Elly Mackay Blog

Choosing the Best Sleep Position 0

Choosing the Best Sleep Position

Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Rachel Salas, MD, an associate professor of neurology, explains in a university blog post why some sleeping positions are better than others.

Back and neck pain: When it comes to alleviating pain, sleeping on your back is a mixed bag, Salas says. For people with neck pain, sleeping face up can sometimes make the pain worse. But many people find back sleep is helpful for alleviating low-back pain. If you have soreness in your spine, experiment with different positions and pillows to find what works for you.

Snoring and sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea causes the airways to collapse during sleep, leading to pauses in breathing. It often goes hand-in-hand with snoring. Positioning yourself on your side or stomach can help the airways stay open to reduce snoring and alleviate mild apnea, Salas says.

Reflux and heartburn: If you suffer from heartburn, sleeping on your right side can make symptoms worse, Salas says. That’s true for people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and for people who have heartburn for other reasons, such as pregnant women. Flip

4 Ways Lockdown Changed Sleep, for Better and Worse—and What to do Next 0

4 Ways Lockdown Changed Sleep, for Better and Worse—and What to do Next

Since the earliest days of the coronavirus, scientists have been furiously at work studying its characteristics, searching for treatments and ultimately a vaccine, and investigating its effects—including on sleep. There’s been research that suggests melatonin might have some protective benefits, helping to mitigate the severity of Covid-19 ( in animal models). Researchers are examining the effects of social isolation, economic upheaval, stress and uncertainty on our nightly rest. 

We’re (mostly) on the other side of a months-long lockdown, and scientific research has begun to reveal ways that broad social quarantine has affected our sleep. This won’t be the last we learn about the effects of this unprecedented global upheaval on sleep. But research now begins to point to specific sleep challenges—and some silver linings around sleep in the age of coronavirus. 

Here are 4 things we’ve learned so far about what’s happened to our sleep since lockdown, with some advice about how to put this information to work for your sleep, going forward.

Some of us are getting more sleep since lockdown 

That’s one of the takeaways from two

Society: Resume Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Before COVID-19 Pandemic Is Over 0

Society: Resume Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Before COVID-19 Pandemic Is Over

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) declared metabolic and bariatric surgery “medically necessary and the best treatment for those with the life-threatening and life-limiting disease of severe obesity” and called for the safe and rapid resumption of procedures, which have been largely postponed along with other surgeries deemed elective amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a new position statement entitled, “Safer Through Surgery,” published online in the journal SOARD, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery strongly rejects classifying metabolic and bariatric surgery as “elective” and prefers the use of the term “medically necessary time-sensitive surgery” or “medically necessary non-emergent surgery” to better characterize the effectiveness of the intervention and the progressive nature of the many diseases it treats including obesity, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension.

[RELATED: Bariatric Surgery May Reduce OSA Risk in Severely Obese Adults]

“COVID-19 may be a factor for quite some time and the longer the treatment of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other related diseases are postponed, the greater the chance they will become worse,” says Matthew M. Hutter, MD, …

Why Sleep Medicine Is Well-Positioned Now and Post-Pandemic [Editor’s Message] 0

Why Sleep Medicine Is Well-Positioned Now and Post-Pandemic [Editor’s Message]

By Sree Roy

When poor sleep is chronic, the negative impacts seep into people’s bodies and psyches, eventually resulting in the squandering of both nights and days to an unmanaged sleep disorder. But when diagnosed and treated appropriately, people with sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and other disorders can see significant improvements in their quality of life.

That is why I was reassured to see the results of Needham & Company’s 2Q20 Sleep Center Survey, conducted in April 2020 in conjunction with Sleep Review. The results indicate that, while COVID-19 is expected to hurt next-12-month patient volume growth, the subspecialty is likely to see a smaller impact than other sectors since patient diagnosis and therapy for sleep apnea can be done remotely without any in-person interaction. Though this survey focuses on sleep apnea, several of the other common sleep disorders that bring people to the doorstep of sleep medicine professionals can also be diagnosed and treated remotely, including insomnia (which is likely increasing in prevalence during the pandemic).

Patient volume grew by 3.5% in the last 12 months …

Why You Should Use A White Noise Machine This Fourth of July 0

Why You Should Use A White Noise Machine This Fourth of July

And How to Find the Best Model For You.

Have you heard them? I’ve certainly heard them over the last few weeks — and they’re about to pick up steam as we head towards the Fourth of July, which is easily one of my favorite holidays each year.

I’m talking about fireworks, of course. It’s officially Fireworks Season here in Southern California, where they’ve been firing off for about a week now. And it’s not just SoCal. Several friends and clients across the country told me they’ve recently heard more bangs, booms and crackles at night.

I love it, but I also know those late night explosions can make it tough to fall asleep. Luckily, I’ve got my “secret weapon” ready to go: my white noise machine. White noise is a great tool you can leverage to help block out loud noises and create a quiet and peaceful sleep environment. Research indicates white noise machines can help people in loud environments get nearly 50% more sleep on average each night than those not using white noise machines.

