By Ian Hamilton, Associate Professor of Addiction, University of York (October 2021)

Problems with sleep are common. In recent research, 48% of UK adults said sleeping badly had a negative effect on their mental health. For teenagers, this proportion was significantly higher – 66%.

The large number of people experiencing sleep problems makes for an attractive market. Some companies have seized the opportunity to provide remedies, including several manufacturers of cannabis products.

Changes to the way cannabis is regulated in many countries, including the UK, have helped the boom in cannabis products, with more people able to access these types of offerings – even if the cannabis compounds that can be used in sleep products in some countries are more limited than in others. In the US, where cannabis is fully legal in many states, California-based Ganja Goddess reported more than a sevenfold increase in revenue for its cannabis sleep products during the first year of the COVID pandemic.

But what is the evidence that cannabis products can help people get a better night’s sleep?

Cannabis and sleep
Sleep disturbance is a common feature of withdrawal from cannabis use, indicating there may well be a relationship between cannabis use and sleep. But we still don’t have a clear understanding of the mechanisms in the brain involved in this relationship.

The effects of cannabis are due to a group of chemicals in the drug called cannabinoids. These include cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive substance in cannabis. CBN and CBD don’t cause you to get high in the same way.

In the UK, CBD products are available legally, providing they don’t contain more than 0.2% THC. Retailers and suppliers make all kinds of assertions about the benefits of CBD products, including how CBD can improve sleep. There is some evidence to support these claims, but this is mainly based on animal and human observational studies rather than randomized control trials, where comparisons can be made between CBD and a placebo.

Although not legal in the UK, CBN is one of the main compounds contained in commercial cannabis sleep products, with more and more CBN formulations coming onto the market. A recent review sought to find out whether CBN really does improve sleep.

The review included studies going back as far as the 1940s. These mainly involved administering CBN to people and comparing the self-reported quality of their sleep with participants in a control group who had not received the drug.

However, the author of the review, Jamie Corroon, noted several problems with the research to date, including the fact that participants tended to be male and white. This male-centric perspective is not unique to research on cannabis; it’s known to be a problem more broadly in research.

Corroon was also critical of the lack of structured, evidence-based questionnaires used to assess sleep in the studies. He concluded there is insufficient published evidence to support any assertions that these products improve sleep, noting: “Individuals seeking cannabis-derived sleep aids should be skeptical of manufacturers’ claims of sleep-promoting effects.”

Other factors to consider
The review concentrated primarily on sleep outcomes associated with pure medical-grade CBN. This doesn’t necessarily reflect the way most people use cannabis or cannabis products. Most will either smoke a joint, or ingest a liquid or pill if they’re using a commercially supplied product.

The type of commercial product, the way it’s administered and the dose are all known to affect sleep. Notably, the dose of CBN in many commercial products is lower than what was tested in the majority of the studies in the review.

While most commercial cannabis sleep products contain less than 1% THC (if any), a cannabis joint will contain hundreds of compounds, including THC. And combining THC with CBN is thought to be a sedative. Pure CBN would therefore not have the same effect it has in real life when consumed with THC.

Although the review found a lack of evidence to support the sedative properties of CBN, scientists have found that medicinal cannabis containing THC and CBD can improve sleep for people with chronic pain. This benefit decreases, however, for people using these products regularly, as their tolerance to medicinal cannabis builds.

Further, while it’s useful to have a review that focuses on sleep and cannabis, it doesn’t capture the varied reasons many people use cannabis or products containing cannabis. Many people use cannabis to manage physical problems such as muscle and joint pain, or psychological issues like anxiety or stress, rather than as a sleep aid. It’s logical that alleviating these symptoms will improve sleep.

One example is people experiencing vivid nightmares as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, has proved to be beneficial in suppressing these types of nightmares, which could improve the quality of sleep for this group of people suffering from PTSD. So you can see why it’s difficult to untangle the effects of cannabis on sleep.

We need better research
As with many issues in research, there isn’t a neat answer to how effective cannabis is in improving sleep. How the drug is prepared, the way it’s taken and the person’s expectations are just some important factors that may influence the outcome.

