Sleep Disordered Breathing: Long Term Effects On Children

Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) in children may contribute to subtle long-term changes in executive function, a new study shows. (Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2013;7(3):165-175.)

The study was an analysis of results for a subgroup of 43 children from the Tucson Children's Assessment of Sleep Apnea Study (TuCASA) who had SDB (RDI ≥ 6 events/hour) at their initial exam (ages 6-11 years) and 43 age-, gender-, and ethnicity-matched controls. The Sustained Working Memory Task (SWMT) which combines tests of working memory (1-Back Task), reaction time (Simple Reaction Time) and attention (Multiplexing Task) with concurrent electroencephalographic monitoring was administered approximately five years later.

Subjects in the SDB group exhibited lower P300 evoked potential amplitudes during the Simple Reaction Time and Multiplexing Tasks and lower peak alpha power during the Multiplexing Task. There were no differences in performance on working memory, reaction time and attention tests between the SDB subjects and controls.

Dawn Simulation Wakening Offers Benefits

Subjects with a history of difficult morning waking who were subject to a dawn simulation protocol had higher perceived sleep quality compared with controls in a new study.(Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Feb 11.) Ratings of alertness were significantly higher in the stimulation than controls throughout the testing period. Additionally, subjects in the simulation improved cognitive performance. The authors say this is the first evidence that light exposure during the last 30 minutes of habitual sleep can increase subjective alertness and improve both cognitive and physical performance after waking.

Could CPAP Therapy Reduce Leptin Levels?

There is some evidence, though inconclusive, that CPAP therapy in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may actually reduce leptin levels.(Sleep Breath. 2014 Feb 7) Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 15 studies involving 427 patients. While the evidence for an effect on leptin was low, subgroup analyses showed that differences in OSA severity, baseline body mass index, compliance, CPAP duration and leptin assay did not affect the effectiveness of CPAP therapy.

Daily Stress Inhibits Sleep

Daily stress contributes to poor sleep quality in women, new research confirms. (Sleep Med. 2014 Jan 18) For the study, multilevel modeling was applied on electronically assessed data comprising 14 consecutive nights in 145 healthy young women to assess the relationship between daily stress, presleep (somatic and cognitive) arousal, and sleep on both levels between participants and within participants across days, the authors say.

Higher levels of somatic and cognitive arousal were associated with higher levels of daily stress in the women. The authors were surprised to find that healthy young women showed higher sleep efficiency following days with above-average stress with somatic arousal mediating this relationship.

Well-established cognitive-behavioral techniques could be useful to regulate arousal and prevent worse subjective sleep quality, they conclude.

Longer Shifts Don't Interfere with Armodafinil Effects on SWD

The duration of an individual's shift does not appear to diminish the effects of armodafinil treatment on late-in-shift symptoms of shift work disorder (SWD), a new analysis shows. (Curr Med Res Opin. 2014 Feb 4.) Patients receiving armodafinil during the study had significantly greater improvements in late-in-shift clinical condition and in wakefulness and overall global functioning than did placebo-treated patients, regardless of shift duration (nine hours or less versus more than nine hours). Improvement in Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS-M) composite score was significantly greater for armodafinil patients working >9 hours (-6.8 vs -2.7, P = 0.0086). The study is a post hoc analysis of a six week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study. Headache was the most frequent adverse event in all treatment groups.