Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Jul 15, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- EARLIER IS BETTER FOR SLEEP CATCH-UP
Researchers say if you can't get the proper amount of sleep, it's better to go to bed early in the morning than late at night. The Stanford University Medical Center study on the effects of sleep deprivation found individual tolerance of lack of rest varies widely, yet overall study participants adapted better to earlier than later sleep. "The results were surprising," said Dr. Christian Guilleminault, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the School of Medicine and lead author of the paper in the journal Sleep Medicine. "We had suspected the more sleep-restricted the participants were, the sleepier they would be -- regardless of when they went to bed. That's not exactly what we found." Researchers have long known a cumulative reduction in nightly sleep results in decreased daytime functioning and a lower quality of life. The researchers wanted to answer one question: "If people can sleep for only a short period of time, what time should they sleep?" If you must choose, then you should opt for 2:15 a.m. to 6:15 a.m. over 10:30 p.m. over 2:30 a.m., they found.
RESEARCHERS STUDY WEIGHTY QUESTION
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has launched a major study to address a key question in weight control: how to keep off lost pounds. The study will follow 1,600 men and women in the first phase and 800 in the second. Phase I is a 5-month weight loss program; phase II will try to help those who lose 9 or more pounds to keep the weight off for 2 1/2 years. Researchers are looking for overweight or obese volunteers ages 25 or older and taking medication to control high blood pressure and/or high blood cholesterol. "Maintaining weight loss is a critical element in the struggle against overweight and obesity, which have reached epidemic proportions in the United States," said NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant. "Two of every three adults are overweight or obese. This study could yield answers that can help many Americans lead healthier lives."
BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS HAVE FEWER HEART ATTACKS
A study suggests breast cancer survivors appear to be one-third less likely than other women to suffer a heart attack. Researchers at the University of Chicago report in the journal Cancer the finding was most pronounced in women with risk factors for heart disease, the leading cause of death in older women. The researchers think the answer may lie in higher natural levels of estrogen, which can increase breast cancer risk, combining with the anti-cancer drug tamoxifen, which many breast cancer survivors take to decrease the risk of recurrence. This combination may explain the reduced heart attack rate, they said. "We found a silver lining around the cloud of a breast cancer diagnosis," said Dr. Elizabeth Lamont, assistant professor of medicine and study director."Women with breast cancer have received plenty of bad news," she said. "Now we can give survivors some good news."
BENEFITS TO TRAFFIC TICKETS
Next time you get a traffic ticket, don't despair -- you may be getting some health benefits from the citation. Robert Tibshirani of the Stanford School of Medicine and his colleagues at the University of Toronto report in the journal The Lancet vigilant traffic law enforcement may reduce the number of fatal car crashes. The team examined the records of drivers in Ontario, Canada, and found receiving a traffic ticket reduces a driver's risk of dying in a crash by 35 percent in the weeks following the citation. "You don't think the police are doing a public service when they issue tickets, but traffic enforcement has a huge public-health benefit," said Tibshirani, professor of health research and policy at Stanford and study co-author. "It may be a nuisance to receive a ticket but it could be helpful." Each year, 1 million people die and 25 million are permanently disabled in traffic crashes worldwide. A traffic ticket may help you not be one of them, researchers say.
(Editors: For more information about SLEEP, contact Michelle Brandt at 650-723-0272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For WEIGHTY, Karen Blum at (410) 955-1534 or email@example.com. For CANCER, John Easton at 773-702-6241 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For TRAFFIC, Michelle Brandt at 650-723-0272) or email@example.com.
Copyright 2003 by United Press International.