And, as with all health products, there is a risk of side-effects. A recent review of medicinal cannabis products used for sleep found a substantial increase in the risk of developing dizziness, for example.

What is clear is when millions of people have a problem with sleep, there will be a commercial incentive to make money by offering remedies. We need more rigorous research to investigate any associations between cannabis and sleep, and whether these products work

Photo 121726110 © Andrii Iarygin |
Original article


the shift workers guide asthma
Shift workers, especially those working permanent night shift rotas, may be at heightened risk of moderate to severe asthma, suggests research published online in the journal Thorax.

Given the prevalence of both shift work and asthma in industrialised nations, the public health implications of these findings are potentially "far-reaching," warn the researchers.

Around 1 in 5 employees in the developed world works permanent or rotating night shifts. Shift work causes a person's internal body clock (circadian rhythm) to be out of step with the external light and dark cycle.

This misalignment is associated with a heightened risk of various metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Symptoms of asthma, such as wheeze and airway whistling, vary considerably, according to the time of day or night, and the researchers wanted to find out if shift work might also be associated with an increased risk of asthma and/or its severity.

They were also keen to explore how influential chronotype--individual body clock preference for morning ('lark') or evening ('owl') activity--and genetic predisposition to asthma might be.

They drew on medical, lifestyle, and employment information supplied between 2007 and 2010 by 286,825 participants in the UK Biobank.

All these participants were aged between 37 and 72, and either in paid employment or self-employed. Most (83%) worked regular office hours, while 17% worked shifts, around half of which (51%) included night shifts. Shift patterns comprised: never or occasional night shifts; irregular or rotating night shifts; and permanent night shifts.

Compared with those working office hours, shift workers were more likely to be men, smokers, and to live in urban areas and in more deprived neighbourhoods. They also drank less alcohol, slept fewer hours, and worked longer hours.

Night shift workers were more likely to be 'owls' and to have poorer health. And they were more likely to work in service jobs or as process, plant and machine operatives; those working office hours tended to be in administrative roles and to have professional jobs.

Some 14,238 (around 5%) of all the study participants had asthma; in 4783 (nearly 2%) symptoms were moderate to severe (based on their medications).

The researchers compared the effect of working office hours with shift work on asthma diagnosis, lung function, and symptoms of asthma.

After taking account of age and sex, and a wide range of other potentially influential risk factors, there was a 36% increase in the odds of having moderate to severe asthma in permanent night shift workers compared to those working normal office hours.

Similarly, the odds of wheeze or airway whistling were 11-18% higher among those working any of the three shift patterns, while the odds of poorer lung function were around 20% higher in shift workers who never or rarely worked nights and in those working permanent night shifts.

Those who were definitely either larks or owls, known as 'extreme chronotypes,' were significantly more likely to have asthma even after taking account of a range of potentially influential risk factors. And the odds of moderate to severe asthma were 55% higher among larks working irregular shifts, including nights.

But genetic susceptibility to asthma didn't affect the odds of developing asthma among those working shifts.

This is an observational study, so can't establish cause, say the researchers. "However, it is plausible that circadian misalignment leads to asthma development," they point out."

"Interestingly, chronotype does change with age, getting later through adolescence and then earlier as adults age, suggesting that older individuals might find it more difficult to adjust to night shift work than younger adults," they explain.

"The public health implications of our findings are potentially far-reaching, since both shift work and asthma are common in the industrialised world," they warn. Asthma affects 339 million people worldwide and costs health and care services more than £1billion in the UK alone.

"There are no specific national clinical guidelines for how to manage asthma in shift workers," they highlight, but adapting shift work schedules to suit individual chronotype might be a worthwhile public health measure that is worth exploring further, they suggest.


Externally peer reviewed? Yes
Evidence type: Observational
Subjects: Shift workers


Stacks Image 97
A study published in the Journal of Pineal Research describes a group of genes potentially regulated by the hormone melatonin in some types of cancer, especially breast cancer. According to the authors, the results can be used to guide future personalized therapies for the disease.

“Certain types of tumor appear to correlate directly with the amount of melatonin produced by cells. It’s essential to understand how the hormone influences molecular signaling at the genetic level as a guideline for personalized therapies based on melatonin,” Luiz Gustavo Chuffa, a professor at São Paulo State University’s Botucatu Institute of Biosciences (IBB-UNESP), told Agência FAPESP.

