Waking Up at Night Could Be Your Brain Boosting Your Memory

We tend to think a good night’s sleep should be uninterrupted, but surprising new research from the University of Copenhagen suggests just the opposite: Brief awakenings may be a sign you’ve slipped well. The study, done on mice, found that the stress transmitter noradrenaline wakes up the brain many times a night. These “microarousals” were … Read more

Best Meds for Insomnia Identified?

Two drugs have emerged as the optimal medications for treating insomnia based on the “best-available evidence,” but there are caveats. In a comprehensive comparative-effectiveness analysis, lemborexant and eszopiclone showed the best efficacy, acceptability, and tolerability for acute and long-term insomnia treatment. However, eszopiclone may cause substantial side effects — and safety data on lemborexant were … Read more

Electroacupuncture Promising for Depression-Related Insomnia

Electroacupuncture (EA) may significantly improve sleep quality in patients with depression who also have insomnia, new research suggests. In a study of more than 200 adults with depression and comorbid insomnia, change from baseline to week 8 on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was 3 points greater in the group receiving EA vs a … Read more

Sleep a Potential Treatment Target for Schizophrenia?

A new analysis reveals a bidirectional relationship between sleep patterns and schizophrenia, leading researchers to suggest that sleep may be a potential treatment target for the disorder. Applying a Mendelian randomization (MR) approach, the investigators selected genetic variants from a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) conducted using data from UK Biobank and 23andMe. They … Read more

Hypervigilance and Helplessness in Facing Death of a Patient

It’s an early Friday morning during the pandemic. I arrive at my clinic to find my 8 o’clock slot booked with a same-day patient. As a clinical psychologist embedded within a primary care team, I meet with patients at varying frequency. I had just met with this patient on Monday — twice in one week … Read more

Sleep Tied to Objective and Subjective Cognition

Amy Costa Poor objective sleep efficiency may contribute to older adults overestimating their cognitive abilities, preliminary findings from a pilot study of objective and subjective cognitive measures have shown. The pilot study underscored the important role of objective sleep measures to better understand discrepancies when patients’ own reports of everyday cognitive function don’t align with … Read more

Long-term Erratic Sleep May Predict Later-Life Cognitive Problems

CHARLOTTE, NC — Erratic sleep patterns over years or even decades, along with a patient’s age and history of depression, may be harbingers of cognitive impairment later in life, an analysis of decades of data from a large sleep study has found. “What we were a little surprised to find in this model was that … Read more

Growing Up in Unsafe Neighborhoods Tied to Poor Sleep in Adults

Growing up in neighborhoods perceived as unsafe is linked to disordered sleep in adulthood, in new findings that suggest improving neighborhood safety can have long-term benefits on sleep quality. “Our study expands upon previous findings by demonstrating a possible link between neighborhood environments in childhood and sleep health during adulthood,” lead author Symielle Gaston, PhD, … Read more

Sleep a Neglected Pillar of Health, National Survey Shows

Physicians and patients agree on the importance of sleep for health, yet a few clinicians obtain a patient sleep history, and a few patients discuss their sleep problems with healthcare providers, a new national survey shows. “Everybody thinks that sleep should be a pillar of health, but there is a big communication gap between patients … Read more

COVID Tied to a Profound Impact on Children’s Sleep

During the first year of the pandemic, profound changes in screen use and sleep timing occurred among US adolescents as a result of spending more time using electronic devices, going to bed later, and getting up later compared to before the research indicates. The excessive screen time negatively affected sleep, said lead investigator Orsolya Kiss, … Read more