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Thoracic Medicine

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Sleep Medicine

Latest News

In what may be the largest study of sleep problems among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers at UC Davis have found that widely undiagnosed sleep disorders may be at the root of the most common and disabling symptom of the disease: fatigue. Study paticipant reports of sleep disorder frequency, sleep patterns and complaints of excessive daytime sleepiness suggest that sleep problems may be a hidden epidemic in the MS population.

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A sleep-promoting circuit located deep in the primitive brainstem has revealed how we fall into deep sleep. Discovered by researchers at Harvard School of Medicine and the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, this is only the second "sleep node" identified in the mammalian brain whose activity appears to be both necessary and sufficient to produce deep sleep.  Using designer genes, researchers were able to 'turn on' specific neurons in the brainstem that result in deep sleep.

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Insomnia can cause chronic inflammation, which can lead to weight gain, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and earlier death. This study finds that curing the insomnia reduces the inflammation and hopefully reduces disease. It also found the best way to cure lack of sleep is through the use of a common psychotherapy treatment - cognitive behavioural therapy.

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Getting enough sleep is important to people of any age, but it is especially so for teenagers, with insufficient sleep possibly being linked to obesity as an adult.

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A study is shining new light on a sleep disorder called “sleep drunkenness.” The disorder may be as prevalent as affecting one in every seven people. Sleep drunkenness disorder involves confusion or inappropriate behaviour, such as answering the phone instead of turning off the alarm, during or following arousals from sleep, either during the first part of the night or in the morning. An episode, often triggered by a forced awakening, may even cause violent behaviour during sleep or amnesia of the episode.

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Ever wondered about the effects of binge sleeping? Are naps bad or how long should you nap for? For all these myths debunked follow the link

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Do I Have A Sleep Disorder?

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale

sleep disorder

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is a way of finding out how sleepy someone is during the day, and was first devised by Dr Murray Johns in Australia and published in 1991.

It is now used internationally by sleep clinics, research groups and sleep physicians.

Epworth Sleepiness Score (ESS)

Below is the ESS, get a pen and paper and write out your score for each of the questions below. Then add your total score up out of 24.

0 – No chance of falling asleep
1 – Slight chance of falling asleep
2 – Moderate chance of falling asleep
3 – High chance of falling asleep

Sitting and Reading 0 1 2 3
Watching TV 0 1 2 3
Sitting inactive in a public place 0 1 2 3
As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break 0 1 2 3
Lying down in the afternoon when circumstances permit 0 1 2 3
Sitting and talking to someone 0 1 2 3
Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol 0 1 2 3
 In a car while stopped in traffic for a few minutes 0 1 2 3

If your total score was more than 5, you have mild sleepiness and may not be getting the proper sleep you need.

If your score is 10 or more you should talk to your doctor about how to improve your daytime energy levels and alertness.

Take your score to your doctor and talk about whether you might require a diagnostic sleep study.

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