What does a German fairytale and a severe sleep disorder have in common? A lot, apparently.
An overlooked symptom in people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is olfactory dysfunction (i.e., impairment in the sense of smell) such as an inability to detect or distinguish between odors. A finding that the sense of smell improves soon after a person with OSA begins continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment corroborates a possible link between olfactory dysfunction and OSA.
It is very common to have patients with occasional to frequent restless nights followed by increased sleepiness during the day, and subsequent performance issues. In addition to the immediate impact of excessive daytime sleepiness and dysfunction, there is potential to develop chronic insomnia. There is also considerable data that links chronic insomnia to increased risk for diabetes, obesity, hypertension, plus an impact on the personal safety of an individual with chronic insomnia.
They call it “the grind.” Long bus rides, late night fast food, hotels of bad and mediocre quality, roommates who snore louder than any hometown homerun crowd noise, and living conditions that can be anything from air mattresses, to stolen motel pillows or even dog beds on a bus floor. Much has been made of the need for proper and clean sleep in order to perform at the major league level, yet little is being done for those players in the minor leagues who are hoping to make it to “the show.”
Drowsy watchkeepers on vessels navigating open waters can be a major hazard during military and commercial shipping operations. The sinking of the H.M.S. Bonetta, a 19th century British warship, was a dramatic example of human error related to hypersomnolence at sea (HSS). The consequences resulting from a sailor who fell asleep during his shift on the ship’s bridge are preserved in a historical account. This article surveys the significance of HSS based on the findings of an extensive research study and subsequently highlights events surrounding the loss of the Bonetta. Reviews of subjective scales used to identify HSS, and a computer application that estimates likelihood of drowsiness during the night shift, conclude this two-part series.
Mary McKinley, R. EEG T., RPSGT, MA, is presenting the breakout session “Complementary and Integrative Therapies for the Management of Insomnia in Chronic Disease” at the AAST 2018 Annual Meeting, Sept. 28-30, 2018, in Indianapolis. We caught up with McKinley to discuss her background and the future of sleep medicine.
I was a postdoctoral fellow at Argonne National Laboratory and had the pleasure of working with George Sacher. At the time, he was president of the Gerontological Society of America and had spent his life working on ways to increase lifespan. He was a proponent of hormesis, the idea that moderation was the path to a longer life. Of course, some things should be off the list, like a moderate amount of murder.
The advent of actigraphy in the 1990s made it possible to indirectly record a person’s sleep-wake cycles based on the person’s activity level, with increased activity indicating wakefulness and decreased activity indicating sleep. In actigraphy, a device — an actigraph — which is typically worn on the wrist, continually records movement data over a prolonged time — one week or more.
Every healthcare professional walks into the examination room with predetermined biases regarding the patients they see. Fifty-year-old obese man? OSA, of course. Twenty-year-old woman with daytime sleepiness? Could be narcolepsy. A man comes to the sleep center with his wife and she has a black eye? REM behavior disorder (RBD) is suddenly on your radar.
Professional athletes put their bodies through a lot. High-intensity competition, grueling travel schedules, late games — all of this makes good sleep hygiene crucial. A well-rested and recovered athlete plays better than a sleep-deprived one, and professional teams are starting to understand how the sleep health of their athletes impacts wins and losses. In the third installment of our Sports & Sleep series, we spoke with sleep and fatigue expert Pat Byrne about his work with the Vancouver Canucks and his company, Fatigue Science.