The Week in Sleep News: November 18, 2022

This week we found out how Spain's World Cup team is preparing for the tournament: Custom mattress toppers.

Two people sitting up reading newspapers in bed.

Here’s the sleep news for this week:

Morning blue light improves sleep in people with PTSD

Inadequate sleep can have major impacts on those with PTSD. A new study in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience looked at the effects of daily morning blue-wavelength light exposure on individuals with clinically significant levels of PTSD. Participants committed to 30 minutes of morning light exposure daily for six weeks. Half of the participants used blue-wavelength light and half used amber light. Researchers looked at the neurobiological, autonomic, and behavioral outcome changes during the study.

The people who received blue light therapy demonstrated significant improvements in the severity of their PTSD symptoms, as well as improvements in sleep and showed an increased retention of fear extinction memories. Comparatively, those who received amber light did not show the same retention of the extinction memories and demonstrated a return of the original fear memories.

Mediterranean diet helps with obstructive sleep apnea

We all know what we eat can impact the way our body feels and moves. A new study published by the National Library of Medicine has found that the Mediterranean diet, which prioritizes fish, whole grains, plants, and foods high in unsaturated fats, may help with obstructive sleep apnea. Researchers found that those who followed a Mediterranean diet or lifestyle saw their sleep apnea, insomnia, and daytime sleepiness lessened. The study found that the participants experienced improvements in their sleep apnea regardless of whether they lost weight.

Nearly half of America is sleep deprived

If you’re feeling sleep deprived, you’re not alone. A new study looking at the sleep deprivation between workday and weekends found that 30% of Americans experienced 1 hour or more of sleep debt, while over 46% of the survey participants reported at least 1 hour of social jet lag, and 19.3% experienced at least 2 hours. Between workdays and weekends, the study found the average sleep duration was significantly longer on free days than on workdays. Researchers hope this study provides evidence to further investigate potential approaches to optimizing overall US sleep health.

Job demands impact your sleep

Feel like you’re losing sleep over your job? You might be onto something. A team of researchers examined what relationships exist between job demands and sleep health. The questionnaire researchers used examined five specific aspects of job demands: intensity, role conflict, work overload, time pressure, and interruptions, as well as habitual sleep health patterns across five dimensions: regularity, satisfaction/quality, daytime alertness, efficiency, and duration. They found that participants with higher job demands had worse sleep health, such as shorter duration, greater irregularity, greater inefficiency, and more sleep dissatisfaction. These findings suggest sleep regularity and efficiency outcomes are best when job demands are moderate rather than too low or too high.

Are mattress toppers the key to the world cup?

As the World Cup gears up in Qatar teams all over the world are looking for an edge over the competition. The team representing Spain believe they've found it by having players sleep on specially designed mattress toppers during the tournament, hoping that a good night's sleep will help lead them to the winner's podium. These mattress toppers have yet to hit the public as they were specifically designed for the world cup team. Sleep is critical to athletes at any level, which is why we talked with our experts to find the best products to help your body recover.

In sleep-centric social media...

Just in time for the arctic circle to bid farewell to the sun, the latest episode of our podcast with iHeart Media, Chasing Sleep, explores what it’s like to sleep in the northernmost parts of the world, where summers mean all-day light, and winters mean relentless darkness.