Could Sleeping on the Couch Kill Your Baby?

 

SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, has many known and unknown causes. Also referred to as crib death, many researchers and pediatricians continue to research the association of SIDS and sleeping environments.

“Dr. Jeffrey Colvin, a pediatrician at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., and his colleagues analyzed data on 7,934 sudden infant deaths in 24 states, comparing those that occurred on sofas with those in cribs, bassinets or beds.”

Several studies, including a new analysis by Pediatrics journal, show that a multitude of risk are associated with the increase of couch-related deaths.  Among the many factors, one illustrated by Dr. Colvin, is the sheer naivety of the parents.

There’s a “fallacy that if I’m awake or watching, SIDS won’t happen,” Dr. Colvin said, referring to sudden infant death syndrome. In the study, most parents shared the sofa with an infant they had placed there. But sleep-deprived parents may be more likely than they think to fall asleep on the couch with their newborns. Some sofas slope toward the back cushions, making it easier for infants to get wedged where they cannot breathe.

The main issue found by doctors and researchers, included Dr. Eve R. Colson, a professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine, is the soft cushion of the couch.  An infant on their stomach may have trouble breathing without knowledge to the parent.  Doctors such as Dr. Otsfield and Dr. Colvin, urge parents to put their babies to sleep, on their backs, in a crib – no matter the circumstances.

Many parents think for safety, ‘I’ll put the baby between myself and the back of the sofa.’ ” She added: “The unplanned and unexpected happens. The grief is beyond painful and endures for a lifetime.”

To read more about Study Details the Risk to Infants Put On Sofas to Sleep visit nytimes.com or click here.

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Important:
The Sleep Blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Instead, this website provides general information for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions or concerns regarding any medical condition or treatment.

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body

Adequate sleep is a necessity to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In fact, lack of sleep can have damaging effects on your well-being. In the article The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the BodyHealthline.com shares a detailed list of the physical and mental effects of sleep deprivation.

When you’re deprived of sleep, your brain can’t function properly, affecting your cognitive abilities and emotional state. If it continues long enough, it can lower your body’s defenses, putting you at risk of developing chronic illness.

According to Harvard Medical School, studies show that sleeping less than five hours a night increases the risk of death from all causes by about 15 percent. Sleep deprivation is dangerous to your mental and physical health and can dramatically lower your quality of life.

Sleep deprivation can effect your central nervous System, immune System, respiratory system, digestive system, and cardiovascular system. The image below contains 16 effects of sleep deprivation.
photo credit: healthline.com
photo credit: healthline.com
To read more about The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Body visit Healthline.com or click here.

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Important:
The Sleep Blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Instead, this website provides general information for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions or concerns regarding any medical condition or treatment.

Sleep Plays a Major Role in Memory and Learning

Learning and memory is enhanced by sleeping. New structural evidence linking sleep to these two aspects has been found by researchers at Langone Medical Center, New York University (NYU). The researchers used mice in their study. It was established that more dendritic spines developed in those mice that slept after learning a particular task. The dendritic spines are important for transmitting information across the synapses in the brain. They develop from the brain cells, linking with other cells in the brain.

Wen-Biao Gan, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, NYU, stated that the new knowledge revealed that human beings develop new connections on particular dendritic branches when they learn something new. He explained that dendritic spines are like leaves growing out of a tree on a specific branch as opposed to any other branch; just like leaves sprout out of a particular branch, so do dendritic spines when we gain new knowledge or skills.

In the experiment, two groups of mice were used.  Both groups underwent genetic engineering to make the proteins in their neurons glow under a special microscope. This ensured that the dendritic spine growth was observable, owing to the illuminated proteins. The learning setting was like that of learning how a bicycle is ridden in that the learned skill cannot be forgotten.  Using a spinning rod with an increasingly fast speed, the mice were taught how to balance the rod, both while running forward and backwards. Increased dendritic spine development was observed upon learning the activity.

Subsequently, one group of the mice was allowed to sleep for 7 hours after learning the task of spinning-rod balancing, while the other group was deprived of sleep for 7 hours after learning the same task for the same span of time. This was done to examine the effects of sleep on dendritic spine development.

The findings of the experiment showed more dendritic spine development in the mice that slept after learning how to balance the spinning rod in comparison to the mice that were kept awake. It was also observed that the spines developed on different branches subject to the specific activity learned; that is, either running forward or backwards. This study was published in the journal Science.

The researchers of the study concluded that sleep is vital in forming and maintaining synapses associated with learning activities on specific branches. These synapses play a crucial role in memory storage.

A couple of other studies have shown a similar relationship in respect to sleep, learning and memory. Sleeping enhances the capacity of working memory, as shown in a study conducted on people by researchers from Michigan State University. This is important for learning, making decisions and solving problems. A similar study at NYU revealed that rats remember a particular smell better when such a smell is administered to them during slow-wave sleep as opposed to when they are awake.

Therefore, sleep plays a major role in memory as well as learning, decision-making and problem-solving.

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Important:
The Sleep Blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Instead, this website provides general information for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions or concerns regarding any medical condition or treatment.