For those with insomnia, however, the stressor appears to be the lack of sleep, and the desire for sleep becomes a stressor in itself. In other words, the fixation on getting sleep leads to feelings of stress over not falling asleep, which begins a vicious loop. According to a model first proposed by Kales et al. in 1976, patients can develop a conditioned fear of not being able to sleep, which puts them in a state of hyperarousal when they attempt to fall asleep. This makes their inability to sleep a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Insomnia is the most common sleep condition in the world, with half of adults globally reporting occasional episodes. Chronic insomnia, though far less prevalent, affects as many as 10 to 15 percent of the adult population.
Though these sleep problems are extremely common, the neurobiological mechanisms behind insomnia are not entirely understood. Research suggests that emotional stressors do play an outsized role in contributing to sleep problems, and it is well documented that mood and anxiety disorders are common comorbidities with insomnia. This seems like common sense. Emotional arousal, whether due to a state of anxiety or because of intrusive thoughts, makes it difficult to relax, thereby inhibiting one’s ability to either initiate sleep or get back to sleep after waking.
“Amyloid is important in initiating disease, but the actual damage in the brain is probably due to the accumulation of tau,” Holtzman told MedPage Today. “Normally, tau protein is inside cells, but there is more and more evidence suggesting that its spread to different parts of the brain is responsible for the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Two studies in January explored how sleep might be associated with Alzheimer’s tau pathology. The first, led by Brendan Lucey, MD, and David Holtzman, MD, both of Washington University in St. Louis, found that older adults who had less slow-wave sleep had higher levels of brain tau.
In 2016, Samantha Harvey began to lose sleep. She tried everything to appease her wakefulness: from medication to therapy, changes in her diet to changes in her living arrangements. Nothing seemed to help.
The Shapeless Unease is Harvey’s darkly funny and deeply intelligent anatomy of her insomnia, an immersive interior monologue of a year without one of the most basic human needs. Original and profound, and narrated with a lucid breathlessness, this is a startlingly insightful exploration of memory, writing and influence, death and the will to survive, from “this generation’s Virginia Woolf” (Telegraph).
From a NeuroscienceNews.com online release article (01/02/20):
During the years 1976 through 1980, 15% of U.S. adults were obese. Today, about 40%of adults are obese. Another 33% are overweight.
“But, of course, food is now abundant, and our next meal is as close as the kitchen, or the nearest fast-food drive-through, or right here on our desk. Often, these foods are high in fats, sugars, and therefore calories, and that’s why they taste good. It’s easy to overconsume, and, over time, this takes a toll on our health.”
In a study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, Güler and his colleagues demonstrate that the pleasure center of the brain that produces the chemical dopamine, and the brain’s separate biological clock that regulates daily physiological rhythms, are linked, and that high-calorie foods – which bring pleasure – disrupt normal feeding schedules, resulting in overconsumption. Using mice as study models, the researchers mimicked the 24/7 availability of a high-fat diet, and showed that anytime snacking eventually results in obesity and related health problems.
Following the important publishing of “The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting” study by Johns Hopkins in the New England Journal of Medicine on December 26, 2019, the 60-year old editor of Boomers-Daily.com (“B-D”) will launch, participate in, and document a decade-long, 18-Hour Intermittent Fasting Diet on December 30, 2019. The following protocol will be followed:
All daily food consumption will be between 10 am and 4 pm
Diet will be followed 7 days a week
High fiber, nutrition-dense foods will be favored
Gluten-free and Lactose-free foods will be favored
Eating will NOT be calorie-restricted
Bedtime target of 7:30 to 8:30 pm (or earlier) every night
7-8+ hours of sleep per night a PRIORITY
Early morning vigorous exercise daily of 1 – 1 1/2 hours targeted
All readers of Boomers-Daily.com are encouraged to communicate with B-D and launch their own 18-hour Intermittent Fasting Diet (the 6-hour eating period can be varied 1-2 hours later or earlier). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the study, comment or inquire about this or your own 18-Hour Intermittent Fasting Diet. We will be looking to start an online chat room and other online platforms to increase the size, scope, visibility and transparency of the study over the next decade.
When the five sleep factors were collapsed into binary categories of low risk vs. high risk (reference group), early chronotype, adequate sleep duration, free of insomnia, and no frequent daytime sleepiness were each independently associated with incident CVD, with a 7%, 12%, 8%, and 15% lower risk, respectively (Table 3). Early chronotype, adequate sleep duration, and free of insomnia were independently associated with a significantly reduced risk of CHD; while only adequate sleep duration was associated with stroke.Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, is among the leading causes of mortality globally.1 In addition to traditional lifestyle behaviours, emerging evidence has implicated several unhealthy sleep behaviours were important risk factors for CVD.2,3 For example, short or long sleep duration,4–9 late chronotype,10,11 insomnia,12–17 snoring,18,19 and excessive daytime sleepiness20,21 were associated with a 10–40% increased CVD risk.
“There are two important takeaways from this paper. One is that poor sleep is associated with brain immune dysregulation or dysfunction,” says Lim, the corresponding author for the paper.
“The second part is that dysfunction appears to be further associated with impaired cognition.”
The study shows that in adults with fragmented sleep – where people were waking up repeatedly instead of sleeping soundly – there was an effect on microglia, and the cells showed signs of accelerated aging and other abnormalities.
The researchers were then able to identify that these changes in the microglia could be associated with worse cognition in older adults, both with and without Alzheimer’s disease.