Psychiatrist and sleep researcher&nbsp;<a href="http://www.semel.ucla.edu/profile/jerome-siegel">Jerome Siegel</a>&nbsp;at UCLA started studying three different hunter-gatherer groups in Africa and South America. &quot;All three don&#39;t have any electricity, don&#39;t have any of the sort of modern electronic developments that many think have reduced our sleep,&quot; he says.</p><p>Those hunter-gatherers spent about seven or eight hours a night in bed, but they slept for just five to seven of those hours, according to the study, published Thursday in<em> Current Biology</em>. &quot;It&#39;s clear that the amount of sleep that all of these groups get is at the low end of what we&#39;d see in the United States today,&quot; Siegel says. Sleeping that little has been linked to everything from shorter life span to stomach problems and weight gain in industrial societies.</p><p>But unlike many people in the United States or Europe who sleep less than seven hours a night, members of the Hadza in Tanzania, San in Namibia, and Tsimane in Bolivia tend to be very healthy. There&#39;s virtually no obesity, many have very long lives, and nearly everyone in these societies does not have trouble sleeping. &quot;Approximately 20 percent of our population complains of chronic insomnia at some point,&quot; Siegel says. &quot;The two groups we quizzed on this don&#39;t have a word for insomnia.&quot;</p><p>That raises a lot of questions about why we think we need eight hours of shuteye. &quot;That classic teaching that adults need seven or eight hours of sleep has to do with population-based evidence,&quot; says Dr.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.med.upenn.edu/apps/faculty/index.php/g362/p15640">Indira Gurubhagavatula</a>, a sleep expert at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine who was not involved with the study. &quot;This paper questions, is that data flawed? And if so, how or why? Or it could be that the sleep we&#39;re getting is lower quality, and we need more of it to feel restored?&quot;</p><p>Siegel thinks that might be because we evolved in the environment&#39;s natural 24-hour pattern of light and temperature, but we&#39;re cut off from that rhythm now. By contrast, these hunter-gatherers go to sleep a few hours after sunset, when the night gets chilly. They wake up when the day begins warming from the sunrise.</p><p>Following Earth&#39;s natural tempo in this way could improve the quality of their sleep, says&nbsp;<a href="https://newfaculty.uchicago.edu/page/kristen-knutson">Kristen Knutson</a>, a sleep researcher and biomedical anthropologist at the University of Chicago. Our bodies&#39; core temperature also cycles this way, regardless of air conditioning or heating. &quot;If their sleep is following the environment&#39;s temperature rhythm more closely and naturally, then their sleep quality may indeed be better than what is happening in the United States,&quot; she says.</p><p>Researchers already know that light and temperature play an important role in sleep. Light can reverse jet lag and help set internal clocks, and people fall asleep more easily when their core body temperature falls. This all could contribute to why hunter-gatherers&#39; sleep less than we do on average, Gurubhagavatula says.</p><p>And it could also mean that many non-hunter-gatherers may not need to sleep eight or more hours a night. &quot;I think the beauty of this current study is that maybe we shouldn&#39;t be ramming this requirement down [every person&#39;s] throat so to speak,&quot; she says.</p><p>That&#39;s not to say that there aren&#39;t lots of people who are incredibly sleep-deprived, Gurubhagavatula says. Light and temperature aren&#39;t the only things dictating how much we sleep. &quot;It&#39;s our activity and diet and stress level. I see patients who are single parents and have three jobs, and they&#39;ll be lucky to have five hours of sleep and are tired all the time.&quot; Those people need more sleep.</p><p>There are other habitual short sleepers in our society &mdash; truck drivers, graduate students, and idiot reporters who should know better &mdash; with lifestyles vastly different from a hunter-gatherer. &quot;[They&#39;re] not the same as someone in our society who only sleeps 6 1/2 hours,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="https://sleep.med.harvard.edu/people/faculty/225/Elizabeth+B+Klerman+MD+PhD">Dr. Elizabeth Klerman</a>, a sleep researcher at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women&#39;s Hospital in Boston.