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US study finds napping raises risk of disease in elderly- Napping could boost productivity - Eating the right foods can help you sleep better -Try the Snore Centre Mobile App - Michael Oko explains cardiac anatomy
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Snore Centre eNewsletter March 2020

US study finds napping raises risk of disease in elderly

Older people who nap during the day are more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease or cancer, scientists say. A study of almost 11,000 people found those who were sleepy during the day were two and a half times more at risk of developing heart illnesses.

They faced double the risk of cancer and were also more than twice as prone to diabetes and high blood pressure. Arthritis was one and a half times as common. The US researchers suggested families pay attention to their grandmas and grandads who nod off regularly because it could be an early warning sign of a serious medical condition. 

The study looked at hypersomnolence, a condition defined as excessive daytime sleepiness even after having seven or more hours of sleep. It can be debilitating for some, affecting the way they perform at work and in other routine activities. It has previously been linked to dementia, and the latest research suggests it can flag up more of the world's major killers.

Lead author Professor Maurice Ohayon, a psychiatrist at Stanford University, California, said: 'Paying attention to sleepiness in older adults could help doctors predict and prevent future medical conditions.

'Older adults and their family members may want to take a closer look at sleeping habits to understand the potential risk for developing a more serious medical condition.'

His findings presented at an American Academy of Neurology meeting in Toronto, Canada, were based on 10,930 individuals. A third (34 per cent) were 65 or over. It is not clear what age bracket the rest of the participants fell into.

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Napping could boost productivity but no substitute for treating underlying sleep diorders



Looking for a way to get more done with your day? It might sound counterintuitive, but try taking a nap. The key to being a productive person might be taking a quick snooze, suggests new research. A study of 2,000 Americans examined their napping preferences and their personality traits.

They found that those who identified as nappers were also more likely to identify as productive people. They were also likely to be happier and more confident – 90% of nappers said they were happy versus 79% of non-nappers, while 89% of nappers said they were confident versus 79% of those who don’t take naps.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mattress Nerd, also suggests that napping makes a difference to your career ambitions, as three-quarters of nappers described themselves as career driven, while only 55% of non-nappers said the same.

There are a whole host of reasons why there may be a relationship. Perhaps people who work early hours in high-pressure jobs are more likely to need an afternoon nap. Maybe those who find the time to nap have lower stress levels and end up liking their work more. We do know, though, that sleep is pretty important to every part of our lives. If we’re not getting solid chunks of good quality sleep every night, regular naps may help to ease the fatigue, posing a whole load of benefits for the workplace and beyond.

Sleep expert and therapist Christabel Majendie tells us that a nap can improve our focus, which would in turn boost our productivity. ‘If you are feeling sleepy at work, a short nap at work could be beneficial as it will lead to improved alertness which will impact on your performance and memory,’ she explains. We know that a good nap can lower blood pressure and that napping may make you more creative.

But it’s important to note that napping cannot and should not replace a proper night of uninterrupted sleep. ‘Too many organisations and even some sleep experts use [naps] as a easy one size fits all, prescriptive solution,’ says James. ‘Naps do not cure poor sleep and in fact in many cases they make poor sleep worse. ‘A nap is a solution to sleep deprivation, which can be caused by many different type of sleep disorder from Sleep Apnoea, Insomnia, Restless Leg Syndrome or Parasomnias. ‘It is far better to address the underlying condition and have better sleep at night then just try to address the symptom of sleep deprivation through a nap.

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Eating the right foods can help you sleep better and improve sleep apnoea



The Guardian reports on how lifestyle changes can make a big difference to insomnia, even for people suffering from sleep apnoea (although that should be treated by a specialist).


It is hackneyed to point the finger at caffeine, but people tend to underestimate how long its effects can last – experts advise to stop consuming it by 2pm or 3pm. Water intake during the day is also a factor: Even going to bed mildly dehydrated can disrupt our sleep.

Similarly, although people commonly turn to alcohol to help them fall asleep – it is estimated one in 10 use it as a sleep aid – it has a disruptive effect beyond the initial crash, causing spikes in blood sugar and cortisol levels. Diet can function in the same way, with “anti-sleep foods” that are high in sugar or cause flatulence or heartburn (such as broccoli and cabbage).

A “pro-sleep” bedtime snack is a small amount of complex carbohydrates and protein, such as wholegrain cereal with milk, or toast with peanut butter, say experts. An “anti-inflammatory” diet favouring fruits, vegetables, lean protein, nuts, seeds and healthy fats (and limiting processed foods, red meats and alcohol) has been shown to improve sleep apnoea.

As for exercise, although being active during the day aids sleep, anything strenuous is to be avoided before bedtime. A lot of advice for preventing night-time “awakenings” falls under the umbrella of what has come to be known as “good sleep hygiene”: restrict the bedroom to sleep and sex, ban screens emitting blue light, keep to regular bedtimes and so on.

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BBC Stories: Are you holding your breath in your sleep?




Watch the video on the BBC
 
 

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Michael Oko explains cardiac anatomy using virtual reality  ​


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