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Friday, June 10, 2022

SLEEP 2022: The Most Important Conference This Week!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Let's see what we can learn from what's out there with these ten highlighted studies.

From June 4 to June 8 this year was SLEEP 2022, which is an annual meeting that was in Charlotte North Carolina with the Associated Professional Sleep Societies; the plural societies consisting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. (SLEEP doesn't appear to be an acronym for anything, despite being in all-capital letters.) This conference is where thousands of “sleep professionals” from around the world go and share their research in presentations or on posters in the poster hall. There was also a PJ5K where scientists wear family-appropriate pajamas in a 5K run where proceeds go to the aforementioned societies. Here's an example of a poster from the poster hall:



I am an honourary member and fan of Team Sleep—I went all the way to Europe to talk about the Eating vs. Sleeping Splatfest in the first Splatoon just to promote the virtues and benefits of sleeping. (Unfortunately, European gamers strongly favoured eating by popularity, though sleepers had a better performance in matches. Apparently, there is an EAT Forum, but I won't talk about them.) However, this is a conference of slumber-focused researchers and medical professionals... not just casual sleep enjoyers. If you (assuming you're KoopaTV's usual audience, which I believe does not involve anyone in the sleep field—hey, maybe I should ask about sleep in the next KoopaTV Feedback Form and/or Quiz; and maybe you reading this can fill out the current one) wanted to register, it'd cost you hundreds of dollars and you'd be really out of place.

Therefore, I didn't actually attend any sessions. There is this 409-page PDF of 864 research abstracts. According to this, there were 196 orally presented abstracts (at least one of them discussed how “sleep is a social justice issue.”, while at least another reiterated the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's support for permanent standard time, as opposed to the permanent daylight saving time Sunshine Protection Act that passed the Senate three months ago), and therefore 668 posters like the above (as well as topics like “Leadership and Compensation Disparity For Women in Sleep Medicine”... though that's not in the list of 864 abstracts—the icebreakers one was abstract #0157). HOWEVER, there were several (ten!) news items published by SLEEP 2022 that each represented a study at the event. I'll discuss those for the rest of this article to pass on some of what transpired at the conference and increase YOUR knowledge around sleeping.


Children spending more time on screens, going to bed later during pandemic


A study examining screen time and sleep in young adolescents before and across the first year of the Chinese Communist Party Virus, known as COVID-19, reveals that children spent more time in front of digital devices, went to bed later, but also slept longer. On average, children were using social media 45 minutes longer (which is probably bad), but also 20 more minutes playing videogames a day (good...from this site's perspective). Children went to bed later (by about an hour), but also woke up later (probably because virtual schooling means you don't have to wake up early to catch the school bus). Apparently, there is still a net sleep reduction outside of summer. Researchers didn't find decreased screen use in 2021 (the second year of the pandemic) compared to 2020, which they thought they would because there were fewer restrictions around recreational activity.

Author Orsolya Kiss said that parents need to be more involved in age-appropriate media use plans, because that extra time staying up looking at addictive social media is likely bad. Later this month, KoopaTV will look at the new Entertainment Software Association Essential Facts report that polls Americans about their gaming habits, but the 2021 report portrays parents as already very involved. Though there is room to grow. (I've also been meaning to write an article about the negative impact of TikTok, and I can very much see much of those extra 45 minutes being teenage girls slavishly watching TikTok clips, which is very bad for them. If you wanna spend an extra 45 minutes per day reading KoopaTV articles, you'll get way more out of that.)

Healthy sleep predicts opportunities for children to succeed


This study claims that, according to an analysis merging data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with data from whatever the Child Opportunity Index is, “sleep health was the strongest predictor of the opportunity for children in a neighborhood, accounting for 57.2% of the variance in the Child Opportunity Index global score.” This was bigger than the impacts of losing your teeth (a 15.5% variance... not really sure why that's a big one, as someone with less teeth than most other people; just look at my avatar); having or not having health insurance (a mere 3.0% variance); and having asthma (a 1.4% variance). Those factors all beat out other predictors like poor mental health, obesity, smoking, and binge drinking (not that you should go and decide to become an alcoholic; that's still bad).

Basically, it means that if you're an unsuccessful adult, you are more likely to have had bad sleep (under seven hours) as a kid more than any other problem. The study looked at this at a community/neighbourhood level, and maybe this is how sleep is a social justice issue? I'm not entirely sure of what would cause a neighbourhood of adolescents to have different sleep patterns than another neighbourhood (or why it's apparently as valid to measure neighbourhood sleep health versus individual sleep health). Really loud people at the centre of the street who yell at night? Perhaps this next headline will help:

Growing up in an unsafe neighborhood may impact adult sleep health


In another social justice-oriented study, children who live in unsafe neighbourhoods have the worst sleeping patterns because they wake up feeling unrested. I suppose it's difficult to get a good night's rest when you're anxious about a home break-in. The study shows that black women have it the worst. (Intersectionality apparently applies to not even being able to sleep better than white men. Do black lesbians sleep worse than black heterosexual women? More research grant money required, I'm sure.) It's unclear why black women have it worse than black men, especially if black men are statistically more likely to be the ones making the neighbourhood unsafe to begin with, which would require them to be awake. Unless they can commit criminal activity in their sleep...? ...But none of the abstracts discussed that being possible. (Abstract 0017, “MURDER ON THE MIDNIGHT EXPRESS: NOCTURNAL WAKEFULNESS AND HOMICIDE RISK”, does conclude that you are more likely to be a homicide victim after 10 PM and before 5 AM, especially if you are intoxicated by alcohol.)

