This Week In Sleep - August 23rd 2013

While some subjects may have a lull in news during the summer, it has been yet another busy week in the fascinating world of sleep. This week I report on some sad news about an overworked Intern, a brand new sleep-disorder called ‘Sleep Texting’ and yet more links between Apnea and health complications – this time for pregnant women.

Bank Of America Intern Dies After All-Nighters

Very sad news that an intern at BoA in London died after pulling several all-night work sessions raises many questions. I will leave aside the moral debate about the long hours and pressure to perform at corporations, and focus on the sleep side of things.

First, going without sleep to perform better is actually misguided. It really does not take much in the way of sleep deprivation before performance takes a nosedive.

Second, lack of sleep is unlikely to kill someone – it is almost impossible to stay awake indefinitely without support from some stimulants. While the press reported this as a ‘cause’, the lesson to learn from this terrible incident is that taking medicine to keep awake is going to have negative effects on your heath fairly quickly – add stress or an underlying heath condition and you have a potentially very dangerous mix.

Apnea And Pregancy

Sleep Apnea is linked to many health conditions – many of them chronic, see this article for a list.

A new study links diabetic symptoms during pregnancy – known as Gestational diabetes – with obstructive sleep apnea. There is a big risk, with women with these symptoms 7 times more likely to demonstrate sleep Apnea. Overweight or Obese women demonstrated the strongest association.

Study after study is showing that treating people for Apnea symptoms may help in avoiding many chronic health conditions. More on this from the fantastic MedicalXpress

Sleep Texting

Smartphones and tablets have been linked to sleep stories before, usually with theories that the light screen is affecting people’s circadian rhythms. This time a new disorder has been created – sleep texting.

The examples given included texts that were just jumbled up words, which must have been a big relief to the senders! This could be classed as a Parasomnia, along with Sleep Walking, I assume a NREM one too. This has been linked to stress. Luckily there is an easy treatment – just leave that phone in a different room!

More on this story from the UK’s Daily Mail.

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