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Why dementia risk is higher for people with irregular sleep patterns

Why dementia risk is higher for people with irregular sleep patterns

Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is just as important to your general health as getting enough sleep. According to a recent study that was published in Neurology, persons with extremely erratic sleep patterns may be more susceptible to dementia than people with more regular sleep patterns. An average of 62 years old, 88,094 people were observed by researchers over about 7 years.

A wrist device was worn by participants for a week to track their regularity and sleep cycle. The group created a score for irregular sleep patterns based on these data. After that, the researchers looked through the participants’ medical records to determine which of them had dementia. They discovered that the highest sleep irregularity was associated with a 53% higher risk of dementia development compared to moderate sleep irregularity.

According to Matthew Pase, PhD, of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, the correlation between sporadic sleep patterns and the likelihood of developing dementia was strong, particularly considering the size of the sample. He made this observation to Healthline. Additionally, the results were unaffected by the length or disruption of sleep, indicating that regularity of sleep is significant in and of itself. Based on this data, researchers and the general public should think about sleep regularity in addition to overall sleep duration and quality when defining what constitutes good sleep.

Future research, according to study co-author Pase, could look into whether getting enough sleep enhances memory. Research may also look into the mechanisms relating regular sleep patterns to dementia. For instance, are there any connections in the brain between regular sleep patterns and Alzheimer’s disease? Pase said.

According to sleep experts, the human body naturally follows circadian rhythms, or sleep-wake cycles, which are synchronized with the time of day. A pattern of day-night oscillation of neural, hormonal, and other regulatory system patterns that respond best to environmental light is known as the circadian system. This especially applies to sunlight. According to experts, this system is impacted by irregular sleep patterns, which may also increase the risk of cognitive decline.

The circadian timing system, which runs concurrently with our sleeping and waking, is challenged by irregular sleep patterns, according to Mary A. Carskadon, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School. The circadian system receives a strong “darkness” signal from sleep, which aids in establishing and maintaining circadian timing.

According to Dr. Sudha Tallavajhula, medical director of the Neurological Sleep Medicine Center at TIRR Memorial Hermann and a sleep neurologist at UTHealth Houston, sleep is a natural human phenomenon that should be synchronized with day-night rhythms. Multiple networks collaborate to coordinate immune response, hormone production, and other vital organ system functions, all aimed at regulating the human rest-activity cycle. These networks begin with specialized cells in our eyes.

Tallavajhula did not contribute to the research. Cerebrospinal fluid has been shown in recent research to aid in the brain’s waste-removal process while you sleep. A recently identified role of sleep is the brain’s glymphatic system, which is responsible for removing waste materials from the brain, or Carskadon. It’s easy to see how a series of these actions could lead to a potentially dangerous build-up of material that, over time, could impair cognitive function. A regular schedule for going to bed and waking up is crucial for maintaining regular sleep patterns.

The US. S. The following are suggestions for improving sleep quality from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Establish a regular bedtime and wake-up time. Make sure your bedroom is peaceful, cozy, and dark. Do not store electronics in your bedroom, such as a laptop, tablet, or phone. Large meals, coffee, and alcohol should be avoided right before bed. Engage in regular exercise. Regular sleep schedules are important, Tallavajhula agrees.

The most frequent action that specialists in sleep medicine recommend to enhance sleep is establishing a regular schedule, according to Tallavajhula. It’s like working out at the gym, only this is mental exercise. Some individuals may find it difficult to stick to a regular sleep and wake-up schedule, particularly shift workers.

That’s when Tallavajhula suggested avoiding rotating shifts and adopting a different sleep schedule. In contrast to those who sleep more regularly, individuals with irregular sleep patterns may be more susceptible to dementia, according to recent research. Cognitive performance is negatively impacted by irregular sleep, which disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm. Both getting enough sleep and adhering to a regular sleep schedule are crucial, according to experts.


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A study reveals that alcohol and caffeine deplete sleep quantity and quality.

A study reveals that alcohol and caffeine deplete sleep quantity and quality.