The study was supported by FAPESP and conducted in collaboration with researchers at the University of North Paraná (UENP) and São José do Rio Preto Medical School (FAMERP) in Brazil and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in the United States.

Known as the “sleep hormone” because its functions include regulating the sleep-wake cycle, melatonin has been shown to have anti-tumor properties in laboratory trials. Evidence presented in the scientific literature suggests that low levels of melatonin are associated with a heightened risk of cancer. A possible explanation is that the hormone contributes to the modulation of gene expression and may intensify the activity of tumor suppressor genes, for example.

“Most tumor cells have low levels of melatonin, but laboratory trials have shown that treatment with the hormone increases tumor cell death and reduces tumor cell proliferation, both of which are important to avoid progression of the cancer and metastasis,” Chuffa said. “Ongoing clinical trials are evaluating the use of melatonin to treat cancer. Specific therapies for the different subtypes of breast cancer already exist, and some patients will probably respond well to alternative treatments based on melatonin, while others may not.”

To identify molecular markers that serve as guides for cancer treatment, the researchers first conducted a study based on meta-analysis to find out how melatonin regulates microRNA expression in breast, head and neck, liver, stomach, prostate, central nervous system, and colorectal cancer.

Meta-analysis entails a systematic review of the literature using statistical methods to integrate the results of published research on the same subject. MicroRNAs are small RNA molecules that do not encode proteins but perform a regulatory function in the genome, controlling gene expression and hence several cellular processes.

“In this first stage, we found 14 quite recent studies that associated melatonin with altered microRNA expression. For the seven cancers on which we focused, we found 46 microRNAs with altered expression,” Chuffa said.

Next, the researchers used bioinformatics to identify pathways associated with the hormone’s action on tumor cells, basing their analysis on the association between these microRNAs and their regulatory targets. Regulatory and molecular networks were generated and analyzed in collaboration with researchers Robson Francisco Carvalho, Luis Antonio Justulin, and Sarah Santiloni.

“When we cross-referenced the information with The Cancer Genome Atlas [TCGA], a public database, we identified the target genes for these 46 microRNAs with altered expression,” Chuffa said.

As a result, they were able to understand how melatonin works in several cellular signaling pathways. “These genes targeted by melatonin relate to important biological processes in cancer, such as cell cycle regulation, cell death, and cell migration and senescence,” he explained. “Melatonin appears to act more strongly on breast, oral, and stomach cancer. Prostate and colorectal tumors, as well as glioblastoma, showed few changes induced by the microRNAs concerned.”

Breast cancer was associated with the most genes and microRNAs in this first stage of the study, so the researchers compared the target genes for the microRNAs concerned with the data obtained by RNA-seq analysis of breast tumors in mice treated with melatonin.

RNA-seq uses next-generation sequencing technology to study the expression of several genes at the same time and hence to obtain the entire transcriptome, i.e. the complete set of RNA molecules expressed in a tissue.

These analyses were performed in partnership with FAMERP researchers Débora Aparecida Pires de Campos Zuccari and Bruna Victorasso Jardim-Perassi.

“In the animals treated with 40 milligrams of melatonin, there was an enrichment of signaling pathways related to the immune system and apoptosis, and a reduction of pathways associated with tumor aggressiveness and metastasis,” Chuffa said.

The group also investigated certain proteins (transcription factors and kinases) that are active in such processes as transcription and the cellular cycle. “The goal of this part of the study was to find common targets in cellular processes and the breast cancer public database,” he said.

According to Chuffa, genes regulated by melatonin in breast cancer are potential targets for the treatment of the disease. “Melatonin is a multitasking molecule and acts on various cellular substrates, so we’re now taking the study deeper to find out how the hormone influences microRNA expression and hence the regulation of the cellular mechanisms identified,” he said.


sleep deprivation, ken jeong, the hangover, but did you die
Generally recognized signs of sleep deprivation are being irritated, cranky, slow on the uptake, no desire to do “anything”. That’s just for a day or two, any longer than that and emotionality, headaches, overeating, self medication starts showing up. Ongoing and hallucinations, paranoia, depression can appear. Shift workers or those that live with them have seen all of these in varying degrees, it’s just a fact.

