This week in sleep news…
AI could diagnose sleep apnea
For those with sleep apnea, an official diagnosis often requires an overnight stay at a sleep-study center. However, a new AI model may be able to make diagnoses. The model was developed using head and neck X-ray image data to focus on the tongue and surrounding areas often affected by sleep apnea and is designed to be used in conjunction with wearable sensors. In a review of previous studies, researchers saw success with previous similar models.
Reduced sleep and activity in pregnancy are linked to premature birth risk
A lack of sleep and reduced physical activity during pregnancy are linked to increased risk of preterm birth, according to new research led by the Stanford School of Medicine. Researchers looked at the data from wearable devices of 1,000 pregnant women throughout their pregnancies and found that when patients deviated from the normal sleep and activity levels of their stage of pregnancy, they were more likely to be at risk for premature delivery. The findings indicate that sleep and physical activity behaviors may be worthwhile markers for health care practitioners to track during prenatal care.
Chronic caffeine consumption alters sleep pattern and blood flow
A new study finds that chronic caffeine consumption has surprising effects on sleep patterns and brain blood flow in mice, increasing brain blood flow during sleep. The study, published in PNAS Nexus, was conducted using a microchip and video recording system, which allowed the mice to remain freely moving while it recorded various parameters over extended periods, ranging from weeks to months. Results showed that daily caffeine eliminated a nap that was otherwise part of the mice’s daily routine, and increased combined wakefulness during the awake phase. It also shifted the onset of sleep, particularly REM sleep, by up to two hours. Overall, this study found that chronic caffeine consumption had big effects on brain blood flow during both the wake and sleep states, causing a significant increase in brain blood flow during the sleep phase as well as in heart rate variability in both the sleep and wake states.