Sleep deprivation is regarded by researchers as an underappreciated global health problem. Alcohol is frequently used at night to aid in sleep and caffeine during the day to keep people awake when they have sleep problems. Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine discovered that users of both drugs did not feel as though their quality of sleep had decreased. Scientists surmise that this misguided perception could set off an unconscious cycle of self-medication that results in restless nights. Researchers believe that sleep deprivation is an underappreciated global health issue. Studies from the past indicate that symptoms of insomnia affect about one-third of people worldwide. Furthermore, up to 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. Caffeinated beverages are frequently consumed during the day by people who experience daytime fatigue due to inadequate sleep. These same individuals might also use alcohol as a sleep aid at night. This new research, which looks at how using alcohol and caffeine affects overall sleep, is the first of its kind and was just published in the journal PLOS ONE. Even though each substance lowers perceived sleep quality when studied separately, researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine discovered that study participants who used alcohol at night and caffeine during the day did not perceive a reduction in their sleep quality.

Scientists surmise that this misguided perception could set off an unconscious cycle of self-medication that results in restless nights. Frank Song, lead author of this study and a researcher in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine, notes that while previous research has shown people the detrimental effects of alcohol and caffeine on sleep, no study has examined the combined effects of the two substances on sleep as people go about their daily lives. A study on alcohol use that was released in October 2021 discovered that a higher alcohol intake was linked to shorter sleep duration and lower sleep quality. Alcohol is known to cause sleep disturbances in a number of ways, including aberrant circadian rhythms and an increase in breathing-related sleep disorders, according to research published in December 2019. Regarding caffeine consumption during the day, a September 2023 study found that caffeine can postpone the onset of REM sleep. Furthermore, studies have shown that prolonged caffeine use can impair the quality of a person’s sleep, even though it may help someone feel and stay awake during the day.

For this study, Song and his colleagues measured the sleep-related metrics and alcohol and caffeine consumption patterns of 17 male, full-time financial traders over the course of six weeks using digital daily surveying tools. “We decided to focus on financial traders since, as an investment analyst on Wall Street, I worked with many traders, and we know from research that this is an adult population that regularly consumes both caffeine and alcohol,” Song told Medical News Today. “They value alertness and mental acuity during the day, which I think represents the lifestyles of many working adults,” he said. “Also, their profession requires high attention and cognitive speed.”. When caffeine consumption was examined separately, researchers discovered that, on average, each cup consumed the day before decreased the amount of sleep that study participants reported getting. Based on earlier studies on caffeine and sleep, Song stated, “We had anticipated we would find an actual caffeine-induced decrease in sleep duration.”. The size of the reduction caught us off guard because it was greater than we had anticipated. Additionally, they discovered that individuals who had alcohol the night before reported, on average, a 3% decline in sleep quality with each drink. “This made sense to us because we had also predicted this decline based on what we learned from prior research on alcohol and sleep,” Song said.


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Obstructive sleep apnea & cardiovascular disease links.

Obstructive sleep apnea & cardiovascular disease links.

According to a recent study, a major contributing component in the association between obstructive sleep apnea and elevated cardiovascular risk may be decreased blood oxygen levels.

More than 4,500 middle-aged and elderly persons conducted medical check-ins and sleep tests, and the researchers analyzed the data from these participants.

According to their theories, the source of this connection may be a significant drop in blood oxygen levels during sleep. This results in severe airway blockage.

When the upper airway becomes clogged while you’re sleeping, you develop obstructive sleep apnea. The airflow of the person is reduced or stopped as a result.

One’s likelihood of getting obstructive sleep apnea is affected by a number of things, such as:

  • obesity
  • extensive tonsils
  • undergoing alterations in hormone levels.

The most prevalent form of sleep-disordered breathing is obstructive sleep apnea. According to a study from 2020, one-seventh of adults worldwide are expected to develop sleep apnea.

Previous studies have shown that obstructive sleep apnea is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Sleep problems, including sleep apnea, significantly contribute to cardiovascular morbidity, as well as all-cause mortality,” Dr. Marishka Brown, head of the National Centre on Sleep Disorder Research (NCSDR), told specialists.

The relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and elevated cardiovascular risk is now the focus of a new investigation. It implies that low blood oxygen levels may be the reason of the connection.

Additional to the standard sleep apnea measurements

The Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI) measures how many apneas or hypopneas a person has per hour of sleep. Apneas occur when breathing ceases or is diminished. The degree of obstructive sleep apnea can be determined using this traditional method.

According to Dr. Brown, “They use that for pretty much everything as far as this disorder, but what the research has been finding and really what this paper as well as strongly supporting is that there are other measures besides the use of the AHI as the primary diagnostic or prognostic for people with apnea.”