</p><p>What&#39;s natural for a hunter-gatherer might not be natural for everyone, Siegel agrees. &quot;I don&#39;t think we could just fling someone back into an equatorial lifestyle, and that&#39;ll be entirely beneficial,&quot; he says. But he&#39;s excited about other possibilities. If hunter-gatherers are sleeping better because they&#39;re more in tune with the daily temperature cycle, maybe we can do the same by programming thermostats to echo conditions outside. &quot;That&#39;s a specific aim of my next grant,&quot; he says.</p><p><em><a href="http://angusrchen.com/">Angus Rohan Chen</a><a href="http://angusrchen.com/">&nbsp;</a>is a reporter and radio producer living in New York City. He has a dry wit and no hobbies. Please be his friend on Twitter @angRchen.</em></p></div><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/10/15/448932273/up-late-looks-like-our-paleo-ancestors-didnt-sleep-much-either?ft=nprml&amp;f=448932273" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 15 Oct 2015 15:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/science/late-looks-our-paleo-ancestors-didnt-sleep-much-either-113367 How school start times affect academic performance http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-11/how-school-start-times-affect-academic-performance-112620 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/school time FlickrAdrian Sampson.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Ah, the waning days of summer vacation. For high schoolers, it&rsquo;s their last chance to hit the beach, hang out with friends all day, and, of course, sleep late.</p><p>Many Chicago Public Schools start as early at 7:30 a.m. CPS recently changed some school start times as a money-saving measure. But what effect does starting early or late have on health and academic performance? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a new study on the topic where it analyzed data on millions of students. The lead author of that study, CDC epidemiologist Anne Wheaton, joins us.</p></p> Tue, 11 Aug 2015 10:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-11/how-school-start-times-affect-academic-performance-112620 Ways to look young forever http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/ways-look-young-forever-106529 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2739606466_b57ef7dff9.jpg" style="float: left; height: 300px; width: 300px;" title="Flickr/Express Monorail" /></div><p>Do you know how old I am? No seriously, tell me. Because I&rsquo;m approaching that age where I start to forget what my actual age is. (I think it&rsquo;s 34, unless it&rsquo;s 43? It could be anywhere in there.) This is a true sign of aging, and it&rsquo;s definitely showing all over my body, this son-of-a-bitch we call time. Based on the somewhere-between-28-and-50 years I&rsquo;ve spent on the planet, these are the tips I&rsquo;ve learned for looking youthful. Just follow them strictly and you&rsquo;ll look even fresher than my baby son does. Truth be told, even though he&rsquo;s almost eight months old, it&rsquo;s a hard eight.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don&rsquo;t drink. Don&rsquo;t smoke.</strong><br />Pretty much anything fun or cool: skip it. Any sort of life experience is just going to age you because chemicals suck the life out of your face and smiling gives you wrinkles and staying up late gives you bags under your eyes and makes you eat late night burritos which definitely isn&rsquo;t good for your neck. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don&rsquo;t go outside.</strong><br />That wrinkle-and-spot-causing sun is outside, as well as toxins and other people and things who might annoy you or delight you and make you smile or frown, all of which will age you. Just stay in. Enjoy the darkness and the paleness.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don&rsquo;t stress. Or think. </strong><br />Just sit there and avoid exposing yourself to news, work, the drama of friends or family or any sort of expectations from yourself or the world. Just chill. Forever. The downside is that nobody will be around to tell you how young you look, but the important thing is that you will know.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don&rsquo;t have a baby.</strong><br />I just saw a picture of myself online that I thought was cute from afar but up close I look like <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzolCu-QLw0">the ghost of Large Marge</a>. I am pretty sure that the baby ate my youthful essence and I expelled it from my body with the placenta. I knew I should have eaten that stupid thing.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sleep as much as you can.</strong><br />Go to bed right now. Just pack it up and go to bed, no matter what you&rsquo;re doing. You want a minimum of 12 hours a night with an extra three hours a day.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>But don&rsquo;t sleep on a soft squishy pillow.