But did you die?

Apparently there’s no actual evidence that you will — not from lack of sleep itself but possibly from the physical affects that then appear. Basically the inability of the body itself to function.

Here’s a few ways:
-increased chance of accidents - falling asleep on the road
-increased morbidity risk - weight gain & related risks - some cancers, Type 2, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease
-impaired immunity - leads to increased risks of infection/inflammation
-increased depression may lead to increased risk of suicide

But how serious is this?

Just 48 hrs can give you these:

* Memory loss 
* Inability to focus on normal daily tasks 
* Muscle weakness
* Tremors
* Heightened anxiety
* Paranoia 
* Hallucinations 
* Delusions (believing false information)
* Rapid heart rate
* Inability to make decisions
* Poor reaction time 
* Getting tongue-tied 
* Physical illness (due to impaired immune function)

How long can you go without sleeping?

We shouldn’t. Period.

How do you know if it’s enough? Especially if you’re in a profession that involves shift work?

“A healthy, rested person should feel alert, have a healthy appetite, and have enough motivation and discipline to complete daily obligations. If you’re experiencing heightened irritability, cravings for unhealthy food or other appetite changes, lack of motivation, depression or anxiety, physical fatigue or an inability to focus, you probably need more sleep.”

Only you can take care of yourself — it’s never too late to start.

Original article CNET
Amanda Cipritto


the shift worker
Drinking steals your sleep - which is unfortunate because lots of us self-medicate this way in order to get to sleep. These studies address those going to bed at night time, but the general idea is the same whether you’re going to bed at 9am or 9pm, or staying up after the last night shift trying to insure a good night’s sleep to start your days off. (I tried this. Disaster. But there’s shift workers that can do it.)

(HealthDay)—Nearly 7 in 10 Americans have lost sleep because they drank alcohol too close to bedtime, including 1 in 5 who often have this problem, a new poll shows.

In the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) survey, men were more likely to say they’ve lost sleep due to alcohol than women (75% vs. 60%), and adults ages 35-44 (78%) are most likely to have a drink too late at night.

“While you might think alcohol helps you sleep, there are to having a drink close to bedtime,” said AASM President Dr. Kannan Ramar, a sleep medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic.

“Alcohol use can fragment your sleep, leading to more frequent awakenings during the second half of the night,” Ramar explained in an AASM news release.

Research shows that having a moderate amount of alcohol an hour before bedtime reduces melatonin production, which can disrupt your internal clock that helps regulate your 24-hour sleep-wake cycle.

Other ways that alcohol can harm your sleep include:
* Causing new sleep disorders or worsening existing ones, including insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea.
* Causing excessive relaxation of the muscles in the head, neck and throat, which may interfere with normal breathing during sleep.
* Causing more frequent trips to the bathroom, especially during the second half of the night.
* Increasing your risk for parasomnias, including sleep walking and sleep eating.
* Alcohol-related sleep disruption can cause next-day fatigue.
Here are some tips on how to avoid alcohol-related problems:
* Have your last drink three to four hours before.
* Try to drink two glasses of water for every. This will help your system flush out the alcohol.
* Don’t have bubbly drinks, which can cause bloating and gas.
* Eat a light snack before bed. Food delays how quickly you absorb alcohol, which can help lower your blood content.


sleeping for endurance shiftwork
If you’re working towards your best performance, you need to add sleep to your training program and not just as a recovery strategy. A study in the journal Sport & Exercise shows that you should include it in the lead up to any endurance event.

They looked at 9 endurance athletes under normal sleep, sleep restriction and sleep extension conditions.

“Each condition required endurance cycling time-trials to be undertaken on four consecutive days, whereby nightly sleep was manipulated on intervening nights. Results showed that athletes better maintained endurance performance after three nights of sleep extension (8.5 hours per night). Compared with normal sleep (7 hours per night), an extra 90 minutes of sleep per night, over three consecutive nights, improved performance by an average of nearly two minutes (58.7 minutes vs. 56.8 minutes).”