In the investigation, Dr. Brown was not involved. However, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which provided partial funding for this study, is home to the NCSDR.

In their publication describing the findings, researchers emphasize that the AHI does not offer data on the severity and duration of “ventilatory deficit, oxygen desaturation, and arousals.”

Different obstructive sleep apnea symptoms

To explain why certain persons with the disorder are more prone than others to develop cardiovascular disease or pass away, the researchers in this study detailed various physiological aspects of obstructive sleep apnea.

As Dr. Brown noted, “Recent research, especially over the past few years, has shown that patients with obstructive sleep apnea are quite heterogeneous, meaning that not all people who experience sleep apnea have the disorder for the same reason.”

To support personalized therapy, she said, “Trying to identify the mechanisms underlying obstructive sleep apnea for an individual is quite an imperative.”

The study looked at several physiological aspects of obstructive sleep apnea, including:

  • Hypoxic burden: During sleep, there is a decrease in blood oxygen levels, or hypoxic load.
  • Ventilatory burden: Breathing pauses brought on by airway blockage
  • Nighttime arousals: Arousals during the night, which occur when someone is startled awake by disrupted breathing.

I think what they’re getting at here with these three different types of burdens from a conceptual standpoint, I can see how disruptions to sleep and in these forms might have different effects on your cardiovascular health,” said Dr. Yu-Ming Ni, a cardiologist, and lipidologist at the MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Centre in Fountain Valley, California. He wasn’t a part of the investigation.

Effects on elderly and middle-aged people

More than 4,500 middle-aged and older adults who took part in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) and the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS) provided data that the researchers analysed.

The NHLBI funded the MESA, which was created to research the features of preclinical cardiovascular disease. Researchers collected information from 1,973 men and women who took part in MESA for their investigation of the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and cardiovascular risk. The individuals were followed for approximately 7 years, and the average participant age was 67.

2,627 men’s records from the MrOS study were used by the researchers. The subjects were followed for roughly 9 to 12 years, with an average age of 76. The MrOS project, which was supported by the NIH, sought to determine the risk factors for osteoporosis and bone fracture in older men.

Both research required participants to submit medical check-ups and thorough sleep evaluations. Participants were observed by researchers through 2018. A primary cardiovascular incident was experienced by about 110 MESA individuals and 382 MrOS participants, respectively.


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Cognitive function: Can better sleep absorption improve it?

Cognitive function: Can better sleep absorption improve it?

The association between obstructive sleep apnea, insufficient sleep, and cognitive performance was further explored in a new research that examined data from five population-based studies.

Greater sleep consolidation and preventing obstructive sleep apnea, in which breathing is interrupted while sleeping, were connected to greater cognitive function in the subjects, according to the data.

On the other hand, less sleep was associated with concerns like poor focus and other cognitive problems.

According to a study published in JAMA Network Open, sleep consolidation and the absence of obstructive sleep apnea may be crucial for enhancing cognition with ageing in persons without dementia.

Data from five population-based studies conducted across the United States with at least five years of follow-up were examined by researchers. Studies included cognitive tests and nightly sleep studies. They examined the information from March 2020 to June 2023.

The researchers examined sleep studies that focused on sleep apnea and sleep consolidation and their relationships to dementia risk as well as associated cognitive and brain function.

5,945 persons without a history of stroke or dementia participated in the study.

The results showed that longer sleep duration was linked to better attention and processing speed, while better sleep consolidation and the absence of obstructive sleep apnea were related with worse cognitive function.

Sleep that is uninterrupted by nighttime awakenings and is continuous is referred to as consolidated sleep. The hallmark of obstructive sleep apnea is episodes of airway collapse, which can lower oxygen levels and lead to fragmented, unrestorative sleep.

What can we learn from this sleep study?

Over the course of the 5-year follow-up, the researchers discovered that stronger sleep consolidation and the lack of sleep apnea were related to better cognition.

The researchers hypothesised that these results demonstrated the necessity for additional study on the effect of therapies in enhancing consolidated sleep to preserve cognitive function.

Some aspects [of this study] were predictable and further reinforced concepts related to the association between sleep and cognition over time,” said Dr. Vernon Williams, a sports neurologist, pain management expert, and founding director of the Centre for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles who was not involved in the research.

The lack of a correlation between cognitive deterioration and particular sleep stages was an intriguing and less expected finding in this study. A decrease in slow-wave, deep sleep would have been expected to be more harmful than other stages, however this was not the case. Though there are a lot of plausible answers, that is a fascinating discovery, said Dr. Vernon Williams.

