Can’t sleep? Recent science says it’s probably a physiological problem

koala

Insomnia is a pain. Few things are more irritating than lying in bed, dead tired but confined to consciousness. I’ve had my share of insomnia, but the usual tricks people suggest for drifting away (e.g. relaxing, drinking milk, counting sheep) don’t always work.

A recent publication in Sleep, the official publication of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, takes a different approach. Researchers from University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque tracked 20 adult patients for nearly 2 years. When patients’ sleep was interrupted, researchers had the patients subjectively report why. The results are telling:

Among patients with insomnia with no classic sleep breathing symptoms and therefore low probability of asleep breathing disorder, most of their awakenings were precipitated by a medical condition (sleep disordered breathing), which contrasted sharply with their perceptions about their awakenings.

No patients reported breathing problems as the cause for interrupted sleep. But in 90% of premature awakenings, patients experienced sleep breathing events (apnea, hypopnea, or respiratory effort-related event) moments before being awakened.

What can you take from this? The study suggests that people underestimate the role that difficulty breathing plays in interrupting sleep. If I found myself waking in the middle of the night, I’d probably buy myself one of those breathing-optimized pillows.

Source:
Krakow B, Romero E, Ulibarri VA, Kikta S. Prospective assessment of nocturnal awakenings in a case series of treatment-seeking chronic insomnia patients: a pilot study of subjective and objective causes. Sleep. 2012 Dec 1;35(12):1685-92. doi: 10.5665/sleep.2244.

Supeding

Pastry Chef (https://butterhub.org), software engineer (http://jamesding.org), and fitness enthusiast.

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. awpking says:

    insomnia=fat

  2. test2 says:

    I gave you a link back on one of my pr5 pages, I hope this is ok.

  1. December 16, 2012

    [...] the Epworth Sleepiness Sleep score and other effects including motor severity, sleep markers, fatigue, and [...]

  2. January 4, 2013

    [...] her procedure on May 2005, doctors in Surquillo, Peru noted that some unknown psychological or physiological condition left Milagros unable to form proper speech patterns, leaving her [...]

Leave a Reply

Read more:
Sick after working out? Exercise can increase risk for infection.

Proponents of exercise often tout its supposed immune system-boosting effects. However, in the short term, intense exercise has been shown...

top-200-drugs
Top 200 Drugs Last Year, Part Deux

Last week Airlats brought you a list of the top 200 drugs by US prescriptions, and wow was it popular....

feautre image 1
Can Crown-like Ethers Help Humans Clinch Victory in the Ever-Lasting War Against Pathogenic Microorganisms?

Many times in organic chemistry, a reaction involves polar or charged and nonpolar reagents. The challenge to the practicing organic...

bfsn_a_10340160_o_f0011
Organic Food & Cancer

There is a scare among consumers that contaminants in produce can increase likelihood of cancer--this drives an increasing demand for...

Close