Monday, June 9, 2008

First Day of SLEEP 2008 Comes to a Close

The scientific program for the first day of SLEEP 2008 concluded with the final symposia and oral presentations of the day.

Some American Academy of Sleep Medicine
section members are currently in section meetings, and a workshop on Genetics and Sleep also is underway.

Day two of the scientific program will begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday with symposia and brief oral presentations.

Oral Presentations Describe Research Linking Sleep to ADHD, Suicidal Symptoms

Research abstracts being presented as oral presentations this afternoon at SLEEP 2008 link sleep problems to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and suicidal symptoms.

a study of 882 ninth-grade students (ID# 0321), teens reported sleeping an average of 7.6 hours per school night. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, teens need a little more than nine hours of sleep each night.

Getting less sleep on
school nights increased students’ risk of having emotional disturbances and ADHD. Every additional hour of sleep on school nights decreased the risk of emotional disturbance by 25 percent and decreased the risk of ADHD by 34 percent.

another study of 322 undergraduates at a large university (ID# 0958), sleep quality and insomnia severity were significantly associated with an increased risk of depression. Severe insomnia also was a significant predictor of an increased severity of suicidal thoughts. After controlling for depression, sleep quality and insomnia severity jointly predicted an increased severity of suicidal thoughts.

The SLEEP 2008 abstract book is available online at

AASM Installs New Leaders, Honors Young Investigators

Dr. Mary-Susan Esther was installed as president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine during the AASM General Membership Meeting this afternoon at SLEEP 2008.

Esther, medical director of
The Sleep Center at SouthPark in Charlotte, N.C., was introduced by outgoing president Dr. Alex Chediak after he discussed the initiatives advanced by the AASM in the past year. Chediak then gave her a gavel to symbolize the transfer of leadership.

Esther thanked the members, saying that practicing sleep medicine for more than 20 years has prepared her well for this opportunity. She assured the members that during her term the AASM would continue to be the leading voice representing the interests of
sleep specialists and promoting the field of sleep medicine.

Esther emphasized that the AASM would be steadfast in its commitment to setting evidence-based
standards for the field, and that it would work even harder to promote the recognition of board-certified sleep specialists and AASM-accredited sleep centers as the leading providers of quality medical care for people with disorders of sleep and alertness.

Earlier in the meeting the entire AASM board of directors for 2008-2009 was introduced. Joining Esther as officers are past president Chediak;
Dr. Clete Kushida, who rotates from secretary-treasurer to president-elect; and Dr. Nancy Collop, who assumes the role of secretary-treasurer.

Dr. Rich Berry and Dr. Art Spielman were recognized for completing their terms on the board of directors, and
Dr. Safwan Badr and Dr. Sam Fleishman were introduced as newly elected directors at large.

The meeting also included the recognition of Dr. Ehab Dayyat of the University of Louisville, who received the AASM 2008 Young Investigator Award. Honorable mention went to Dr. Fawad Mian, Daniel Kay, Dr. Nabil Al Lawati and Dr. Tracy Rupp.

Blame the Cell Phone, Early School Start Times for Teen Sleep Loss?

A research abstract being presented as a poster presentation today at SLEEP 2008 provides an interesting explanation for why some teens may not be sleeping well: They spend too much time on the cell phone.

The study of 21 teens (ID# 0249) shows that those who have more than 15 calls and/or 15 text messages a day are more likely to sleep poorly than teens who make less than five calls and/or send five text messages a day.

Excessive cell-phone users are more prone to disrupted sleep, restlessness, stress and fatigue. They also have more trouble waking up in the morning and are more tired before mid-day.

One member of the study group had more than 200 text messages per day. Only one of the 21 participants turned the cell phone off at night.

abstract presentation (ID# 0226) addresses a common cause of teen sleep loss: early school start times.

Following a 40-minute delay in the school start time from 7:35 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., students’ total sleep time on school nights increased by 33 minutes per night from 7 hours and 2 minutes to 7 hours and 35 minutes. Students went to bed about eight minutes later at night, but they slept in 41 minutes later in the morning, waking up at 6:53 a.m. instead of 6:12 a.m.

More students reported having “no problem” with
sleepiness after the schedule change.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that teens get a little more than nine hours of sleep each night to feel alert and well rested during the day.

The SLEEP 2008 abstract book is available online at

Sleep Problems Linked to Depression and Anxiety

Research abstracts being presented as poster presentations this morning at SLEEP 2008 show a link between sleep problems and emotional disturbances.

A study (ID# 0204) compared 122 children who have major depression with 200 healthy peers. Eighty-two percent of depressed children reported a sleep problem, compared to only five percent of controls.

A study of children in grades 2 – 5 (ID# 0269) found that children at risk for sleep-disordered breathing are more likely than their peers to have anxiety (19.7 percent vs. 7.3 percent).

