Tag Archives | Sleep

The Danger of Sleep Deprivation

By Eric Skiff via Flickr (CC by -sa 2.0)

By Eric Skiff via Flickr (CC by -sa 2.0)

I’m queuing this post at 10:30pm and can barely keep my eyes open. Sleep is my favorite treat. Unfortunately it shouldn’t be considered a “treat,” but rather a necessity.

via The Atlantic:

I’m sure a lot of subway riders are skilled nappers, but this car seemed to be particularly talented. Going over the Brooklyn Bridge on a recent morning, just as the sun was coming up, a row of men in nearly identical black suits held on to the straps with their eyes closed. Their necks were bent at the slightest of angles, like a row of daisies in a breeze, and as the car clanged over the tracks and the sun pierced through the grimy train windows, it finally dawned on me they were all sound asleep. Not even the bumps and the light could stop them from sneaking in 15 more minutes of shut-eye before work.

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The Dangers of Ambien and Other Sleeping Aids

800px-Kc-zolpidem-10mg

via AlterNet:

It has been several years since the bloom fell off the rose of Ambien, the blockbuster sleeping pill. Recently, the FDA has warned about Ambien hangovers, sedation and the risk of dangerous driving and recommended lower doses. The FDA warnings came a year after Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and former wife of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, was arrested for what was believed to be Ambien-inebriated driving. The arrest came six years after her cousin, former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, son of Sen. Edward Kennedy, was also involved in an apparent Ambien-related traffic mishap.

After Rep. Kennedy’s crash, as stories of more bizarre behavior on the sleeping pill surfaced, Ambien’s manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis, was forced to launch an ad campaign telling people if they were going to take Ambien, to get in bed and stay there. (Or you’ll “break out in handcuffs” as the joke goes.) Reports of driving, eating, sex and other “wakeful” behavior in Ambien blackouts proliferated.

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Sleep Drunkenness Disorder: New Sleep Disorder Affects 1 in 7.

Time Jumper by Hartwig HKD via Flickr.

Time Jumper by Hartwig HKD via Flickr.

I want to say this has happened to me, but who am I kidding? I was still drunk from the night before.

via PsyBlog:

As many as one in seven people may be affected by ‘sleep drunkenness disorder’ soon after they’ve woken up or during the morning, a new study finds.

Sleep drunkenness disorder involves severe confusion upon wakening — way more than just the usual morning grogginess — and/or inappropriate behaviour: things like answering the phone instead of turning off the alarm.

Confused awakenings can happen to people when very short of sleep or jet-lagged, but are regular occurrences for those with the disorder.

Following a forced awakening, the disorder may even lead to violent behaviour and then complete amnesia about the event.

The study, published in the journal Neurology, surveyed 19,136 people in the US (Ohayon et al., 2014).

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Poor Sleep Can Lead to Memory Distortion

I can’t say that I’m surprised.

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via Psyblog:

But now new research shows that not getting enough sleep increases the chances your mind will actually create false memories.

The study, published in Psychological Science, allowed one group of participants to get a full nights’ sleep, while another had to stay up all night (Frenda et al., 2014).

In the morning they were given a series of photos that were supposed to show a crime being committed.

Next, both groups were given some eyewitness statements about the crime.

Like many witness statements in real-life crimes, the details were different to those shown in the photographs.

For example, in one instance the photo showed a thief putting a wallet in his jacket, but in the witness statement it said he put it in his pants (that’s ‘trousers’ for British people, not his underwear!).

Afterwards, they were asked what they had seen in the original photographs.

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Awake Between Midnight and 4 AM? You Might Be At Risk For Suicide

Pic: The Hour of the Wolf (C) Still shot for illustrative purposes only.

Pic: The Hour of the Wolf (C) Still shot for illustrative purposes only.

According to a new study, more suicides occur between midnight and four AM than any other time, and suicidal behavior during this period peaks between two AM and three AM. It seems like folklore is ahead of science on this one: The wee hours of the night have been called by many things in European culture, not any of them good: The Witching Hour, and even more relevant: The Hour of the Wolf: A time in which it is believed most births and deaths occur.

