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Lack of sleep can lead you to eat larger portions of high-calorie foods and increase your long-term risk of weight gain, according to a small new study. Swedish researchers asked 16 normal-weight males to choose their ideal portions of high-calorie meals and snacks. They did this when they had a normal night of about eight hours sleep and again when they went a night without sleep.

The participants chose larger portion sizes after the night with no sleep. They did this both before and after a breakfast, which suggests that sleep deprivation increases food intake regardless of whether a person feels full, said study author Pleunie Hogenkamp, of Uppsala University.

“Bearing in mind that insufficient sleep is a growing problem in modern society, our results may explain why poor sleep habits can affect people’s risk to gain weight in the long run,” Hogenkamp said in a university news release.

The study was published online Feb. 18 in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. In a previous study, the same team of researchers found that young, normal-weight men who went a single night without sleep had increased activation of a brain region involved in the desire to eat.

Although the study found an association between lack of sleep and increased appetite for high-calorie foods, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

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Here is the latest eNewsletter summary of what has been on the blog over the past month:

Snore Centre eNewsletter February 2013


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A new research paper published in the Journal of Sleep Research claims that attentional control is partially impaired in obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.

“In the current study, we investigated whether attentional control is deficient in obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. Attentional control processes were investigated through conflict adaptation and conflict frequency paradigms. These neuropsychological paradigms were assessed by using the Simon, Flanker and Stroop tasks. We additionally analysed post-error slowing data within these tasks. Error processing is another index of cognitive control that is mediated by frontal lobe functioning.”

The sample consisted of 14 healthy adults and 24 patients with untreated moderate–severe obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.

“Results indicated that attentional control is partially dysfunctional among patients with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. Attentional control processes were deficient when focal attention (Flanker task) processes were involved, but were intact when observed using the Simon and Stroop tasks. A non-significant trend in post-error slowing data suggested that error processing, assessed with the Flanker task, was diminished among patients with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. These results support the view that obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome leads to some amount of frontal lobe dysfunction, and that attentional control and error processing might be particularly affected by obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.”

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In a study presented on today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in San Francisco, researchers reported findings that women with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and cardiac symptoms have a 31 percent incidence of cardiac dysfunction. The use of echocardiograms should be considered in the clinical management of these women.

OSA is characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. These pauses can last from at least ten seconds to minutes, and may occur five to 30 times or more an hour; this can lead to cardiovascular disease. The objective of the trial was to measure the incidence of OSA among pregnant and reproductive women.

The cohort was made up of 1,265 women between the ages of 15-45 who met the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) criteria for OSA based on nocturnal Polysomnogram testing. Data was gathered from 2005-2012 at a tertiary care center. Sleep lab data and individual transthoracic echocardiogram reports were reviewed.

“As obesity rates increase among reproductive age women, the frequency of obstructive sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease in pregnancy is anticipated to rise. The increased hemodynamic demands of pregnancy can cause women with underlying cardiac disease to decompensate,” said Laura K.P. Vricella, MD, fellow, Maternal-Fetal Medicine at MetroHealth Medical Center.

“We found a 31 percent incidence of abnormal echocardiograms among symptomatic women with obstructive sleep apnea. Further investigation is needed to understand the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease and their impact on pregnant women.”

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Sleep Apnea Prevention Project (S.A.P.P.) Video Launches Worldwide With Warren Sapp to Help Save Millions of Lives

Bioengineer, Sleep Apnea Expert and Zyppah Inc. Founder Dr. Jonathan Greenburg and Super Bowl XXXVII Champion Warren Sapp have joined together to raise global awareness about the importance of getting tested and treated for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. The global awareness health initiative, Sleep Apnea Prevention Project (S.A.P.P.), released the first video segment of a documentary of Sapp undergoing sleep apnea testing and treatment.

In January, Sapp was tested and diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. Through the video, viewers will gain exclusive access to the real-life experiences of the sports legend as he embarks upon a personal journey to understand the root cause of sleep apnea and the importance of getting tested. Viewers can watch Sapp as he undergoes testing and learns about the treatment options available to cure his sleep apnea.

The purpose of the S.A.P.P. is twofold:

1. GLOBAL AWARENESS: The project delivers an impactful message to the media, medical community and the millions who think of snoring as a nuisance. It illustrates how snoring, a warning sign of a more serious medical issue, is closely linked to Sleep Apnea. It also explains how untreated sleep apnea leads to serious health risks like stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

2. PATIENT EDUCATION: The project provides a clear message explaining the root cause of snoring and sleep apnea. The documentary illustrates medical advances that make it more convenient to get tested and treated. It compares the patient experience and results of the home sleep test to those conducted in sleep labs. It explains the various treatments available (surgery, CPAP and oral appliances) and how these methods work to cure sleep apnea.

It is estimated that over 100 million people worldwide have sleep apnea and 80% are undiagnosed. Delivering the message that early detection and treatment of sleep apnea can extend and save lives is the goal of S.A.P.P. For more information and links to the video, follow Warren Sapp on Twitter @WarrenSapp

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This story in the Mail Online today features one of my patients whose parrot woke her up when she stopped breathing, leading to her being diagnosed and treated for sleep apnoea. An amusing story with a serious message.

Watch Barbara’s ITV news interview


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The latest edition of Sleep journal contains research which shows that sleep apnea affects women and men differently because of sex-specific changes in the brain. This is the finding of researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)’s School of Nursing, School of Medicine, and Brain Research Institute.

The 80 subjects in the study included men and women with newly diagnosed, untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and healthy controls. In all the groups, brain fiber integrity was assessed with fractional anisotropy (FA), a diffusion tensor imaging-derived measure. Sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, depression, and anxiety were assessed with questionnaires. The researchers identified regions of differing injury in male vs female OSA patients by assessing brain regions with significant interaction effects of OSA and sex on FA.

The data showed areas of sex-specific, OSA-related FA reductions in women relative to men, including in the bilateral cingulum bundle adjacent to the mid hippocampus, right stria terminalis near the amygdala, prefrontal and posterior-parietal white matter, corpus callosum, and left superior cerebellar peduncle.

Women with OSA reported higher levels of daytime sleepiness, anxiety, and depression as well as reduced sleep quality.

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Goodnight Britain is a two part programme about people who suffer from sleeping disorders and the available treatments.

Michael Oko performs a sleep assessment at around 43 minutes into the programme on one of his patients, a lorry driver who stands to lose his livelihood if not successfully treated.

Goodnight Britain Part 2


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Catch the full show on 28th and 29th November BBC1 9pm.



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