Untreated sleep apnea is associated with flu hospitalization

As we approach flu season, adults with obstructive sleep apnea may want to take extra precautions. A study published online as an accepted paper in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine is the first to find that patients with sleep apnea who did not use CPAP therapy were more likely to be hospitalized with the flu.

Results of the retrospective study show that 61% of patients (17 of 28) who either weren’t prescribed CPAP to treat their sleep apnea or weren’t adherent to their CPAP treatment were hospitalized with the flu, compared with 24% of patients (6 of 25) who were adherent to CPAP therapy. Statistical analysis found that the patients who were non-adherent to CPAP were nearly five times more likely to be hospitalized with a flu infection, despite having a higher rate of flu vaccination.

“Our study would suggest that among patients with obstructive sleep apnea, those who use CPAP are less likely to be hospitalized because of an influenza infection than those who do not use CPAP,” said study coinvestigator Dr. Glen Greenough, associate professor of medicine, psychiatry and neurology at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Greenough said the study provides further evidence that sleep is essential to health.

“These results would suggest that use of a treatment, CPAP, that improves sleep quality reduces the severity of influenza infection as determined by rate of hospitalization,” he said. “This might suggest that treating sleep apnea and thereby improving sleep quality has a beneficial effect on the immune system. It also suggests that treating sleep apnea with CPAP could help reduce hospitalizations thereby reducing health care costs.”

Nearly 30 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea, a chronic disease that involves the repeated collapse of the upper airway during sleep. Common warning signs include snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness. A common treatment is CPAP therapy, which uses mild levels of air pressure, provided through a mask, to keep the throat open during sleep.

The researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center analyzed the medical records of 53 patients who had sleep apnea and a confirmed case of the flu between 2016-2018. The 28 patients categorized as non-adherent to CPAP treatment had a mean age of 63 years and were 54% male; the 25 CPAP-adherent patients had a mean age of about 60 years and were 52% male. CPAP use was assessed by data download, with adherence defined as usage of at least four hours per night for at least 70% of nights.

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Five meditation and yoga techniques to calm your soul and help you sleep better

Since most of us spend much of the day sitting at a desk, these exercises could help loosen up various joints and muscle groups

It is a well-known fact that most people suffer from sleep-related issues. In the last few months, as the pandemic has assailed, people have been all the more anxious and sleep-deprived. The daily stress of handling a job, taking care of personal responsibilities, planning for an uncertain future has taken a toll on many lives, also causing some physical and mental health issues.

Mindhouse, a mental wellness service offering platform — providing a variety of guided meditation sessions and techniques — stresses on the importance of adequate sleep. It says that over a period of time, insufficient sleep can take a heavy toll on the immune system, potentially setting you up for a number of different illnesses and ailments.

As such, the platform suggests five simple meditation and yoga techniques to help induce a state of deep calm; read on.

Progressive muscle relaxation

This exercise has been used by doctors since the 1930s to treat insomnia and to provide symptom relief for conditions like headaches and digestive disturbances.

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The technique involves tensing and releasing various muscle groups, one after the other, based on the premise that the physical relaxation induced by PMR can lead to a calmer state of mind, and in turn, better sleep.

Body scan meditation

As the name suggests, this technique is centred around meditatively scanning your entire body, to identify sensations of pain, or discomfort. This helps increase awareness of our own body, allowing us to develop greater insight into the causes behind these uncomfortable and unwanted sensations.


Arguably the most expansive technique on this list, visualization is only limited by your own imagination. Training your mind to focus on pleasant imagery helps you to actively move away from negative thoughts and emotions, inducing a feeling of tranquillity, and significantly enhancing your overall mental well-being.

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4-7-8 breathing

Also known as ‘Ratio Breathing’, it is one of the many different rhythmic techniques that help put your mind and body in a relaxed state. The basic concept involves inhaling through the nose as you count to 4, and then to 7 — and then exhaling as you count to 8.

Mindhouse recommends starting off with 4 cycles of this pattern and slowly working your way up to 8.

Yoga positions

There are various restorative yoga postures that help relieve stress, such as the ‘reclining bound angle’, the ‘wide knee child’s pose’, and the ‘reclining hero pose’, which can set you up for a good night’s sleep. They help diffuse tension that’s accumulated in various parts of the body, such as the hips and hamstrings, and help to improve blood circulation in your feet.