I first ran across the latter when I watched Ingmar Bergman’s psychological horror film of the same name. I can’t recommend it enough if you haven’t seen it.

Anyway, get some sleep, disinfonauts.

DARIEN, IL – A new study provides novel evidence suggesting that suicides are far more likely to occur between midnight and 4 a.m.

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“Epidemic Of Sleep” Reported In Village In Kazakhstan

sleepingIs it mass hysteria? A mysterious epidemic that could grind society to a halt? Or perhaps a logical response to the complexities of modern life? Via Brazil Weird News:

An “Epidemic of Sleep” is how doctors are calling a strange disease that spread among the villagers of Kalachi, Akmola region, Kazakhstan.

Local TV channel KTK reported that, even now, nothing is known about the cause of the disorder. It was found that the affected people are not close nor had any fortuitous contact with each other.

The complaints relate symptoms such as weakness, fainting, even hallucinations. All victims begin to feel an irresistible desire to sleep. Village resident Hope Yakimova said: “People are falling sleeping suddenly, anywhere, standing or sitting.”

Radiation levels and samples of air, water, and soil were measured across town. The blood of the victims was also analyzed seeking traces of heavy metals and other toxic substances.

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Are We Headed For An Existence Without Sleep?

without sleepWhy waste one third of our precious lives lying in bed unconscious? Via Aeon Magazine, Jessa Gamble on how technological progress is being made which will eventually render biological sleep obsolete, enabling (and forcing?) all of us to go without it:

A thirst for life leads many to pine for a drastic reduction, if not elimination, of the human need for sleep. It’s the Holy Grail of sleep researchers, and they might be closing in.

DARPA – the research arm of the US military – leads the way in squeezing a full night’s sleep into fewer hours, by forcing sleep the moment head meets pillow, and by concentrating that sleep into only the most restorative stages.

Advanced Brain Monitoring (ABM), one of DARPA’s research partners, has developed a mask called the Somneo Sleep Trainer that exploits one- or two-hour windows for strategic naps in mobile sleeping environments. Screening out ambient noise and visual distractions, the mask carries a heating element around the eyes, based on the finding that facial warming helps send people to sleep.

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The End of Sleep

You want the sheeple to wake up?  Jessa Gamble writes at Aeon:

Since stimulants have failed to offer a biological substitute for sleep, the new watchword of sleep innovators is ‘efficiency’, which means in effect reducing the number of hours of sleep needed for full functionality. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – the research arm of the US military – leads the way in squeezing a full night’s sleep into fewer hours, by forcing sleep the moment head meets pillow, and by concentrating that sleep into only the most restorative stages. Soldiers on active duty need to function at their cognitive and physiological best, even when they are getting only a few hours sleep in a 24-hour cycle.

Nancy Wesensten, a psychologist for the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland, has a mission to find ways to sustain soldier operations for longer, fighting the effects of acute or chronic sleep deprivation.

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Pennsylvania Teenager Sleeps For 64 Days Straight

Imagine existing mostly in a dreamworld, with interludes of sleepwalking to eat, drink, and use the bathroom. Is it a burden or a blessing? Daily Mail reports:

A Pennsylvania teenager slept for 64 days from Thanksgiving into January — her longest sleeping episode yet. Nicole Delien, 17, struggles with a rare sleep disorder called Kleine-Levine, or ‘Sleeping Beauty Syndrome’.

During her sleep spells she will wake up in a confused state for small periods of time to eat and go to the bathroom and then fall back to sleep. Nicole’s mother, Vicki, says her daughter will sleep 18 to 19 hours a day, and when she eventually wakes up to eat she is in a ‘sleepwalking state which she doesn’t remember’.

A doctor at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was able to pinpoint the disorder and offer some suggestions on how to manage it, including medication. Affected individuals may go for a period of weeks, months or even years without experiencing any symptoms, and then they reappear with little warning.

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