The study also showed that just 2 nights of 5 hrs of sleep impaired overall performance.

Those that experienced sleep extension (8.5 hrs) experienced better performance levels suggesting that cumulative sleep is highly important.

For shift working athletes this is good information, for those engaged in endurance work such as marathons, Mudders, or distance bikers, but also for those competing in tournaments (the work baseball fund-raiser) that have congested one day events or that take place over consecutive days. Because even though it’s all fun and games… we still want to win it.

If you can take days off prior to an event is best, but getting as much sleep as you can ahead of time will improve your performance and maybe lead to that personal best you want to achieve.

The Shift Worker’s Guide

Too Much or Too Little Sleep Spikes Constipation

serenity now shift work constipation
Serenity now… it’s always something. Until it’s nothing… for some days.

Individuals who sleep more or less than average report significantly more constipation, compared with normal sleepers, based on data from 14,590 adults. (fourteen thousand for God’s sake. (so it’s not just me.))

To examine the association between sleep duration and bowel function, researchers identified 14,590 adults aged 20 years and older who completed questionnaires on sleep and bowel health as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Sleep was divided into three categories:
Short - less than 7 hours
Normal - 7-8 hours
Long - more than 8 hours.

The study showed that long sleepers are 61% more likely to report constipation, and short sleepers are 38% more likely.

The results suggest that decreased sleep is associated with constipation among adults (US based). However, “further studies are needed to evaluate the physiologic mechanisms driving the impact of sleep duration on bowel function to determine whether sleep disorders or their underlying causes affect constipation.”

As shift workers, often trading short sleep with long sleep when overtired, and striving in between to have normal sleep, this is an added concern. There have been studies that focused on health issues related to sleep disorders but not specifically bowel function. Researcher, Dr. Adejumo MD (North Shore Medical, Salem, Mass. said that he and his colleagues were surprised at the findings.

“Although, based on our hypothesis, we thought that sleeping too long may be associated with constipation, we were shocked to note similar results among people who also sleep for short durations,” he noted. “Previous studies had suggested that bowel contraction slows down considerably during sleep. It, therefore, will make sense that sleeping for too long may result in suppressed bowel motility and decreased bowel movement,” he said. “However, our results showed similar findings among short sleepers. We do not know the exact mechanism of these results. It may be that short sleep resulted in inadequate bowel rest, bowel muscle fatigue, and, subsequently, decreased bowel movement,” said Dr. Adejumo. “Or it may also be that brain-gut signaling pathways are disrupted among short sleepers, as is seen among IBS patients after a poor night sleep, resulting in higher constipation,” he added.
Clinicians should be aware of the impact of both short and long sleep on constipation, said Dr. Adejumo. “Individuals who are unable to have adequate periods of sleep due to other diseases, including insomnia, disrupted job schedules, or conditions with too long sleep, such as narcolepsy, may all additionally suffer from constipation. Such patients may need regular evaluation and treatment for constipation to improve their discomfort,” he said.

Further weight to “I’m tired of this shit,” “This shit is tiring me out,” “What is with this shit.”



sleeping for endurance shiftwork
If you’re working towards your best performance, you need to add sleep to your training program and not just as a recovery strategy. A study in the journal Sport & Exercise shows that you should include it in the lead up to any endurance event.

They looked at 9 endurance athletes under normal sleep, sleep restriction and sleep extension conditions.

“Each condition required endurance cycling time-trials to be undertaken on four consecutive days, whereby nightly sleep was manipulated on intervening nights. Results showed that athletes better maintained endurance performance after three nights of sleep extension (8.5 hours per night). Compared with normal sleep (7 hours per night), an extra 90 minutes of sleep per night, over three consecutive nights, improved performance by an average of nearly two minutes (58.7 minutes vs. 56.8 minutes).”

The study also showed that just 2 nights of 5 hrs of sleep impaired overall performance.

Those that experienced sleep extension (8.5 hrs) experienced better performance levels suggesting that cumulative sleep is highly important.

For shift working athletes this is good information, for those engaged in endurance work such as marathons, Mudders, or distance bikers, but also for those competing in tournaments (the work baseball fund-raiser) that have congested one day events or that take place over consecutive days. Because even though it’s all fun and games… we still want to win it.