Dr. Williams continued, “This study [further] helps by demonstrating effects across multiple participant groups and by demonstrating that overall sleep efficiency, as well as the presence of obstructive sleep apnea, significantly affect cognition over time, whether or not a prior diagnosis exists.”

Obstructive sleep apnea: What is it?

Breathing pauses during sleep are a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, it restarts frequently while you sleep.

According to medical professionals, between 9 and 17% of women and between 25 and 30% of males are believed to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Age increases prevalence.

The most prevalent kind of sleep apnea is caused by a collapse or restriction of the upper airway, which prevents airflow. When this occurs, the person briefly stops breathing before restarting it while they are sleeping, and they normally are not aware of it.

It may result in restless sleep, difficulty focusing, and issues with memory and decision-making.

The American Lung Association lists the following as symptoms of sleep apnea:

  • snoring
  • daytime slumber
  • breathing breaks
  • memory and attention issues
  • Moodiness and annoyance
  • frequent nighttime awakenings for urination
  • daily headaches
  • mouth arid.

It is connected to other medical issues as well. Obstructive sleep apnea may increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, according to research.

How to lessen the symptoms of sleep apnea

A functional medicine physician and health and wellness coach named Dr. Laura DeCesaris, who was not involved in the study, stated that lifestyle modifications like decreasing weight, quitting smoking, and abstaining from alcohol can lessen obstructive sleep apnea.

She also provided the following advice for enhancing sleep:

  • Managing stress more skillfully and paying attention to where the body stores stress can help prevent forward head carriage and other breathing problems. Many people hold tension in their necks and shoulders.
  • monitoring your sleeping position, as side sleeping can occasionally aid with symptoms
  • Since chronic inflammation in the gut and nasal passages frequently makes it difficult to breathe through the nose, changing the diet and, when possible, switching to a more anti-inflammatory diet may be helpful.
  • exercising consistently
  • Especially in a dry area, remember to stay hydrated and consider installing a humidifier in your bedroom.


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Sleeping well is incredibly important for lowering anxiety.

Sleeping well is incredibly important for lowering anxiety.

Chronic stress can make some mental diseases, such as anxiety and depression, more likely.

According to a new study, sleep and adaptive emotion regulation techniques both have a significant impact on lowering the risk of anxiety and depression in those who are under a lot of chronic stress.

This study made use of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a lot of chronic stress in the population. Regardless of the cause, managing chronic stress is important.

The COVID-19 epidemic created a rare circumstance in which many people went through a period of prolonged stress. Researchers want to know how long-term stress like this affects mental illness and what elements can help mental health.

The relationship between adaptive emotion regulation techniques, also known as positive coping mechanisms, and sleep quality was investigated in a study that was published in the journal Cortex.

Both elements are beneficial in lowering rates of anxiety and sadness, according to scientists. In contrast to their premise, they discovered that the quality of sleep did not significantly affect how well emotion management strategies worked.

What function does sleep quality have?

In this study, sleep and mental health data gathered from the spring of 2020 through the autumn of 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic were analysed secondarily.

The initial goal of the study was to determine whether adaptive emotion management techniques are related to greater mental health.

Long-term mental health is enhanced through thought processes known as adaptive cognitive emotion control techniques. A good illustration would be “positive reappraisal,” which is the process of looking for the positive aspects of an event or circumstance.

Second, scientists wanted to know if the efficiency of adaptive emotion management techniques was affected by the calibre of sleep. The COVID-19 pandemic was used as a naturally occurring and persistent stressor while they examined these factors.

Strategies for emotional management are crucial.

There were 1,600 adult participants in the study. The participants filled out online forms to submit information, including crucial demographic data. They also answered questions about general anxiety, despair, and sleep hygiene, as well as techniques for controlling emotions.

Based on data analysis, the researchers discovered that lower scores for anxiety and sadness were connected with greater usage of adaptive cognitive emotion control techniques.

Additionally, they discovered a link between claims of better sleep quality and lower anxiety and depressive disorder scores.

In terms of the connection between adaptive cognitive emotion regulation strategies and sleep quality, they discovered that persons who reported getting more restful sleep used these strategies more frequently.

Their final model, which took into account the quality of the sleep, revealed that employing adaptive cognitive emotion control techniques did not significantly predict the consequences of anxiety.