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And since most of us spend much of the day sitting at a desk, these exercises could help loosen up various joints and muscle groups.

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Study: Sleep apnea treatment reduces heart problems in patients with prediabetes

A new study found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment at night can lower daytime resting heart rates in patients with prediabetes who have obstructive sleep apnea, reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study, published Oct. 1 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, was conducted by Esra Tasali, MD, Director of the Sleep Research Center at the University of Chicago Medicine, and Sushmita Pamidi, MD, a sleep physician-scientist at McGill University in Montreal.

The discovery could potentially help the 1 billion people worldwide with obstructive sleep apnea, in which the prevalence of prediabetes and diabetes is over 60 percent. Furthermore, the vast majority of patients with obstructive sleep apnea are undiagnosed.

The study’s findings are especially timely, given that people with diabetes or cardiovascular problems are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

“Any way we can improve cardiovascular health is more important than ever these days,” Tasali said.

This randomized controlled trial studied people with prediabetes, a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetic. Those who used CPAP treatment for two weeks had a drop in their resting heart rate by four to five beats per minute, compared to those who received placebo. Notably, with optimal CPAP treatment, their heart rates were not only lower at night, but also during the day.

“That’s significant,” Tasali said, noting that a drop of even one beat per minute in resting heart rate can lower the mortality rate and future risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

“A four- to five-beat-per-minute drop in heart rate that we observed is comparable to what you would get from regular exercise,” she added. “Our breakthrough finding is the carryover of the lowered resting heart rate into the daytime and the cardiovascular benefit of that.”

Resting heart rate is key to a person’s health and well-being. A high resting heart rate signals increased stress to the heart. It is a strong predictor of heart problems and death, the doctors said. Prior research has shown that in middle-aged people, every beat-per-minute increase in resting heart rate is associated with a 3% higher mortality rate.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that causes people to repeatedly stop breathing at night, decreasing oxygen intake and disrupting their sleep. It is a serious health concern, increasing the risk of cardiovascular conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack. It makes people sleepy during the day and heightens their “fight or flight” stress hormones, elevating their resting heart rate all day and night.

Doctors use CPAP to treat obstructive sleep apnea. It keeps a person’s airway open and oxygen levels steady during the night, thus lowers their heart rate. However, Pamidi isn’t encouraging people to go online and buy the machine. Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical diagnosis that must be made by a doctor after a sleep study.

“Our recent findings urge people who have prediabetes, diabetes or sleeping problems to be screened for sleep apnea,” Pamidi said.

Today, about 80% of sleep apnea cases are undiagnosed. An estimated 50% to 70% of people with prediabetes or diabetes have sleep apnea.

“The majority of patients don’t make a connection as to how their sleep can affect their hearts. With regards to their sleep apnea, patients just think how sleepy they are the next day,” Tasali said. “I always explain to my patients that sleep apnea can also be harmful to their cardiovascular health.”

This study is the first to examine the impact of optimal CPAP treatment on daytime resting heart rate,” said Pamidi. Before joining McGill, she was a clinical fellow and then faculty at UChicago Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

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Sleep: Why am I waking up at 3am? The hidden reasons you can’t sleep

Sleep is essential for us all to act like fully functioning humans. Without it, we can end up feeling pretty grumpy and this sleep deprivation can actually have some long term effects on your physical health. One in three of us suffers from poor sleep, so how does this explain why you may be waking up at 3am every night? Express.co.uk finds out why we wake up in the middle of the night, and just how much sleep a person really needs.

How much sleep do you really need?

You may have heard the average adult needs about eight hours of sleep each night – and you’d be right.

but what’s important is that it’s eight hours of good quality sleep, not just eight hours of being in bed, tossing and turning.

Some of you may need to sleep a bit more than this, and some less, so it’s important to find what works for you.

If you’re waking up tired, or you find yourself crying out for a nap in the middle of the day, you may need to up how long you’re sleeping each night.

Lack of sleep can often cause fatigue, shortness of temper and a lack of focus.

But after several nights of no sleep, your brain can fog, leaving you finding it hard to concentrate and you may begin to find this affecting your mental health.

Sleep deprivation can also make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

If you’re waking often in the night or find yourself wide eyed at 3am, you may be concerned. So here’s some signs to look out for that could be causing your midnight wake up call.