If you can take days off prior to an event is best, but getting as much sleep as you can ahead of time will improve your performance and maybe lead to that personal best you want to achieve.

The Shift Worker’s Guide


tired hydration link
This is a real revolving door of results with each condition fueling the next. Research from a study released suggests that insufficient sleep may cause dehydration by disrupting the release of a hormone that is key to regulating hydration. Dehydration has various negative health effects. It can cause muscle weakness, headaches, and fatigue. Being dehydrated may also impact mood and impair cognition, two things already affected by lack of sleep itself. So yes, basically when you get up (no matter what time of day) and you feel like a witch on wheels… an initial glass of water might ease that up a bit.

Some studies have found that sleeplessness increases the risk of kidney disease and premature death. The kidneys play a vital role in hydration, and drinking more water improves kidney health.

However, few studies have examined the effects of sleep deprivation on the body's hydration levels. New research has aimed to fill this gap. The leader of the study was Asher Rosinger, Ph.D., an assistant professor of bio behavioral health at Pennsylvania State University in State College.

The new study, which examines the effect of insufficient sleep on hydration levels among adults from the United States and China, was recently published in the journal Sleep.

'If you're tired, drink extra water.'
Rosinger and colleagues analyzed the data available from two large studies: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Chinese Kailuan Study.

Overall, the researchers examined the records of over 20,000 healthy young adults, who had provided urine samples and completed questionnaires concerning their sleeping habits.

The scientists examined the urine for two markers of dehydration: specific gravity and osmolality. Rosinger and the team also applied logistic regression models to evaluate the link between hydration and sleep duration.

They found that people who regularly got 6 or fewer hours of sleep each night had more concentrated urine than those who got about 8 hours per night. "Short sleep duration was associated with higher odds of inadequate hydration in [American] and Chinese adults, relative to sleeping 8 hours," the authors explain.

More specifically, people who reported that they regularly slept for 6 hours or less each night were 16–59 percent more likely to be dehydrated than those who slept for 8 hours a night. These results applied to both population samples.

Finally, the study found no association with getting 9 or more hours of sleep per night.

Commenting on the findings, the lead author noted, "If you are only getting 6 hours of sleep a night, it can affect your hydration status." He added:

"This study suggests that if you're not getting enough sleep and you feel bad or tired the next day, drink extra water."

Although the new study is purely observational and does not prove causality, the researchers think that the hormone vasopressin may be responsible for the link between too little sleep and a lack of hydration.

Vasopressin is an antidiuretic hormone that controls the body's water balance during the day and night.

"Vasopressin is released both more quickly and later on in the sleep cycle," Rosinger explained, adding, "If you're waking up earlier, you might miss that window in which more of the hormone is released, causing a disruption in the body's hydration."

More research is needed but initial findings suggest a link.


lack of sleep alzheimers
From an article by Melissa Burkley PHD
Psychology Today February 25, 2020

“Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that occurs when there is a buildup of damaging toxic plaque in the brain. This amyloid plaque is essentially poison to our brain cells. Wherever amyloids accumulate, the surrounding neurons are killed off, resulting in severe cognitive decline. The role that amyloid plaque plays in Alzheimer’s disease is well-known, but here is a paradox that has confounded scientists for decades. You would think that Alzheimer’s patients would show large accumulations of amyloid plaque in the area of the brain responsible for long-term memory storage—the hippocampus. But that’s not true. In fact, Alzheimer’s patients show the greatest amount of amyloid accumulation in the mid-region of their frontal lobe. That is an area not particularly associated with memories, but it is associated with something else—sleep. Specifically, the mid-frontal lobe is largely responsible for the generation of non-rem and slow-wave sleep.


When we get good quality sleep, our brain acts like a steel trap for our memories. But when we are sleep-deprived, our brain acts like a sieve. Important information and memories never make it to long-term storage. They slip through the cracks and are lost forever. This is the case for people of any age, but especially older adults. As a result, what on the surface looks like age-related dementia may in fact really be sleep-deprived dementia.