Sleep disturbances, fatigue common in patients who recovered from COVID


Cleveland Clinic data reported that among those who thankfully recovered from the CCP Virus, majorities reported fatigue and a little less reported sleep disturbances, higher than the general population. Virus-recovered black people and fat people were more likely to have these later sleep issues. In fact, it's three times higher in black people. I'm seeing a pattern here.

Adults sleep better together than they do alone


Researchers from the University of Arizona state that when romantic partners sleep together and share a bed, that reduces their insomnia, lowers their depression, reduces their anxiety and stress, causes them to stay asleep longer, and has them falling asleep faster. However, sleeping with your children increased stress and greater insomnia. Sleeping alone was associated with increased depression and being less satisfied with your life.

To get the biggest benefit from this, you need to communicate with your partner and make sure you have the same sleep schedule. The study abstract didn't mention anything about sleep quality if your partner snores in bed with you, although snoring is in a story later in this article.


SLEEP 2022 promotional poster Associated Professional Sleep Societies Charlotte North Carolina
Every year of SLEEP has its own poster.
You can see them all here and let me know your favourite in the KoopaTV comments section.
The first one, 1986's, is the cutest. 2016's has bovine in a corner, but not as a main focus.
But 2020's is the funniest, because a couple of the faces on the poster missed the memo and have their eyes open.


Study shows brain wave sleep data can predict future health outcomes


This one is... crazy to me, so I'll try to explain it. Researchers hooked study participants to an electroencephalogram (EEG) overnight, which measures electrical activity in your brain. Apparently, the pattern of your brain waves can be used to predict poor health outcomes, such as dementia, up to three years in the future. I guess sleep researchers are going to want to advocate for hooking patients up to EEGs as a general predictive procedure? If they really become advanced with it, could it be part of diagnostic criteria?

Study links PTSD nightmares among veterans to suicide attempts


Researchers studied over 3,200 veterans who have previously tried to kill themselves and examined the nightmares they've had. Having nightmares that were related to traumatic events (as opposed to any nightmare about any topic) were linked to those veterans trying to kill themselves again. ...They didn't mention if anyone died over the course of the research. ...Pretty gruesome topic.

Poor sleep among minority college students negatively impacts academic performance


Well, this one seems obvious. According to 20 years of data gathered by the National College Health Assessment, “minority students” (this specifically excludes white people and Asian people) have worse sleep patterns (minority students feel rested about 3.89 days a week, while majority students feel rested about 4.16 days a week) and earned lower grades than majority students. The study authors believe that these are related, though didn't say it was a causal relationship.

Frequent snorers and those with sleep apnea are less active during the day


According to this study, snoring and having sleep apnea doesn't just impact your time asleep—it also impacts your time awake. After adjusting for many factors, frequent snorers are more sedentary compared to non-snorers by 36 minutes per day, while those with obstructive sleep apnea are more sedentary by 44 minutes daily. If you're wondering about the researchers, they didn't actually have to observe anyone snoring all night. People filled out a survey and they self-reported as frequent snorers. The study believes that there is a possibility that this could be a bidirectional relationship, where people who are sedentary in the day are more likely to snore at night. If that's true, then that's likely bad news for gamers (unless you're a Ring Fit Adventure player, though I haven't done anything with that in months since I beat the game).

I don't snore, by the way. That said, I wonder if people who do snore know that they snore, or would be able to self-report how frequently they snore. I mean, they're asleep, so how would they know?

Large data analysis finds association between inconsistent sleep and hypertension risk


This study found that you should sleep at about the same time every night and for about the same amount of time every night, or else you'll have a higher risk of hypertension (high-blood pressure). Last time someone checked out my blood pressure, I'm personally at stage 1 hypertension. I don't think that's necessarily sleep-related and can be explained by several other poor lifestyle choices I make.

That's all of the news stories that the Associated Professional Sleep Societies chose to highlight. I hope you learned something. There are hundreds more studies and articles of research associated with the conference, although they are likely to be less interesting than the above or else they would've been highlighted. But I haven't tried reading them all! ...Because if I did, I'd be doing so all throughout the night, and that kind of defeats the purpose.



SLEEP 2022 seemed like a way more important and significant event with important things shown than whatever the hell happened in the Summer Game Fest (which KoopaTV boycotted). Did you learn anything from the studies? Do you want to learn more about anything in particular? ...KoopaTV can't really help you with that, but maybe you can get in touch with the individual study author. If you happen to think this is all useless, then you should know that several of these studies were paid for by government-provided grants (taxpayer money).


Here is that 2022 Essential Facts report. Parents are engaged a little less.

4 comments :

  1. Sufficiently
    Lengthened
    Equilibrium
    Expert's
    Panel

    This is a very fascinating article, especially nice use of the word slavishly. I tend to agree with most people that getting adequate sleep is important and something to strive for, however, like most people I think I tend to do a lot more talking that way than actually invoking it in my own life. I think I'm getting adequate sleep at the moment, but my schedule is sheer bedlam. I go to bed and wake up at different times every night and that can't be good. I suppose i could learn something from this so thanks for reporting on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome.

      Yeah, I love sleeping as a concept. I just don't get enough of it.

      Maybe I should just... sleep right now? This moment?

      Delete
    2. You should have! Just like I should be right now…. Oh well. Sleep is still important despite the hypocrisy!

      Delete

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