Why am I waking up at 3am?

If you’re not getting enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate and that’s by getting more sleep.

The NHS says: “It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks.

“Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or 2 of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning (no alarm clocks allowed!).

“Expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.”

But if you’re struggling to drop off, ‘getting more sleep’ may be more difficult than it sounds.

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There are several reasons you could be waking up in the middle of the night or struggling to get back to sleep. Express.co.uk breaks down the five most simple explanations – and the five signs you should be think about tackling to ensure you are sleeping enough.

1. Exercise

If you find yourself struggling to drop off tonight, it may mean you haven’t been active enough during the day.

Make sure to try and get your 10,000 steps in every day.

The NHS also recommends doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week.

2. Put your phone down

Studies show that putting down your phone, tablet or laptop for at least half an hour before bed can help you drift off.

The UK Sleep Council says: “The blue light hinders melatonin production and the content stimulates the brain making it feel more alert.”

3. Cut down on sugar

Regularly eating too much sugar can be a cause for you naturally waking at 2am to 3am each morning.

As well as being bad for your health, too much sugar can affect your sleep. This is because while you’re sleeping your blood sugar drops so your body rouses you to get your attention.

Cut down on artificial sugars in your foods and drinks to sleep through the night.

4. Check your mental health

If you’ve found yourself feel down or stressed, this can be a cause of your lack of sleep.

The NHS says: “If you often lie awake worrying about tomorrow, set aside time before bed to make a list for the next day. This can help put your mind at rest.”

5. Invest in a new mattress

You should replace your mattress every seven to eight years. While it may sound excessive,

a £1,000 bed over seven years only works out at 20p per night.

Think about your bed size too – most couples in the UK have a double bed, but it might be time to switch to kingsize.

Why? Because a standard double bed at 4ft 6in gives each person just 2ft 3in of space – that’s less than a baby in a cot – according to the Sleep Council.

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Optimism allows for better natural healing sleep natural remedies specialist portal

Study of insomnia and optimism

A few months ago published Researchers from the United States a study that showed that optimism lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes significantly. A reason for the health benefits could be that optimistic people sleep better.

Scientific studies have shown that Optimist and optimist longer than pessimistic people and a lower risk to become chronically ill. One reason for the longer and healthier the life of optimistic people could be a better night’s sleep: this is The Central result of a recent study from Austria.

Optimistic people live healthier

The study, under the direction of Jacob Weitzer and Eva Schernhammer of the Department for epidemiology of the Medical University (MedUni) Vienna was recently published in the journal “Journal of Sleep Research”. Also, the two sleep researchers, Stefan Seidel and Gerhard Klösch (University clinic for neurology, medical University of Vienna), were involved in this scientific work.

Through the analysis of the data of an Online survey for the General sleep characteristics, and, among other things, to the work environment and to the behavior before bedtime in the year 2017, at the 1.004 Austrians took part, the Epidemiological and epidemiologists at the medical University of Vienna show that the probability of sleep disorders or sleeplessness (Insomnia) to suffer for optimistic participants was approximately 70 percent lower than for pessimistic.

“Other studies have shown that optimists do more Sport, less feed Smoking and healthier. In addition, you can apply better strategies to cope with problems and feel less Stress in challenging situations. All of these factors can lead to a better night’s sleep,“ summarizes Weitzer the current state of the research in a press release.

Optimism “train”

The Study authors stress that could promote optimism through various Exercises even. One of these Exercises, the so-called “Best Possible Self is”. “You trying to figure an Ideal, and write down, as best it could look for possible life in the future. After several weeks of regular Exercise, you can promote your own optimism,“ says Weitzer.

It is primary aim is to achieve this “Ideal,” but rather to reflect generally about it and then, realistic goals, optimism for the future. Until today it was uncertain whether the in the Exercises achieved increase in optimism leads to better sleep and better health, stresses Weitzer.

However, should this be the case, what would need to be investigated in further studies, could reduce the number of “optimism training,” the incidence of sleep and other health problems in the population, – stated in the message. (ad)

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Study links increased exercise with lower sleep apnea risk

A study published online as an accepted paper in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that increased physical activity is associated with a lower risk of obstructive sleep apnea, a common sleep-related breathing disorder. The study is the largest to date focused on the relationship between sleep apnea and levels of physical activity in the general community.

