Emerging Trends in Sleep: Student Sleep Health Week, Sleep Duration and Alzheimer Disease Pathology, and More

A roundup of the latest news in sleep research reported across MJH Life Sciences™.

Second Annual Student Sleep Health Week

Speaking with NeurologyLive®, Raman Malhotra, MD, president, American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), discussed takeaways from the second annual AASM Student Sleep Health Week that was held last week from September 12 to 18.

With an estimated 49% of children not meeting sleep recommendations on a regular basis, Malhotra noted that the annual sleep advocacy week serves to educate students, parents, teachers, and other school officials on the positive physical and mental health impact of sleep. As students return to the classroom this fall, sleep has been linked in previous research with school performance and overall childhood flourishing.

Regarding the impact of the pandemic, Malhotra said that children and adults both need to set a consistent bedtime and wake time routine, which became blurred amid the shift to a virtual learning environment. Notably, 54% of children experienced sleep disturbances during the pandemic.

Short Sleep Duration Linked With Increased Alzheimer Disease Pathology Risk

According to study findings published recently in JAMA Neurology, short sleep duration (≤ 6 hours) was found to be linearly associated with higher amyloid-beta (Aß) burden, a known marker of Alzheimer disease pathology, as well as reduced cognition, greater depressive symptoms, and higher body mass index.

According to NeurologyLive®, 4417 participants aged 65 to 85 years were involved in the study, who underwent an Aß positron emission tomography scan, had apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype data, and were identified as clinically normal and cognitively unimpaired.

When compared with people reporting normal sleep duration (7-8 hours), individuals with long sleep duration (≤ 9 hours) exhibited no significant difference in Aß burden, but did perform worse across multiple cognitive domains. Similar to those with short sleep duration, participants with long sleep duration also were more likely than normal sleep counterparts to have higher body mass index, depressive symptoms, and daytime napping.

Assessing Risk of Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Children With Sickle Cell Disease

As reported by HCPLive®, children with sickle cell disease (SCD) were indicated in a recent study to be at greater risk of comorbidities associated with sleep-disordered breathing, such as hypoxemia and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

During sleep, polysomnography results of children with SCD reported significantly lower median oxygen saturation and lower minimal oxygen saturation in comparison with healthy control groups across 11 studies. Moreover, patients with SCD were found to have more severe and prolonged nocturnal desaturation and hypercapnia compared with children who had OSA but not SCD.

When the authors investigated possible treatment options for sleep-disordered breathing in children with SCD, interventions of adenotonsillectomy or oxygen supplementation were cited to potentially provide significant increases in mean nocturnal oxygen saturation. However, authors said that the effective clinical implications of these interventions remain unclear.