* 80% of older adults wrongly diagnosed with dementia were actually suffering from sleep apnea.
* 60% of Alzheimer’s patients suffer from at least on serious sleep disorder such as insomnia or sleep apnea.


Researchers at UC Berkeley wanted to examine the link between sleep and Alzheimer’s disease more directly.

“Their results showed that Alzheimer’s patients with the worst memory performance were also the ones with (1) the greatest accumulation of amyloid plaque in the mid-frontal lobe and (2) the greatest decline in non-REM sleep. This finding is important because it suggests poor quality sleep may be the missing link that connects amyloid buildup to memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients. Plaque buildup in the mid-frontal lobe causes less non-REM sleep, and less non-REM sleep causes memory impairments. This means that contrary to popular opinion, Alzheimer’s may not have a direct impact on memory. Instead, Alzheimer’s may indirectly impact memory via sleep.”

This discovery has huge implications for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. If poor sleep plays a causal role in Alzheimer’s development, then treating poor sleep may be a novel way to treat or even prevent the disease. More research is certainly needed on this topic to make clear conclusions. “

Tips for Fixing Poor Sleep in Older Adults (or Any Age)… OR SHIFT WORKERS?

SLEEPING PILLS: No. They might help you go to sleep but generally don’t provide restorative sleep.

GET TESTED: Sleep clinic or at home tests are available for the diagnosis of sleep apnea — see your doctor.

GOOD SLEEP HYGIENE: This usually involves going to bed at the same time every day - not really doable for shift workers but you can still keep the room cool and dark, try to cut down on outside noise, watch your caffeine and alcohol intake before bed.

TRY MELATONIN: It doesn’t make you sleep but does “serve as a cue to your brain that it’s time to wind down.” There is a study that shows it also slows the accumulation of the plaques that increase the chance of developing Alzheimers.

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CIRCADIAN RHYTHM: Easier said than done as we’re up at night and trying to sleep during the day. Days off are spent trying to reverse this and info for the general public just doesn’t fit.

BEST ADVICE: Respect your need to sleep.

To read the full article with study links please visit this link at Psychology Today


back sleep problem
The science of sleep continues to bring forward the most interesting and amazing information, showing that “sleep” as a function is vitally important to one’s overall health.

In plain english, this study suggests that sleeping on your back for more than 2 hours impairs the ability of the brain to implement it’s “clean cycle”. This is when the brain cleans itself of neurotoxins that have built up while you’re awake. These neurotoxins have been linked to such things as Alzheimers, cognitive impairment, Parkinson's and other dementias. More brain imaging and research is needed, but at this point they believe there may be a legitimate causal connection and that there then is a possible modifiable risk much like diet and exercise. We can help actually help ourselves.

The study results were obtained as part of a $2.5 million multi-site longitudinal study funded by the National Institute of Aging and awarded to Advanced Brain Monitoring.

To read about this in Medical & Scientific lingo check the info link below



low bone density shift work
Short Sleep Is Associated With Low Bone Mineral Density and Osteoporosis in Women

study published in The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research suggests a link between low sleep and low bone density in women who reported sleeping 5 or less hours per night. The sites measured were whole body, total hip, neck, and spine and were compared with women who reported sleeping 7 + hours per night. Final numbers suggested 22% low bone mass and 63% higher risk of experiencing osteoporosis of the hip. The results were the same for the spine. Of note though is that there was also evidence of this in long sleepers but that was linked more with inactivity.

“Our study suggests that sleep may negatively impact bone health, adding to the list of the negative health impacts of poor sleep. I hope that it can also serve as a reminder to strive for the recommended 7 or more hours of sleep per night for our physical and mental health,” says lead author Heather Ochs-Balcom, PhD, of the University at Buffalo.”

Basically more bits of you affected by what you do for a living. But also basically more evidence that anyone doing shift work needs to seriously take care of themselves. The (US) National Institute on Aging suggests eating foods that are rich in calcium & Vitamin D, as well as weight bearing exercises and weight training, walking, jogging, stair climbing, tennis, and dancing as things that can be done to slow the progression of bone density loss. Even though they know more about osteoporosis in women than in men, this is a disease that affects both.

So, get up out of that chair… and dance.