In other words, the quality of sleep did not seem to affect how successfully positive coping techniques reduced depression and anxiety. Regardless of the quality of sleep, the positive control techniques still demonstrated benefits for mental health.

Sullivan provided a nuanced explanation of these findings:

We did discover that using positive coping mechanisms more frequently was linked to fewer depressive and anxious symptoms. Additionally, fewer signs of anxiety and despair were linked to higher sleep quality. However, contrary to what we had anticipated, employing healthy coping mechanisms to lessen sadness and anxiety symptoms did not rely on getting enough sleep.

Findings are not as unexpected as they may appear

Dr. Lindsay Oberleitner, a licenced clinical psychologist and the education director of SimplePractice, who was not engaged in this study, offered her thoughts on the findings.

Contrary to expectations, she said, “cognitive emotion regulation strategies and sleep quality did not interact in their relationship to depression and anxiety.”

However, she added, this might not be as shocking as it initially appears to be.

“If we take a step back from the current study, this might not come as much of a surprise. We are aware that different people experience depression and anxiety in different ways due to complicated circumstances”. According to Dr. Lindsay Oberleitner, only a small part of emotion management techniques use adaptive cognitive strategies, and sleep is only one physical health factor that affects mental health.

Limitations of the study and future research

It is nonetheless important to be aware of this study’s limitations. Participants’ self-reporting, which is not always reliable, was used by researchers.

They observe that subjectively evaluated sleep quality is frequently poorer than what people report. They could only test sleep quality and adaptive cognitive emotion regulation technique once, thus they were unable to track changes that might have taken place over the course of the study.

Additionally, the authors had more data on depression than anxiety. The study lacked the capacity to detect any potential minor interaction effects.

They were unable to determine which cognitive emotion control method or combination was more effective due to the measurements they employed, as well as how these strategies worked together.

The majority of the white, educated female participants in the study were from the United States. Specific confounders could not be accounted for, and data was gathered online. All of these characteristics limit how broadly the study’s findings can be applied and point to the need for more diverse research in the future.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented a unique form of stress, therefore it is challenging to relate this study to other types of persistent stress and the ensuing mental health results, according to the study authors.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic was undoubtedly a particularly stressful circumstance, she said, “it would be beneficial to replicate these results in the context of other protracted stressful events.”

Additionally, she continued, “as we examined a variety of positive coping mechanisms together, it may be crucial in the future to see how particular mechanisms, like positive reappraisal (rethinking the circumstance in a positive light) and putting into perspective (i.e. considering the bigger picture), are related to both sleep quality and depressive and anxiety symptoms.”

How to deal with persistent stress?

Regardless of what causes it, managing stress requires action.For mental wellness, a trusted source is essential. This may entail making efforts to live a healthy lifestyle, asking friends for aid, and knowing when to seek the assistance of a mental health professional.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) adds that keeping a daily schedule and limiting time spent on social media can both help with stress management.

In Phoenix, Arizona, at Cora Health Solutions, Betsy Serrano, a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who was also not engaged in the latest study, provided the following advice for productive stress management:

There are some straightforward exercises that can help reduce mild tension and anxiety. By releasing feel-good endorphins, physical activity releases stress-relieving hormones that help to calm the mind.” When feeling anxious, eating well, limiting caffeine intake, practicing yoga and meditation, as well some smartphone apps like Calm, are all quite beneficial. However, if your stress levels are so high that they’re interfering with your daily activities, you should think about seeking counselling and, if necessary, medication, according to mental health nurse practitioner Betsy Serrano.


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Links between sleep brain waves and blood sugar control.

Links between sleep brain waves and blood sugar control.

Diabetes is a disorder that makes it difficult for the body to regulate blood sugar levels.

When the body stops generating or responding to the hormone insulin, which controls blood glucose (sugar), blood glucose levels rise too high.

Poor sleep quality and higher blood sugar levels are related, according to research. A recent study has discovered that certain deep sleep brain waves are connected to the control of blood sugar levels.

The researchers hypothesise that elevating particular deep-sleep brain waves could lower the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

More than 6% of the world’s population currently has diabetes, which is on the rise globally. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 37.3 million Americans, or 11.3% of the population, have diabetes, with more than 35.4 million of those having type 2 diabetes.

96 million Americans aged 18 and older had prediabetes in 2019, which is a condition in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are increased but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

The risk factor for type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, frequently has no symptoms and can go unnoticed for a very long time.

