How Do Sleep, Circadian Rhythms and Bright Light Work Together?

 

Lifehacker has a story linking our circadian rhythms and light.

Lifehacker reported on a Harvard study that shows bright light during the day is good for you, and helps you sleep at night.

The Harvard study is backed up by many other studies that already point to this. The researchers at Harvard says that for workers, bright light in the office can make a big difference to their night-time sleep.

sleeping boy with dog

I wonder if the daylight during the day also helps to stop us sleeping in the daytime? You would think so, but if I am overtired, nothing will stop me from sleeping – I know, because it just happened to me about 15 minutes ago!

circadian rhythm clock
circadian rhythm clock

The Lifehacker story said:

A number of studies on circadian rhythm support this. In one study, researchers compared the sleep quality of 27 people who worked in windowless environments with 22 workers exposed to significantly more daylight.

They reported:

Workers in windowless environments reported poorer scores than their counterparts on two SF-36 dimensions—role limitation due to physical problems and vitality—as well as poorer overall sleep quality from the global PSQI [Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index] score and the sleep disturbances component of the PSQI. Compared to the group without windows, workers with windows at the workplace had more light exposure during the workweek, a trend toward more physical activity, and longer sleep duration as measured by actigraphy.

The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index relates to sleep quality, in psychiatric studies. They investigated, analyzed and defined it at the University of Pittsburg.

How To Screen For Sleep Apnea Without A Hospital Visit

 

Ten years ago, Sleep Apnea was new news to many people. Now, it seems that everyone knows about it, and if we don’t have the problem ourselves, we know someone who does. Is it just a sign of ageing?

Sometimes called the snoring sickness or sleeping sickness, Sleep Apnea seems to be affecting more people than ever. This CNN story reports on “the father of sleep science,” Dr. William Dement, and the case of a long-distance driver, who is now getting a better night’s sleep.


CNN
Sleep apnea: The ‘snoring sickness’ that leaves you gasping for breath
CNN
It was then, back in 2012, that Keller was diagnosed with sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that affects 24% of adult men and 9% of women. Around the same time, Keller was taking part in CNN’s Fit Nation Challenge. He’d made a commitment to turn his health …

There have been many more apnea studies over the past few years, and a recently completed study shows that apnea may lead to alzheimers disease and memory loss. These are two very good reasons to fix the problem before it is too late.


NBCNews.com
Sleep Apnea May Speed Memory Loss, Alzheimer’s Onset: Study
NBCNews.com
Sleep apnea may hasten memory and thinking declines, leading to earlier diagnoses of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, suggests a study released Thursday. Patients with sleep apnea were, on average, diagnosed with mild cognitive ..

Doctors now recognize that patients in surgery are more at risk of developing respiratory and cardiovascular complications.

Scheduled for Surgery? Here’s Why You Need Sleep Apnea Screening
Health Hub from Cleveland Clinic
Imagine what it would be like if you stopped breathing multiple times during the day. You wouldn’t think twice about calling a doctor. But people with sleep apnea stop breathing many times every night, and they may not even know it. Sleep apnea is a …

To have your sleep apnea correctly diagnosed, it generally takes a visit to the hospital, where you are monitored overnight. Sleep Lab doctors at the University of Washington realized that their sleep lab was an artifical environment, and may have been contributing to or even masking sleep apnea symptoms. To fix that problem, they came up with the idea of a smartphone app that could be used in a patient’s normal sleeping environment.

The app allows much more data to be collected, over multiple nights, at a much lower cost, and without using up a hospital bed.


UW Today
New UW app can detect sleep apnea events via smartphone
UW Today
The gold standard for diagnosing sleep apnea — a disease which affects roughly 1 in 13 Americans — requires an overnight hospital stay and costs thousands of dollars. The patient sleeps in a strange bed, gets hooked up to a tangle of wires and

Global ‘sleeplessness epidemic’ Says Study

 

Estimated 150 million Affected in Developing World

People in the developing world are experincing sleep problems at levels approaching those seen in developed nations, according to a study at Warwick Medical School.

Lack of sleep is linked to an increase in problems in health issues such as depression and anxiety, the study says.

Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick, carried out the study in Africa and Asia, a first for those regions. The study estimates that around “150 million adults are suffering from sleep-related problems across the developing world.”

Women had more problems with sleeping than men, and the difference between men and women was much more marked in Bangladesh.

The study showed:

* Bangladesh had the highest prevalence of sleep problems among the countries analyzed
* Vietnam too had very high rates of sleep problems
* South Africa had double the rate of the other African countries

The Warwick study was supported by the World Health Organisation and was funded by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, USA and by the Wellcome Trust, UK.

Read the story about there study here:
Global ‘sleeplessness epidemic’ affects an estimated 150 million in developing world .