"Night owls" and "morning larks" are descriptive terms used to characterize individuals who go to sleep or awaken differently than most individuals. Many of these individuals have a primary circadian sleep dysrhythmia. Identification and proper treatment of a specific condition can markedly improve their quality of life. Secondary circadian dysrhythmias are very common. Nearly everyone at some time in his or her life experiences jet lag or shift work sleep disorder, two conditions in which we ignore our biologic rhythms. The impact of these conditions on performance and judgment can be tempered by certain pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic strategies. A better understanding of both primary and secondary circadian rhythm sleep disorders will be valuable to the primary care physician, leading to earlier diagnosis and improved treatment of patients with these conditions. (+info)
Deficiency of growth hormone-releasing hormone signaling is associated with sleep alterations in the dwarf rat.
The somatotropic axis, and particularly growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH), is implicated in the regulation of sleep-wake activity. To evaluate sleep in chronic somatotropic deficiency, sleep-wake activity was studied in dwarf (dw/dw) rats that are known to have a defective GHRH signaling mechanism in the pituitary and in normal Lewis rats, the parental strain of the dw/dw rats. In addition, expression of GHRH receptor (GHRH-R) mRNA in the hypothalamus/preoptic region and in the pituitary was also determined by means of reverse transcription-PCR, and GHRH content of the hypothalamus was measured. Hypothalamic/preoptic and pituitary GHRH-R mRNA levels were decreased in the dw/dw rats, indicating deficits in the central GHRHergic transmission. Hypothalamic GHRH content in dw/dw rats was also less than that found in Lewis rats. The dw/dw rats had less spontaneous nonrapid eye movement sleep (NREMS) (light and dark period) and rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) (light period) than did the control Lewis rats. After 4 hr of sleep deprivation, rebound increases in NREMS and REMS were normal in the dw/dw rat. As determined by fast Fourier analysis of the electroencephalogram (EEG), the sleep deprivation-induced enhancements in EEG slow-wave activity in the dw/dw rats were only one-half of the response in the Lewis rats. The results are compared with sleep findings previously obtained in GHRH-deficient transgenic mice. The alterations in NREMS are attributed to the defect in GHRH signaling, whereas the decreases in REMS might result from the growth hormone deficiency in the dw/dw rat. (+info)
Medication for sleep-wake disorders.
Medication is indicated for only a limited number of children's sleep disorders. However, correctly chosen and supervised, pharmacological treatment may be justified and helpful. For a given sleep problem it is important to identify the underlying cause (or sleep disorder) which often calls for treatment of a non-medication type. Where medication is appropriate, cautious use and careful review of the child's physical and psychological state is essential in view of the limited information available on effectiveness and possible short and long term effects. It follows that much further research is required to establish the part medication can play in the care of children with sleep disorders, and also to define the possible effects on sleep and wakefulness of other drugs used in clinical practice. (+info)
Symptoms of sleep disturbance in persons with Alzheimer's disease and normal elderly.
We retrospectively analyzed sleep time and sleep disturbance symptoms in 399 healthy, non-demented elderly (NDE) and 263 persons with a diagnosis of possible (n = 53) or probable (n = 210) Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our primary objective was to determine differences in subjective sleep disturbance between these samples. Secondary objectives were to determine if subjects with time in bed (TIB) < or =6 h per night reported more sleep disturbance and whether sleep complaints were associated with more severe cognitive and/or functional impairment. The prevalence of 'sleep problems' (a single item) was significantly lower in NDE (18.3%) than AD (27.6%), and the proportions of each cohort reporting TIB < or =6 h per night were very low (NDE: 6.0%; AD: 3.5%) and not significantly different. Less TIB was correlated with better cognitive function for AD (P < 0.01), and cognition and function were significantly worse for AD subjects with estimates of >6 h of TIB compared with those with estimates of < or =6 h (P < 0.05). Greater sleep disturbance was correlated with greater functional impairment in both cohorts; but only in AD did greater estimated TIB also correlate with greater functional impairment (all P < 0.05). In general, estimated TIB was not associated with mood in either cohort; however, in both cohorts depression was significantly associated with sleep disturbance symptoms and was significantly worse in those who reported having 'sleep problems'. There was no association between subjective perception of 'sleep problems', the number and frequency of sleep disturbance symptoms, and estimated TIB in either group. (+info)
Opioids for non-operable osteoarthritis and soft-tissue rheumatism.
Reviews of oral opioid trials have shown that many side-effects need to be considered when treating patients with non-operable osteoarthritis and soft-tissue problems. European and American guidelines recommend their use with or without paracetamol. The controversy surrounding the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitors is limiting physician and patient choices. There is a great need for alternative medication or ways of using current compounds. (+info)
Objectively measured sleep characteristics among early-middle-aged adults: the CARDIA study.