To lower the chance of acquiring type 2 diabetes, the National Institutes of Health recommend many lifestyle modifications, including:

  • if a person is overweight, reducing 5–7% of their body weight and maintaining that weight loss
  • getting up to 30 minutes of exercise five times each week
  • consuming fewer servings and making an effort to consume nutritious foods the majority of the time.

What connection exists between sleep and diabetes?

Numerous studies have connected poor blood glucose control and sleep issues. Raised blood glucose levels and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes are all linked to inadequate sleep length, poor sleep quality, and sleep disorders such insomnia and sleep apnea.

Now, a study has postulated a mechanism through which deep sleep is associated with lower blood glucose levels and contends that sleep quality rather than quantity is a better predictor of blood glucose levels.

Researchers discovered a connection between some deep sleep brain waves and better blood sugar regulation the next day.

According to the study, which was published in Cell Reports Medicine, deep sleep enhances the body’s sensitivity to insulin by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to better blood sugar regulation.

According to study co-author and researcher Vyoma D. Shah of the Centre for Human Sleep Science, “the association with blood glucose control appears to be strongly explained by a link between deep sleep oscillations and specific alteration in insulin sensitivity, rather than insulin synthesis, storage, or secretion.”

The study noted that “the causal chain by which this occurs in humans is still unexplored.”

Brainwaves suggest a metabolic connection

Although she was not engaged in this study, Fiona McLoone, a research communications officer at Diabetes UK, commented:

This study gives us more information about how the brain regulates blood glucose levels while we sleep; however, more research is required to determine whether assistance with improving sleep could benefit those who have type 2 diabetes or are at risk for developing it.”

Previous studies have suggested that decreased glucose metabolism is related to a shortening of slow-wave, or deep, sleep.

In a laboratory experiment, it was discovered that healthy young people’ insulin sensitivity significantly decreased when slow-wave sleep was inhibited, which in turn reduced glucose tolerance and raised the chance of developing diabetes.

Researchers found that clusters of strong wave ripples from the hippocampus, which happen during non-REM sleep, caused a drop in blood sugar levels in the rats within 10 minutes.

In the current investigation, the researchers first examined 647 people’s nocturnal polysomnography results as well as their next-morning glucose and insulin readings. They subsequently conducted their trials once more on a different 1,996 subjects.

They were looking to see if coupled non-REM spindles the night before were linked to better peripheral blood glucose levels the next day.

Other variables known to affect blood glucose management, such as age, gender, race, body mass index (BMI), hypertension, quantity of sleep, and sleep quality, were accounted for in both groups.

They discovered that the coupling of slow waves and sleep spindles during deep sleep was connected to better blood glucose regulation the next morning.

How could REM sleep affect blood sugar?

The parasympathetic nervous system’s activity, according to the authors, may be the cause of the influence on blood glucose.

They discovered that deep sleep activated this area of the nervous system, causing the body to become more sensitive to insulin, causing the body to absorb more glucose from the bloodstream into cells, so reducing blood sugar.

As Shah commented that the results of our study are not applicable to all deep sleep in general, but rather to the coupling (nearly simultaneous or time-locked occurrence) of slow oscillations and spindles in deep sleep, despite the fact that there are numerous techniques that can alter brain waves during sleep, including electrical, audio stimulation, and better sleep hygiene to increase the ease of falling asleep and the likelihood of staying asleep.

The connection might not be direct

The researchers issue a warning that their results do not prove a causal link between better blood glucose regulation and deep sleep. They do, however, offer a theory as to how the link occurred.

According to Shah, “based on a seminal study in rats that inspired this study, it is plausible that during sleep, hippocampal sharp wave ripples which we index by measuring slow oscillation-spindle coupling in this study send a signal to a relay station called the lateral septum, which in turn modulates blood glucose levels.”

The authors also make the case that monitoring brain waves during deep sleep could be a non-invasive way to determine how well someone is controlling their blood sugar.

What will the upcoming research focus be?

We learned from Shah that “our findings are the first to demonstrate an association between these particular deep sleep brain waves (slow oscillation-spindle coupling) and glucose regulation, reiterating the significance of sleep in the clinical management of hyperglycemia.”

We hope this study paves the way for future research that can better understand the causal mechanisms underlying these associations, and eventually, develop therapeutics to enhance slow-oscillation spindle coupling during sleep, to better control blood sugar levels,” she continued.

