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Stable marriage is linked with better sleep in women

Being stably married or gaining a partner is associated with better sleep in women than being unmarried or losing a partner, according to a research abstract presented at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

According to the study's lead author, Wendy Troxel, PhD, Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, women who were stably married had the highest quality sleep measured objectively and subjectively, and these results persisted even after controlling for other known risk factors for sleep, including age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and depressive symptoms.

Troxel presented related findings at SLEEP 2008, showing that marital happiness may lower the risk of sleep problems in women, while marital strife may heighten the risk. "The current findings dovetail with our previous work, suggesting that relationship stability as well as quality may be important protective factors for women's sleep," said Dr. Troxel.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 10 06 09 / SLEEP 2009
The Ups and Downs of Marriage: A Bumpy Road for Sleep? 
Behavior, Cognition & Dreams 

Poor sleep is associated with lower relationship satisfaction in both women and men

A bidirectional association exists between couples' sleep quality and the quality of their relationship.

Results indicate that on a day to day basis, couples' relationship quality affects their sleep, and their sleep also affects their subsequent relationship functioning. For men, better sleep (as indicated by diary–based sleep efficiency) was associated with more positive ratings of relationship quality the next day. For women, negative partner interactions during the day were associated with poorer sleep efficiency for both themselves and their partner that night. 

Hasler said that interventions directed at improving either quality of sleep or relationships may provide overall benefits, as the two directly impact each other. Hasler recommends that couples should resolve disputes before going to bed and avoid confrontational discussions on a day when one or both of them had a bad night's sleep. 

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 10 06 09 / SLEEP 2009
Sleep Disturbance and Daily Relationship Quality in Couples: Evidence for Bidirectional Associations 
Behavior, Cognition & Dreams 

Study shows a bidirectional relationship between chronic stress and sleep problems

People with chronic stress report shorter sleep duration, worse sleep quality, and more daytime functioning impairments. Conversely, daytime functioning impairments and shorter sleep duration demonstrated a predictive relationship with habitual stress complaints. 

Results indicate that poor sleep may be a potential cause of stress; individuals who report more fatigue and less total sleep are more likely to report more stress. 

According to principal investigator Eric Powell, PhD, director of research at the Research Center at Clayton Sleep Institute in St. Louis, Mo., factors that were the best predictors of high stress were daytime functioning and typical amount of sleep. 

"The simplest, and likely best advice for individuals with high stress and poor sleep is to look at some of the lifestyle choices they are making and ensuring sufficient sleep is at the core of those choices," said Powell. 

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 10 06 09 / SLEEP 2009
Does Habitual Stress Cause Sleep Problems and Daytime Functioning Impairments, or is Stress the Result of Poor Sleep? 
Behavior, Cognition & Dreams 

Better sleep is associated with improved academic success

Getting more high-quality sleep is associated with better academic performance. The positive relationship is especially relevant to performance in math. 

Results indicate that higher math scores were related to greater sleep quality, less awakenings and increased sleep efficiency. Higher English and history scores were associated with less difficulty awakening. Increased sleep-onset latency over the weekend was associated with worse academic performance. 

According to principal investigator Jennifer C. Cousins, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, it was surprising that although more and better sleep produced overall improvements, different types of sleep measures were related to different types of functioning.

"Sleep deficits cause problems for adolescents, but students differ in their personal resources and in how chaotic their sleep-wake schedules are," said Cousins. "The more regular and predictable their sleep is, the better they are likely to do when confronted with short-term sleep deficits. Therefore, participants with better sleep overall may be affected differently in a sleep condition compared to those who have a more varying sleep/wake schedule." 

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 10 06 09 / SLEEP 2009
The Relationship of Weekday and Weekend Sleep on Academic Performance in Adolescents 

Meditation may be an effective treatment for insomnia

Meditation may be an effective behavioral intervention in the treatment of insomnia.

Results indicate that patients saw improvements in subjective sleep quality and sleep diary parameters while practicing meditation. Sleep latency, total sleep time, total wake time, wake after sleep onset, sleep efficiency, sleep quality and depression improved in patients who used meditation. 

According to principal investigator Ramadevi Gourineni, MD, director of the insomnia program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Evanston, Ill., insomnia is believed to be a 24-hour problem of hyperarousal, and elevated measures of arousals are seen throughout the day. 

"Results of the study show that teaching deep relaxation techniques during the daytime can help improve sleep at night," said Gourineni. 

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 09 06 09 / SLEEP 2009
Effects of Meditation on Sleep in Individuals with Chronic Insomnia 

Naps with rapid eye movement sleep increase receptiveness to positive emotion

Naps with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep refresh the brain's empathetic sensitivity for evaluating human emotions by decreasing a negative bias and amplifying recognition of positive emotions.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 10 06 09 / SLEEP 2009
Sleep Refreshes Human Emotional Brain Reactivity 
Sleep Deprivation 

Rheumatoid arthritis is associated with poor sleep in women

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) negatively affect women's sleep. Sleep is further impaired by pain, depression and poor adherence to RA medications. 

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 10 06 09 / SLEEP 2009
Sleep Quality in Women with Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Sleep in Medical Disorders

Sleep may be important in regulating emotional responses

sleep selectively preservers memories that are emotionally salient and relevant to future goals when sleep follows soon after learning. Effects persist for as long as four months after the memory is created. 

According to lead author, Jessica Payne, PhD, of Harvard Medical School in Boston MA, It was surprising that in addition to seeing the enhancement of negative memories over neutral scenes, there was also selectivity within the emotional scenes themselves, with sleep only consolidating what is most relevant, adaptive and useful about the scenes. It was even more surprising that this selectivity lasted for a full day and even months later if sleep came soon after learning. 

American Academy of Sleep Medicine / Sleep 2009
Sleep Promotes Lasting Changes in Memory for Emotional Scenes 
Behavior, Cognition & Dreams 

Extended or shortened sleep duration linked to weight gain

Body Mass Index (BMI) varies as a function of habitual sleep duration. According to the lead author of the story, Nathaniel Watson, MD, co-director at the University of Washington Sleep Institute, in Seattle, sleep habits have a significant impact on weight and BMI. 

American Academy of Sleep Medicine / Sleep 2009
Does Sleep Duration Influence Body Mass Index in Twins?
Sleep in Medical Disorders

Copyright, 2009: KK
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