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Australasian Sleep Conference Highlights

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Australasian Sleep Conference Highlights

Teen Sleep Could Send Early Depression Warning Naomi Rogers, Brain & Mind Research Institute, Sydney The way teenagers sleep could be a clue to their risk of developing depression or bipolar disorder, new research from the Brain & Mind Institute suggests. Naomi Rogers investigated how young people with mood disorders often have disrupted circadian rhythms and erratic sleep-wake behaviour. Understanding these patterns better could give parents a much-needed early warning that their teen may be in trouble. (Abstract I036)

Heavy Snoring A Stroke Risk John Wheatley, Ludwig Engel Centre for Respiratory Research, Sydney Snoring might be more directly linked to cardiovascular conditions than previously thought, new research by Sydney specialists suggests. Snorers have been known to have a higher risk of stroke, but it was thought that the snoring-related condition, obstructive sleep apnoea, was responsible for the risk. A new cross-sectional study and lab tests found that the vibrations caused by heavy snoring could independently contribute to vascular disease by narrowing the arteries to the brain. (Abstract I039)

Lack Of Sleep A Danger In Workplace Sally Ferguson, University of South Australia, Adelaide Shift workers who burn the candle at both ends are a danger to themselves in the workplace, as shown by a range of studies. Employees who work longer hours and then sleep less to try to maintain work-life balance are likely to be at increased risk at work. A lack of sleep contributes to fatigue-related accidents and errors in the workplace. Ferguson says the problems are significant, especially among shift and night workers, and their management should be a "critical priority". (Abstract I026)

Less Sleep And More Sugar Are Natural Bedfellows Georgina Heath, University of South Australia, Adelaide Forget fruit and nuts: sleep-deprived people reach for chocolate and sweets the more tired they become, a study in an isolation lab has shown. A team from the University of South Australia put 14 young men under observation for 12 days and watched how their food choices changed during long stretches without sleep. Results showed healthy snacks were dropped in favour of sugary ones the more tired the men became. Further research will investigate the motivation (i.e. mood, restraint) behind food choice when individuals are deprived of sleep. (Abstract P117)

Alertness Not Improved With GI Changes Samuel Ng and Chin Moi Chow, University of Sydney, Sydney Eating a low glycaemic index (GI) lunch appears to improve mental alertness and cognitive abilities over longer durations, a new diet study has found. A group of Sydney researchers set out to test the hypothesis that foods with a low GI help sustain alertness. Seventeen men were given high GI and low GI meals on different days. The two meals had a remarkably similar effect on mood, and both were judged equally tasty and filling. (Abstract P122)

Nappers' Grog Over In 15 Minutes Leigh Signal, Sleep/Wake Research Centre, Massey University, Wellington That groggy haze of confusion felt after waking from a nap lasts just 15 minutes before the brain sparks back into action, a study shows. Leigh Signal and colleagues from Massey University tried to better understand sleep inertia by depriving people of sleep and allowing some to have a nap to compare sleepiness and memory function in the hour afterwards. The nappers only performed more poorly in tests in the 15 minutes after waking and they felt no sleepier than those who hadn't napped. Napping for an hour boosted performance much better than 20-minute catnap. (Abstracts P113 & P114)

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