Researchers reviewed lifestyle, medical, socio-demographic and sleep health data collected from more than 155,000 adults participating in the Ontario Health Study. Based on the physical activity of participants with and without sleep apnea, the investigators determined that a modest increase in physical activity, including walking, is associated with a 10 percent reduction in the risk of developing sleep apnea.

“Our results highlight the importance of physical activity as a preventive measure against developing sleep apnea,” said senior author Lyle Palmer, who is professor of genetic epidemiology at the University of Adelaide in Australia. “One surprising finding was that not only vigorous physical activity but also just walking alone was associated with a decreased risk of sleep apnea.”

The authors found that adding 20 minutes to a daily walk and increasing vigorous daily activity by eight minutes would be enough to achieve a lower sleep apnea risk. The finding is independent of other known risk factors for sleep apnea such as sex, age, ethnicity and obesity.

It is estimated that more than 29 million American adults have sleep apnea, many of them undiagnosed. Untreated sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and other potentially serious conditions.

“The rates of sleep apnea in children and adults are continuing to rise. Therefore, understanding the role of modifiable protective factors for sleep apnea is important,” said Palmer. “Exercise is one such protective factor and has many other positive effects on general health. Sleep health care professionals should be trying to get their patients to exercise more.”

The cross-sectional, population-based study analyzed baseline questionnaire data from 155,448 adult residents of Ontario, Canada (60% women and 40% men). Their mean age was 46 years, and about 75% were white. About 6.9% of participants reported being told by a doctor that they have sleep apnea. Those with sleep apnea were more sedentary, sitting for a median of 4.4 more hours per week than those without sleep apnea.

Due to the cross-sectional nature of the study, the authors were unable to make temporal inferences on the observed associations between physical activity and sleep apnea. However, they report that previous studies also have suggested that physical activity can reduce the severity of sleep apnea.

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Lack of sleep reduces positive feelings – Naturopathy naturopathy specialist portal

How too little sleep affects our emotions

Reduced sleep causes that people are less likely to develop positive feelings. In a current study, the Participants felt, for example, less joy and enthusiasm, if you slept less than normal.

In the current investigation, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), it was found that the reduction of nocturnal sleep has a negative impact on positive feelings, on the next day. The results were published in the English journal “Sleep”.

Research took place in a sleep laboratory

Most of the research on the topic of sleep are done in laboratories, but in the new study were examined in participants that slept at home. These people spent seven nights in your own bed, and slept as long as usual. On three mornings, a series of Tests was carried out. After that, the Participants slept for three nights, two hours less than normal, and on two mornings, the same Tests were completed again.

Sleep patterns of people are different

All people have different sleep patterns. The sense to allow Participants to sleep at home, was the fact that it resembles normal life as much as possible, the Team explains. In the Phase of sleep deprivation, the Participants went two hours later to bed than normal. Still, she had to get up at your usual time.

Morning Test of the responsiveness


About one and a half hours after getting a Test was carried out. Over a period of 14 minutes Participating in the 365 different pictures have been shown with random letters on a computer screen. If the picture contained the letter X, they were asked to press a button. The image contained a X, had to do the Participating nothing special.

The responsiveness and accuracy were tested. The reaction time decreased as the Participants suffered from sleep deprivation, the error rate increased. It seems that people respond faster to a lower concentration to balance. As a result, the error rate increases, but says the research group.

What was the impact of shorter sleep over a longer period of time?

While the Participating sections with each day that they completed the Test after a normal sleep, better and better, achieved after a night with insufficient sleep every day worse results in terms of accuracy. It is known that sleep is important for Learning. It is possible that the observed results are related to this factor, the presumption of the researchers.

Questions about emotions had to be answered

In the second part of the test, the Participants answered a questionnaire to identify 20 positive and negative emotions. There are no clear differences in negative feelings were identified, however, there were significant differences in the positive emotions. After a night of reduced sleep, positive feelings were reduced. After three nights with less sleep, the positive emotions declined even more.

Less regular sleep than normal, influenced the feelings of


Less sleep causes more negative feelings occur. Instead, a flattening of positive emotions seems to be the case. Due to less sleep than normal, the affected people felt less pleasure, enthusiasm, attention, and fulfillment, reports the researchers.