</strong><br />I actually have read this in women&rsquo;s magazines. You know your down pillow that&rsquo;s reached the perfect amount of softness and has that great pillow smell that&rsquo;s so great for turning your face into when the morning sun rears its ugly head? Throw it out. Each time you turn your face into it it&#39;s like you&#39;re doing 60 pounds of meth. Best to sleep on your back with your neck resting on a cool piece of marble. And while you&rsquo;re at it, wear a bra while you sleep so your boobs don&rsquo;t age either.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don&rsquo;t be thin.</strong><br />You know who have great cheekbones? Skeletons. And hardly anybody looks older than they do. It&rsquo;s true, you can choose either your fanny or your face, and I&rsquo;m starting to think that the smart people out there are choosing the part of their body that is nourished by Oreos and warm french bread.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Die early.</strong><br />It&rsquo;s really the only way to get out of this whole thing looking good.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey"><em>@Zulkey</em></a></p></p> Mon, 08 Apr 2013 08:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/ways-look-young-forever-106529 Scientists link loneliness with lousy sleep http://www.wbez.org/story/scientists-link-loneliness-lousy-sleep-93650 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-31/518380699_4a4beef2d9_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Loneliness has been linked to poor health, but it’s been unclear why. Lianne Kurina of the University of Chicago and her team <a href="http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=28332">tested the theory that poorer sleep </a>might be what predisposes lonely people to high blood pressure, heart disease and even earlier death.</p><p>The researchers examined 95 people from a close-knit religious community in South Dakota centered around farming. The subjects did interviews, and then wore a special sensor called a wrist actigraph for a week to measure their sleep.</p><p>“Our study population in general was not very lonely” says Kurina, an assistant professor of health studies at the University of Chicago. “So it was surprising to find that even subtle differences seemed to translate into differences in sleep patterns.”</p><p>Specifically, the lonelier subjects slept just as long, but tossed and turned more and had more frequent wakings. The subjects did not seem aware of the difference in sleep quality, as there was no difference in the subjective reports people gave of their sleep.</p><p>The results match up with an earlier study of college students, a much more diverse group with widely varying senses of loneliness. Kurina says the consistency of results across these two very different groups suggests it might be a wide-reaching effect. The authors of the study, which appears in <a href="http://www.journalsleep.org/">the journal Sleep, </a>speculate it might have to do with a basic need to feel connected and secure in order to sleep soundly.</p></p> Tue, 01 Nov 2011 01:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/scientists-link-loneliness-lousy-sleep-93650 Study: sleep loss saps testosterone http://www.wbez.org/story/study-sleep-loss-saps-testosterone-87259 <p><p>Losing sleep might sap men’s testosterone, according to <a href="http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/305/21/2173.extract">new research by Chicago scientists</a>. Men release most of their testosterone during sleep, so University of Chicago professor Eve Van Cauter wanted to see if less sleep meant less of the hormone.</p><p>She recruited volunteers and restricted their sleep to just five hours per night for eight days. At the end of that stretch, her team took blood samples to test for hormone levels. They found an average 15 percent drop in testosterone.</p><p>“And 15 percent is not an insignificant amount, since it is about the amount that occurs with normal aging by 10 to 15 years,” Van Cauten said.</p><p>So in one respect, a week of bad sleep is like aging a decade or more.</p><p>Testosterone plays a role in reproductive health, but also in insulin sensitivity, bone density and general vigor. Scientists are interested in how the reduction might affect everything from fertility to weight gain and diabetes.</p><p>The study sample was small – just 10 subjects – and limited to lean, healthy young men. There are many open questions, like how the effect might change over time and how it translates to women and older or overweight subjects. But the finding, out in the Journal of the American Medical Association, adds to growing evidence that sleep deprivation has big effects on hormone levels.</p></p> Wed, 01 Jun 2011 04:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/study-sleep-loss-saps-testosterone-87259