A study of 14 mothers of twins (ID# 0374) shows that more than 70 percent had severe postpartum sleep restriction of less than six hours of sleep in 24 hours. About half of the women also reported mild to severe depression symptoms.

The SLEEP 2008 abstract book is available online at

Research Abstracts Examine the Effect of Sleep on School Performance

Research abstracts being presented as poster presentations this morning at SLEEP 2008 are describing the link between sleep and school performance.

One study (ID# 0199) found that different sleep variables affect the school performance of students in junior high, high school and college. In junior high, the complaint of restless legs/aching legs is more common in students with a lower grade-point average (GPA). Daytime sleepiness is more likely to affect the performance of high school students. Insomnia has the most negative effect on the GPA of college students.

A related study of adult college students (ID# 0709) found that insomnia complaints are significantly associated with lower GPAs. Students with lower GPAs were more likely to have trouble falling asleep, report waking at night and have trouble going back to sleep.

A study of 824 undergraduate students (ID# 0728) found that students who are “morning types” (preferring to wake up early) are more likely to have better grades than students who are “evening types” (preferring to stay up late).

The SLEEP 2008 abstract book is available online at

Experts Take a Closer Look at REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

In a clinical workshop taking place this morning at SLEEP 2008, co-chairs Dr. Carlos Schenck and Dr. Marco Zucconi, along with a faculty of experts, are presenting, “The Diagnosis of REM Sleep Behavior Disorder in the Sleep Lab: Clinical, Video and Polysomnographic Criteria.”

REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia that occurs when you act out vivid dreams as you sleep. These dreams are often filled with action and may even be violent, putting both the dreamer and bedpartner at risk of injury.

Schenck is credited with identifying RBD along with Dr. Mark Mahowald, his colleague at the University of Minnesota and the
Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. They published their findings in the article, “Chronic behavioral disorders of human REM sleep: a new category of parasomnia,” which appeared in the journal Sleep in 1986.

In 2002 Schenck and Mahowald published the article, “
REM sleep behavior disorder: clinical, developmental, and neuroscience perspectives 16 years after its formal identification in SLEEP.”

A clinical workshop is a forum for clinicians to review and discuss clinical challenges in sleep medicine, or to present and discuss controversial clinical topics and difficult clinical situations. Over the next three days there will be seven clinical workshops at SLEEP 2008.

Intriguing Keynote Address, Awards Open SLEEP 2008

The SLEEP 2008 plenary session was a successful beginning to the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC. The session featured an intriguing keynote address from Dr. J. Allan Hobson on “Sleep, Dreaming and Consciousness – A New Paradigm.” Hobson is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass.

After Program Committee Chair
Dr. Michael Vitiello opened the plenary session, Sleep Research Society President Dr. Eric Nofzinger came forward to present the 2008 SRS Awards. Dr. Charles Czeisler of Harvard Medical School received the Distinguished Scientist Award for his studies of circadian timing and the sleep-wake cycle.

The Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award went to three men who played a critical role in the discovery of the suprachiasmatic nucleus as circadian pacemaker:
Dr. Robert Moore of the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Irving Zucker of the University of California-Berkley, and Dr. Friedrich Stephan of Florida State University.

Nofzinger then presented the Mary A. Carskadon Outstanding Educator Award to
Dr. Richard Bootzin of the University of Arizona, a pioneer of the behavioral treatment of insomnia.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine President Dr. Alex Chediak followed with a presentation of the 2008 AASM Awards. The Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service Award went to Dr. Conrad Iber of the University of Minnesota for his many contributions to the AASM.

For the next presentation, Dr. Chediak deferred to
Dr. William Dement, namesake of the William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award. Dement presented the award to his friend and colleague Dr. Terry Young of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for her work on the landmark Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study.

Chediak then returned to present the Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy Award to
Dr. Neil Kavey of Columbia University, longtime president of the New York State Society of Sleep Medicine.

Following the awards ceremonies was a presentation by
Dr. James Kiley, Director of the Division of Lung Diseases in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute within the National Institutes of Health. He spoke about the NHLBI strategic plan.

Hobson concluded the plenary session with his keynote address.

SLEEP 2008 Program to Begin with the Plenary Session

Final preparations are being made for the start of the SLEEP 2008 scientific program, which begins at 8 a.m. with the plenary session. The registration desk opened at 6:30 a.m., so a large crowd has already gathered and is assembling in the Baltimore Convention Center ballrooms where the plenary session will take place.

Representatives from more than 150
exhibiting companies and organizations are putting the finishing touches on their booths and displays, which were loaded into the exhibit hall and set up over the weekend. The SLEEP 2008 exhibit hall will open immediately after the plenary session.

Abstract authors who are scheduled for today’s first session of poster presentations are setting up their displays in the viewing room.

Following the plenary session there will be a full schedule of clinical workshops, discussion groups, abstract presentations, meet–the-professor sessions, invited lectures and symposia.