Impact on mental health?

The results are quite interesting for the General health. However, the study has not dealt with the question of how long the lack of positive feelings continue after the sleep deprivation. The researchers plan therefore the duration to investigate this state of mind more accurately.

Consequences of an irregular circadian rhythm

There are often reasons later to go to bed, nevertheless, affected persons have to get up usually by the next day early and go to work or, for example, the children in the Kindergarten. This contributes to the fact that people get too little sleep. The length of sleep is only a part of the overall picture, it is also important when the affected people to bed are gone. An irregular circadian rhythm can be worse than too little sleep, reported study author Ingvild Saksvik-Lehouillier, both from the University of Science and Technology.

Adolescents are particularly at risk

Adolescents have a greater need for sleep, and are a particularly vulnerable group. The use of the Internet and Smartphones leads to many of the test, which is why Adolescents go to bed late. Nevertheless, you need to get up the next Morning and go to school. Sleep deprivation can quickly become a Problem. Many young people have, especially during the exam period sleep problems.

Health effects of shift work

Long-term studies, which were carried out under Layer, which is to sleep over a long period of time little, had serious negative consequences on health, including a significantly increased risk for diseases such as cancer and Diabetes.

Signs of healthy sleep habits

Sleep is individual. Not all of us need to sleep every night for seven and a half hours. Some people like to stay up in the early hours of the morning, others love it, early in the Morning to get up. The most Important thing is how you feel. If you are in a good mood and awake when you get up, are the signs that your sleep habits work for you, adds Saksvik-Lehouillier. (as)

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Can't sleep? Try these acupressure techniques to help you drift off

When you’re tossing and turning and sleep just won’t come, you’ll try anything – fancy pillow sprays, herbal remedies, hypnotherapy apps, desperately ringing up a pal and asking them to tell you a bedtime story.

In these dire situations, it’s worth giving acupressure a go, mostly because it’s free, easy to do, and if it doesn’t work you haven’t lost anything.

And actually, it just might work. Then you’ll get to drift off into rest and everything will be dreamy.

We chatted to Renata Nunes, a physiotherapist, massage therapist, and acupuncturist, who shared her guide to simple acupressure techniques you can do on yourself at home to help you get some sleep.

‘Chinese medicine understands insomnia as disharmony between Yin and Yang,’ Renata explains.

‘The energy between Yin and Yang must be harmonious and must flow into each other in a daily cycle. Yang energy should flow during the day and Yin energy at night.

‘Yang is brilliant energy, the sun, the day, occurs intensely, Yin is passive energy, at night, it occurs in a timid way. Someone with insomnia has a greater Yang tendency than Yin.

‘Treatment must find the balance between Yin and Yang, fire and water. In this case, fire is represented by the heart and water is represented by the kidney.

‘The ideal would be to make an assessment to check the disharmonies of each patient. However, in this time of isolation, we can work with some points to help calm the mind and sleep better.’

Don’t get put off by the Yin and Yang talk – you don’t necessarily need to buy into all of that to see benefits from acupressure techniques.

Ready? Let’s try these.

Yintang – to calm the mind

Yintang describes the point right between the eyebrows.

Renata says: ‘Make a very gentle massage between the inner ends of the two eyebrows in a circular motion clockwise.

Also you can tap the point with your fingertip.

‘As you apply the pressure allow all the muscles of your forehead to relax. This is a good point to calm the mind and insomnia.’

GV 20 – to dispel negative thoughts

This is at the top of the head, in the middle of the line that connects the apex of the two ears. You can press the point down and back.

Try making circular movements counterclockwise direction.

Renata says this technique can also help to relieve headaches.

Heart 7

Applying pressure to this area is said to help relieve insomnia, irritability, and chest pain.

‘Draw a vertical line between your fourth and fifth finger and stop at the crease of the wrist,’ Renata explains. ‘The point is at the height of the wrist crease next to the tendon.

‘You can press the point and make circular movements in a clockwise direction. Also, you can rub the whole wrist.’

Kidney 6 – to nourish kidney Yin

This is the spot on the inner side of the foot, in the depression below the ankle .

Renata recommends pressing this point, making circular movements in a clockwise direction, and tapping it, to help ‘calm the mind, open the chest, and invigorate the kidney’.

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