Despite mounting evidence that sleep duration is a risk factor across diverse health and functional domains, little is known about the distribution and determinants of sleep. In 2003-2004, the authors used wrist activity monitoring and sleep logs to measure time in bed, sleep latency (time required to fall asleep), sleep duration, and sleep efficiency (percentage of time in bed spent sleeping) over 3 days for 669 participants at one of the four sites of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study (Chicago, Illinois). Participants were aged 38-50 years, 58% were women, and 44% were Black. For the entire sample, mean time in bed was 7.5 (standard deviation (SD), 1.2) hours, mean sleep latency was 21.9 (SD, 29.0) minutes, mean sleep duration was 6.1 (SD, 1.2) hours, and mean sleep efficiency was 80.9 (SD, 11.3)%. All four parameters varied by race-sex group. Average sleep duration was 6.7 hours for White women, 6.1 hours for White men, 5.9 hours for Black women, and 5.1 hours for Black men. Race-sex differences (p < 0.001) remained after adjustment for socioeconomic, employment, household, and lifestyle factors and for apnea risk. Income was independently associated with sleep latency and efficiency. Sleep duration and quality, which have consequences for health, are strongly associated with race, sex, and socioeconomic status. (+info)
Rapid-onset obesity with hypothalamic dysfunction, hypoventilation, and autonomic dysregulation presenting in childhood.
OBJECTIVE: The goal was to characterize the phenotype and potential candidate genes responsible for the syndrome of late-onset central hypoventilation with hypothalamic dysfunction. METHODS: Individuals with late-onset central hypoventilation with hypothalamic dysfunction who were referred to Rush University Medical Center for clinical or genetic assessment in the past 3 years were identified, and medical charts were reviewed to determine shared characteristics of the affected subjects. Blood was collected for genetic testing of candidate genes (PHOX2B, TRKB, and BDNF) and for high-resolution conventional G-banding, subtelomeric fluorescent in situ hybridization, and comparative genomic hybridization analysis. A subset of these children were studied in the Pediatric Respiratory Physiology Laboratory at Rush University Medical Center. RESULTS: Twenty-three children with what we are now naming rapid-onset obesity with hypothalamic dysfunction, hypoventilation, and autonomic dysregulation were identified. Comprehensive medical charts and blood for genetic testing were available for 15 children; respiratory physiology studies were performed at Rush University Medical Center on 9 children. The most characteristic manifestations were the presentation of rapid-onset obesity in the first 10 years of life (median age at onset: 3 years), followed by hypothalamic dysfunction and then onset of symptoms of autonomic dysregulation (median age at onset: 3.6 years) with later onset of alveolar hypoventilation (median age at onset: 6.2 years). Testing of candidate genes (PHOX2B, TRKB, and BDNF) revealed no mutations or rare variants. High-resolution chromosome analysis, comparative genomic hybridization, and subtelomeric fluorescent in situ hybridization results were negative for the 2 patients selected for those analyses. CONCLUSIONS: We provide a comprehensive description of the clinical spectrum of rapid-onset obesity with hypothalamic dysfunction, hypoventilation, and autonomic dysregulation in terms of timing and scope of symptoms, study of candidate genes, and screening for chromosomal deletions and duplications. Negative PHOX2B sequencing results demonstrate that this entity is distinct from congenital central hypoventilation syndrome. (+info)
When sleep is perceived as wakefulness: an experimental study on state perception during physiological sleep.
While electrophysiologically measured sleep and perception of sleep generally concur, various studies have shown this is not always the case. The objective of the present study was to assess the perception of actual state during sleep by the technique of planned awakenings and interviewing subjects on the preawakening state. Sixty-eight (43 females, 25 males) young (mean age: 24.1, SD 5.1 years) normal sleeping subjects were deliberately awakened out of consolidated sleep, either stage 2 (S2), or REM sleep, during the first night in a non-clinical sleep laboratory. While the preawakening state was experienced as sleep in 48 cases (70.6%), it was experienced as wakefulness in 20 cases (29.4%). The percentage of awake judgements was somewhat, but not significantly, higher for awakenings out of S2 (38.2%), to REM sleep (20.6%). The proportion of mismatches between electrophysiologically defined sleep and state judgements was time-dependent with more awake judgements for REM sleep in the second half of the sleep period (41.7%) than in the first one (17.4%). Those subjects who made an awake judgement more frequently had a feeling of being aware of the situation and their surroundings than those who made a sleep judgement (80% versus 33%). Awareness during sleep may be a cognitive style, which favours mismatches between state perception and electrophysiologically defined sleep. Sleep periods with concordant or discordant state judgements did not differ in electrophysiologically defined sleep onset latency, sleep efficiency, or sleep state distribution. (+info)