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Entries in Sleepy (3)

Wednesday
Dec212011

Sleep Deprivation May Affect Police Performance, Safety

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Sleep deprivation may affect up to 4 in 10 police officers, leading to higher rates of safety violations, anger toward suspects, falling asleep while driving and other dangerous situations, new research suggests.

In a study published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston surveyed nearly 5,000 police officers in North America. They found that 40 percent of the cops studied had a sleep disorder, many undiagnosed and untreated. The disorders, added the researchers, had implications for the officers' health and performance, and subsequently for public safety.

"Excessive sleepiness" is "common in police officers," study authors noted. "This is despite police officers apparently recognizing the dangers associated with drowsy driving; in a survey of North American police officers, almost 90 percent regarded drowsy driving to be as dangerous as drunk driving."

Demanding schedules may be to blame.

"Many police officers are at an even greater risk of poor outcomes because they are often required to work overnight, on rotating shifts, or both," they wrote.

Police officers are far from alone in sleep troubles.  At least 40 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders each year; an additional 20 million experience occasional sleeping problems.  Undiagnosed and untreated sleep disorders interfere with personal health and lead to sleep deprivation, which leads to an increase in the risk of accidents and injuries.

After two years of monthly follow-ups, the study found that the officers also had a higher rate of reporting serious administrative errors, making safety violations attributed to fatigue, exhibiting anger toward suspects, falling asleep while driving or during meetings, and absenteeism.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov212011

Thanksgiving Food Truths and Myths We Just Can't Shake

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Will your Thanksgiving turkey put you to sleep?  Can the stuffing give you salmonella poisoning?

Here's the straight story on health myths and facts surrounding your Thanksgiving feast:

Turkey Dinner Makes You Sleepy

Turkey does contain a protein called tryptophan which can act like a natural sedative.  But a large amount -- meaning more than just a few slices of turkey -- would have to be consumed alone on an empty stomach to make you feel sleepy.

"A more likely scenario is the huge number of calories that people consume rather than the turkey meat," said Dr. Lou Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York.

A large number of calories consumed from the whole meal produce intestinal hormones which can make you sleepy, said Aronne.

Canned Foods Contain Cancer Causing BPA

A recent report released by the Breast Cancer fund suggests that canned foods may contain traces of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in the lining of cans, which has been implicated as a potential carcinogen.  Still, many experts said that not all cans contain BPA, and the levels in the cans that do have it are too small to ruin your Thanksgiving meal.

"There are more anti-cancer properties in having vegetables than not eating because of the can," said Aronne.

Drinking More Can Cure that Holiday Hangover

"Most hangover cures are by and large not effective besides sleeping and hydrating with water," said Arrone.

Drinking more will only help you get drunk again, which is only a temporary cure for what's sure to be a stronger hangover, he said.  Worse, drinking alcohol to cure a hangover could lead to more dehydration, which can lead to serious health problems.

Holiday Desserts Can Cause Acne

Acne is due to hormone changes in the body and not by consuming sweet or fried food, experts said.

"The problem is that high-fat finger foods gets greasy and you put those fingers up to your face," said Keith Ayoob, Director of the Nutrition Clinic at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.  "If you don't wash carefully and often, this may clog pores."

Salmonella from Turkey Stuffing

Stuffing a turkey while raw or not fully cooked can contaminate the stuffing with bacteria like salmonella.  Heat can kill some of the bacteria, but because the stuffing is hidden inside the turkey, some of it may not reach the 160 degrees needed to kill off the bacteria.

"If it does reach that temperature then the bird could be overdone," said Ayoob.

While the salmonella risk can be staved off if the stuffing is warm when added to the turkey, you may end up having another problem on your hands.

"But all the turkey fat drips into the stuffing," said Ayoob.  "Do we really need another source of fat in a Thanksgiving meal side dish?"

Cook the stuffing and turkey separately, marry them later, and the problem will be solved, he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar032011

Researchers Say Change in Voice Indicates Level of Fatigue

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- You might think a cup of coffee or a quick walk before heading to your job will cover up your exhaustion from long working hours and little sleep.  That is, until your co-worker outs you by saying, "You sound tired."

Although it's a common phrase used to describe someone who might sound lethargic, many researchers say a closer look into how someone sounds can reveal how dangerous a sleep-deprived person might be.

Researchers at a Pennsylvania State University psychology lab are going beyond what the human ear can detect to measure how changes in speech could detect sleepiness.  They found everything from voice inflection to letter pronunciation can indicate how tired you are and whether you may be better off sitting out of work than trying to stay productive.

In one study at the lab, researchers compared the speech of a small group of normal students with groups that were sleep deprived for 36 hours and 48 hours.  They found the longer the students stayed awake, the more likely the analysis showed dramatic changes in energy, speech patterns and pronunciation.

"Police" sounded more like "Bolice."  Higher energy letters such as T, P and K sounded more like D, B and G, respectively.

Some of the changes researchers found may be unclear to the normal human ear, said Cynthia LaJambe, a visiting scientist and sleep researcher at Pennsylvania State University.

"We don't know if [sounding tired] means there's a handful of precise speech indicators of sleepiness, or whether [a person is finding] some general change in speech," said LaJambe.

The lab's analysis found that a sleep-deprived voice can suggest anything from fatigue to exhaustion that can result in dangerous behavior.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio