Sleep Education Helps Families Of Children With Autism

The best way to conquer fear? Sleep on it

Sleeping on a fearful experience may diminish its power, a new study says.

“The parents also benefited; they reported a higher level of parenting competence after completing the education sessions. The one-on-one and group sessions showed similar levels of success. In contrast, an earlier study that simply gave parents a pamphlet without guidance on how to use it did not provide the same level of improvement in child sleep.” Before entering the study, all children were examined for medical conditions that could cause sleep problems, such as gastrointestinal disorders or seizures. In the instructional sessions, parents learned about daytime and evening habits that promote sleep, including the importance of increasing exercise, limiting caffeine during the day and minimizing use of video games and computers close to bedtime. Sleep educators helped parents put together a visual schedule for their children to help them establish a bedtime routine and discussed ways to help children get back to sleep if they woke up at night. Malow, also a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center investigator, said future studies are needed to determine the best approaches for providing sleep education to families, including those related to telemedicine and Internet-based technologies.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130923101536.htm

Exposure involves having people engage in their feared experiences gradually while they are awake until they learn not to overreact. But because they are conscious of having to face their fears, many patients refuse even to try it. If some of this exposure work could be done while they were asleep, more people might benefit from the therapy. “[Exposure therapy] is extremely stressful, especially at the beginning,” Hauner says. “It’s very effective for specific phobias and not as good for PTSD.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/23/health/time-sleep-fear/index.html

Sleep Disorders in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Researchers identified four different groups based on sleep abnormalities. They were: Group 1: Slower to get to sleep, delayed Rapid Eye Movement (REM), lower percentages of stage 2 and REM sleep; Group 2: More frequent awakenings; Group 3: Longer total sleep time, less delayed REM sleep, higher percentage of REM sleep, lower percentage of wake time; Group 4: Shortest total sleep time, highest percentage of wake time after sleep onset. Researchers concluded that doctors need to routinely screen for sleep disorders when considering an ME/CFS diagnosis, and that they should use sleep studies to identify sleep problems and tailor treatments to the specific groups. What kind of sleep problems do you have? Do you think one of the above groups describes you? Has treatment helped?
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://chronicfatigue.about.com/b/2013/07/19/sleep-disorders-in-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-2.htm

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