This Week In Sleep - August 18th 2013

Welcome to the very first ‘This Week In Sleep’. This will become a regular feature here at theSleepWellTimes, rounding up the important news, breakthroughs and interesting or quirky stories from around the world.

If you have something you would like to share, or would like to point out a cool story, then I’d be happy to hear from you. Write to

This week you will find medical news concerning the negative effects of sleep Apnea, a cool new phone app / sleep sensor combo, results of a new study into insomnia and exercise – and a strange tale of a lady from New Zealand who drove 300 kilometers while asleep!

#1 – Sleep Apnea Linked To Glaucoma

Sleep Apnea is disturbing enough on its own, and has been linked to many medical conditions and to weight gain. In a new study, which is being widely reported this week, there is a link between Apnea and a serious eye condition. Apnea sufferers are 1.67 times more likely to develop Glaucoma – in which pressure affects the optic nerve – than non-sufferers. Glaucoma can lead to blindness in serious cases, and the study recommends that you should have an eye test to check for this condition by the age of 40. More over at

#2 – Beddit Sleep Sensor To Find New Consumer App

Beddit have developed a sleep sensor linked to a smartphone app which is a band beneath your sheets. They previously focused on the hospital market, and have recently raised $80,000 to develop a website and lower cost sensor to bring their technology to the masses. They claim their sensor is sensitive enough to detect your heartbeat. The next stage is to create a website to send your data to the cloud, where you can visualize it via a website. I love the idea of this one, and will look to try it out for myself when it becomes available. More on this over at TechCrunch

#3 – Insomna And Exercise – You’ll Have To Wait

Another interesting study this week points to a delay between beginning an exercise routine and the beneficial effects for insomniacs. There is now little doubt that regular exercise has beneficial effects on both the quality and the duration of your sleep. What this study shows is that good sleep encourages more exercise – a ‘virtuous circle’. My thought is that many of us can relate to this, though we do understand that exercise helps with many aspects of physical and mental wellbeing – it is hard to keep it up in the absence of immediate feedback. Oh, and remember not to exercise too close to bed-time! More on this story over at

#4 – New Zealand Woman Drives 300km While Asleep

This week’s most whacky sleep story happened in New Zealand, where a woman drove 300km to her former house after taking sleep medication – and claims to have no memory at all of the journey. There was some skepticism from the local police, especially after it emerged that she also sent text messages from her phone along the way. It is very fortunate that nobody was hurt! More on this one at the BBC.

That’s all for this week, don’t forget to bookmark theSleepWellTimes now for news, treatments and insights into the fascinating world of sleep!