All articles in Insomnia

The Curious Sleep Apnea and Heart Rhythm Connection


After surgery, a patient with sleep apnea discovered she also had atrial fibrillation, a serious irregular heart rhythm.


Up to half of people with atrial fibrillation may also have trouble breathing while they sleep.

Dealing with one chronic condition can be difficult; dealing with two or more amps up the challenge for your heart. That’s something all too familiar to Rhonda Marie Clare Harvey-Collens, 52, of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. She lives with rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, and the abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation.

Harvey-Collens was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in 2007 while recovering from surgery for a life-threatening infection. The biologic drug she was taking for rheumatoid arthritis suppressed her immune system, and an infection took hold. This happened not once, but twice.

“When doing my vital signs, they realized something was not quite right with my pulse and discovered I had atrial fibrillation,” Harvey-Collens says.

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Can’t Sleep? Non-Pharmaceutical Options for Treating Insomnia During Recovery

Originally posted by on April 1, 2015 in ,
You’re in recovery and feeling good that you have made it through detox and the first few weeks of a treatment program. You look forward to feeling better and returning to a stable routine. But you find yourself getting anxious because you haven’t been sleeping as well as you’d like. You may be having a hard time getting to sleep, or you may wake up during the night and find yourself unable to fall back to sleep. So you certainly don’t feel refreshed when the morning alarm goes off.

What is going on?

…almost 75 percent of recovering alcoholics reported sleep problems immediately following detox.-RITA MILIOS

According to a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), almost 75 percent of recovering alcoholics reported sleep problems immediately following detox. Often, the insomnia symptoms lasted about five weeks.

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Almost 40% of firefighters suffer from at least one sleep disorder


Sleep problems could be a major factor in explaining why more than 60 percent of firefighter deaths are caused by heart attacks and traffic accidents, a new study published in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine has found.

Researchers sampled almost 7,000 firefighters across the U.S. and examined how many tested positive for sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, shift-work disorder and restless leg syndrome, the New York Times reports.

They found that 37 percent of firefighters suffered from at least one type of sleep disorder.

“Our findings demonstrate the impact of common sleep disorders on firefighter health and safety, and their connection to the two leading causes of death among firefighters,” said lead author Laura K. Barger. “Unfortunately, more than 80% of firefighters who screened positive for a common sleep disorder were undiagnosed and untreated.”

Barber’s team found that when compared with those who had a good night’s sleep, firefighters who had a sleep disorder were more likely to crash their car or fall asleep at the wheel.

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Insomniacs Failing Drugs Suffer from Sleep Apnea

Researchers at the Sleep and Human Health Institute and Maimonides Sleep Arts & Sciences, Ltd investigated drug failure in 1210 chronic insomnia patients and found 91% of those who completed sleep studies actually suffered from previously undiagnosed sleep apnea, a critical factor likely to be aggravating their insomnia.

Albuquerque, N.M., /2014 — Millions of people suffer from chronic insomnia. Complaining of stress, racing thoughts, and other relevant nighttime symptoms, these individuals feel incapable of sleeping all through the night. As their frustrations mount, they try drugstore or online over-the counter (OTC) remedies and many consult physicians who prescribe even stronger medications. Yet, most of these sleep aids fail to alleviate insomnia symptoms, leaving them Sleepless in “Fill-in the City.” The Sleep and Human Health Institute conducted research identifying the cause of drug failure in chronic insomniacs and found overwhelming evidence indicating that most treatment-seeking insomnia patients suffer from unrecognized sleep apnea.

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Around the Clock: Sleep disorders can have wide-ranging consequences


June 18, 2014 1:30 pm  •  

Ulcers, hyperglycemia, diabetes, hypertension, gastric intestinal problems are not always caused by diet – they could be linked to a disrupted internal clock.

Working a job that requires shift-work or experiencing chronic jet lag disrupts your circadian rhythm. It results in countless consequences to your body that simply can’t be fixed by counting sheep.

“Stimulants such as caffeine can disrupt a patient’s circadian rhythm but also irregular sleep habits, jet lag, Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, which is common in teenagers, Shift Work Sleep Disorder and Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder, which is common in older people,” says Dr. Baqhar Mohideen, the medical director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Porter Regional Hospital.

