The Week in Sleep News: September 23, 2022

Is sleep the new chicken soup this flu season?

Couple in bed reading papers beneath the headline Sleep News: Week of September 23, 2022

Here’s the sleep news for this week:

Boost your immunity with sleep

Fall means that flu season is rapidly approaching. While you stock up on masks, tissues, and immunity supplements, consider prioritizing sleep as well. A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health has found that getting a consistent good night’s sleep supports normal production and programming of hematopoietic stem cells, a building block of the body’s innate immune system. Researchers also found that adults who had experienced restricted sleep for six weeks had increased markers for inflammation. Scientists hope this study encourages people to establish healthy and consistent sleep habits in early life.

Bad dreams might correlate with risk of dementia

Bad dreams are already bad news, but a new study suggests that frequent bad dreams in middle-aged adults might correlate to increased risk of dementia. The study, published in eClinicalMedicine, found that middle-aged participants who suffered bad dreams at least once a week were four times more likely to experience cognitive decline over the following decade than those who rarely had nightmares. Furthermore, researchers found that elderly patients who reported frequent nightmares were twice as likely to be diagnosed with dementia in the coming years. Scientists are still analyzing these findings, but one hypothesis is that nightmares caused poorer sleep quality, which could gradually lead to a buildup of proteins associated with dementia.

Good sleep quality can prevent heart problems

It’s been previously known that sleep problems lead to increased risk of heart failure, but a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association finds that short sleep is not nearly as harmful as poor sleep quality when it comes to certain heart issues. The study looked at the impact of sleep apnea, movement during sleep, and sleep duration on left ventricular diastolic dysfunction which is when the left side of the heart muscle stiffens and can't properly pump blood. People with moderate to severe sleep apnea, as well as those who moved around a lot at night were more likely to develop left ventricular diastolic dysfunction. Those who experienced short sleep duration were not more likely.

In sleep-centric social media...

We are with @JillTwiss: never enough nightstand books and beverages.