If you’re …

Even with CPAP, the Burden of Daytime Sleepiness for Sleep Apnea Patients Can Persist 0

Even with CPAP, the Burden of Daytime Sleepiness for Sleep Apnea Patients Can Persist

Clinicians should focus directly on the symptom of EDS, suggests a new review.

By Lisa Spear

Car accidents caused by drowsy driving and mounting medical bills are just a few of the personal and economic costs of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). This symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and other sleep disorders has been associated with falling asleep at work, decreased productivity, and difficulty with managing time. Trouble with mood regulation and depression1 are also commonly seen in unmanaged daytime sleepiness.

Increasingly, studies are finding that excessive daytime sleepiness can continue to take a toll on patients even after they’re treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)—and correspondingly, that patients’ personal and economic burdens can persist.

“The primary therapies for sleep apnea don’t fully treat sleep apnea,” explains Carl Stepnowsky, PhD, a research psychologist who specializes in behavioral sleep medicine at the University of California, San Diego. “I think sometimes it is easy to say, ‘Here’s a device, it’s going to help you breathe at night and you’ll be fine.’ But it is a little bit more complicated than …

Can Bad Posture Take a Toll On Your Sleep? 0

Can Bad Posture Take a Toll On Your Sleep?

Sleeping on the stomach can put extra stress on the spine, flattening its natural curvature and potentially leading to back and neck pain, which can lead to poor sleep quality, reports Shape.

While sleeping on your back is generally recommended over snoozing on your stomach, back-sleepers can still potentially run into some issues. Sleeping on your back can increase your risk of developing sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes your breathing to stop and start, explains Duma. Plus, if you’re a snorer, lying in this position definitely isn’t ideal, she adds.

“[When you sleep on your back,] your throat and belly are being pulled down by gravity, making it harder for you to breathe,” Andrew Westwood, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, previously told Shape. “If you [lie on your side or] get pushed by your bed partner, that snoring goes away.”

Get the full story at shape.com.

from Sleep Review https://www.sleepreviewmag.com/sleep-health/sleep-whole-body/bad-posture-sleep/…

Study: Risk For Cancer Rises with Severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea 0

Study: Risk For Cancer Rises with Severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

A report from Healio reviews new research that shows how cancer rates can increase with sleep apnea severity.

In a large cohort study of 33,000 participants, severity of obstructive sleep apnea was independently associated with incident cancer, according to data scheduled for presentation at the American Thoracic Society International Conference.

“Chronic hypoxemia and fragmented sleep are mechanisms by which obstructive sleep apnea is proposed to contribute to cancer development,” Tetyana Kendzerska, MD, PhDassociate scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and assistant professor in the division of respirology at University of Ottawa, Canada, said in a press release. “However, epidemiological evidence linking OSA and cancer is still inconclusive.”

Get the full story at healio.com.

from Sleep Review https://www.sleepreviewmag.com/sleep-disorders/breathing-disorders/obstructive-sleep-apnea/study-risk-for-cancer-rises-with-severity-of-obstructive-sleep-apnea/…

The Guardian Reviews Under-Mattress Withings Sleep Analyzer 0

The Guardian Reviews Under-Mattress Withings Sleep Analyzer

Withings Sleep Analyzer records sleep and heart rate, and promises to monitor for sleep apnea, according to a report from The Guardian.

The mat is 637mm long, 190mm wide and only 5mm thick, so easily slides between your mattress and base (including slatted bases), positioned around where your chest lies. It tracks your breathing, heart rate and movement with a pneumatic sensor, and your snoring and sleep apnea with a sound sensor. It then syncs the data via wifi to your Withings account and the accompanying Health Mate app when you get up.

Set up is simple using Health Mate on iOS or Android. Put the mat in place, plug it in, find the mat via Bluetooth in the app and then wait for it to inflate and calibrate. The process takes about five minutes.

The tracking is automatic, so all you have to do is get into bed and sleep as you usually would, which is the beauty of the Sleep Analyzer system. You can completely forget about it and just pick up your data when you need it.

The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation 0

The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

By the American Heart Association

Most people are familiar with the obvious consequences of sleep deprivation—the heavy eyelids, short attention spans, and excessive yawning after a poor night’s sleep.

But there are more consequences of meager sleep than people realize. Research shows skimping on sleep is linked to numerous health problems, including stroke, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.

“It’s like with diet, every cell in the body benefits from food in some way,” said Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson. “Sleep is similar in that way. The whole body (benefits).”

Just one night of sleep deprivation can lead to accumulation in the brain of the beta amyloid protein, a key component in risk for Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2018 study. Researchers found signs of the protein in the hippocampus, which plays a major role in forming new memories and is one of the first areas affected by Alzheimer’s.

There also is evidence that lack of sleep contributes to excess body weight. One st