“A quarter of American workers are on shift-work – 10 percent of which experience Shift Work Sleep Disorders.”

Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder is when patients fall asleep late and have difficulty waking up in the morning.

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Insomnia ‘Extremely’ Common in Female US Veterans

June 12, 2014


MINNEAPOLIS — The prevalence of insomnia is “extremely” high in female veterans in the United States, according to a new national survey that confirms and extends a prior study from a single Veterans Affairs (VA) center.

“Studies are needed to identify best practice models of care for this considerable segment of the women veteran population with insomnia disorders,” the authors say.

Jennifer L. Martin, PhD, from the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, presented the findings here at SLEEP 2014, the 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

In an earlier study, she and her colleagues found rates of insomnia greater than 40% among female veterans who receive VA healthcare in 1 healthcare system. Their current study builds on this finding by looking at a nationwide sample of female veterans.

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Can insomnia increase later stroke risk?


Insomnia is a common problem. For  many this can be a persistent problem. Consequences of insomnia are diverse.Sleep deprivation and insomnia symptoms may alter cardiovascular health through inflammation,endocrine or metabolic dysregulation and increased sym- pathetic nervous activity. Ming-Ping Wu and colleagues asked the question- Would insomnia increase the later risk of stroke?

They  conducted a retrospective cohort study using  the Tainwanese health insurance database which covers the nation ( mandatory) . Data from 5% of all enrolled ( = i million) were analysed in this study.Participants had new onset insomnia ( one hospitalisation or 3 OP visits for this).Those with  insomnia before enrolment, sleep apnoea  and pre existing stroke were  excluded.The main outcome was  first hospitalisation for acute stroke.Study included 21438 subjects with insomnia and 64 314 matched subjects without insomnia .


During the 4-year follow-up period, there were a total of 583 stroke admissions among insomniacs and 962 among non- insomniacs.

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Identifying patients with psychophysiological insomnia

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Psychophysiological insomnia affects more female patients than male and is uncommon in children.

Identifying patients with psychophysiological insomnia
Identifying patients with psychophysiological insomnia

There are many forms of insomnia, and being able to distinguish the different types can be helpful in treatment. Psychophysiological insomnia is one of the most common and difficult types of insomnia to treat.

A patient with psychophysiological insomnia focuses on their sleep, and worries about not getting enough. Their worrying starts when they prepare to go to bed. Patients become anxious that they are not going to get enough sleep. Patients with psychophysiological insomnia fret about how a lack of sleep is going to affect their next day.

This is a learned insomnia. The patient, at some point, experienced insomnia and then became preoccupied with their sleep. They often realize that their worry is keeping them from sleep but can’t seem to stop ruminating about it.

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Investigational Medicine Suvorexant Effective, Well-Tolerated in Insomnia Patients

Merck’s Phase III trials for suvorexant, an investigational medicine for the treatment of insomnia, determined that suvorexant’s 15 mg and 20 mg doses were effective and generally well-tolerated over 3 months in adult patients with insomnia. The data was presented at the SLEEP show.

Based on the analysis, the product reduced how long it took patients to fall asleep while increasing how long it took patients to stay asleep, as early as the first night and at 3 months compared to placebo.

Suvorexant targets insomnia in a way that is different from current treatments, the company says. The investigational medicine targets and inhibits the actions of orexins, neurotransmitters in a specific part of the brain that play a role in keeping a person awake.

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Originally posted in Sleep Review

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Study Links Pot Use With Poor Sleep


It’s possible that insomnia leads some people to turn to marijuana, study authors say

Study Links Pot Use With Poor Sleep

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) — People who use marijuana may have trouble falling and staying asleep and feel drowsy during the day, new research suggests.

And adults who started using the drug before they were 15 seem to be twice as likely as nonusers to have problems falling asleep, not feeling rested after sleep and feeling tired during the day, the University of Pennsylvania researchers said.

It’s possible that people who already suffer from insomnia turn to marijuana as a way to help them sleep, said study lead researcher Michael Grandner, an instructor in psychiatry at the university.

“The type of person who reports marijuana use in the U.S. is more likely to also be the type of person who has sleep problems,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that one is causing the other.”

It’s more likely that people with sleep problems and stress may turn to marijuana as a way to self-medicate, Grandner said.

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