She also outlined possible areas for further study, such as measuring glucose levels at various times and examining whether slow oscillation and spindle coupling may be used to change glucose regulation or vice versa.

However, as McLoone cautioned, “Some people are more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes than others, and getting a good night’s sleep is an essential component of good health, but currently the best evidence for reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes involves eating a healthy, balanced diet and keeping active.”


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Are brain fog, sleep, and pain improved by Cannabis?

Are brain fog, sleep, and pain improved by Cannabis?

Cannabis, according to researchers, may be able to lessen the negative effects of chemotherapy as well as cancer discomfort. In a recent study, cancer patients said that using cannabis helped them feel less pain, sleep better, and think more clearly.

According to experts, federal rules need to be altered so that more studies may be done on cannabis’ advantages and impacts on medical ailments.

According to a study conducted at the University of Colorado at Boulder and published in the journal Exploration in Medicine, people with cancer who use cannabis to alleviate symptoms experience less pain, sleep better, and have clearer thinking.

This is one of the first observational studies to examine the potential effects of cannabis products obtained from a dispensary on chemotherapy side effects and cancer symptoms.

University researchers are only permitted to possess and distribute cannabis products that are authorized by the government or that meet pharmaceutical standards in the United States, which makes it challenging to conduct studies on dispensary goods.

The researchers at the University of Colorado, however, developed a novel strategy. When 25 cancer patients bought their products, they watched how they responded.

During a baseline visit, the researchers evaluated the patient’s pain tolerance, sleep quality, and cognitive function. After that, the participants went to a dispensary and bought a cannabis edible product of their choice. They selected several different products, such as:

  • Chocolates
  • Gummies
  • Tinctures
  • Pills
  • a baked good

Additionally, the THC and CBD potencies varied widely.

Information from the cannabis and cancer pain study

The researchers traveled to each person’s residence in a mobile lab.

Before being asked to consume the cannabis product they had chosen at home, each person had their physical and mental capabilities evaluated in the van. After consuming medical marijuana, they completed another test.

Within an hour of using the items, the patients claimed that their pain levels had greatly decreased. Additionally, it made them feel “high” and affected their cognitive function. They claimed to feel higher the more THC was present.

After two weeks of consistent use, the individuals underwent a follow-up examination. At that time, the patients indicated that their pain, sleep, and cognitive abilities had all decreased. Improvements were evident in various cognitive domains, including reaction times, according to objective measurements.

The researchers found that lower levels of pain led to an improvement in cognitive performance. The improvement in cognition increased as the discomfort decreased.

Patients who consumed more CBD reported significant reductions in pain and better sleep. CBD reduces inflammation. The authors of the study point out that while cognition was temporarily reduced, it can be enhanced by treating pain.

How cannabis might benefit cancer patients

Some dosages and cannabis types, according to experts, may be beneficial for persons receiving cancer therapy.

Dr. Wael Harb, a hematologist and medical oncologist at Memorial Care Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Medical Centre in California who was not involved in the study, said, “This study adds to the growing body of research that examines the potential benefits of cannabis use in cancer patients.”

According to Harb, “the results highlight the potential for cannabis to reduce pain, enhance cognition, and improve the overall quality of life for patients.” These findings have important therapeutic ramifications since they imply that cannabis may be used as an auxiliary or alternative therapy for cancer patients, particularly those who are in pain or have cognitive deficits.

However, “it is important to note that the study has limitations, such as a relatively small sample size, which may not represent the larger population of cancer patients,” the author continued.

The study also uses self-reported information, which is prone to bias. To validate these results and investigate any potential hazards or negative consequences related to cannabis usage in cancer patients, additional research with bigger, more diverse samples and more objective assessment technologies is required.

What do you need to understand about medical marijuana?

The director of the UCI Centre for the Study of Cannabis, Daniele Piomelli, Ph.D., stated that “this small study supports what oncologists have known for a long time: many cancer patients (half of them, according to some surveys) use cannabis to cope with nausea, pain, and sleeplessness caused by cancer drugs“.

He informed us that the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, is aware of this and that urgently required larger investigations are about to begin.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the cannabis plant has two major compounds (cannabinoids) that are employed in medical procedures. THC and CBD are these.

These have not been given use approval by the Food and Drug Administration. The group has, however, approved a small number of drugs that do:

  • Cannabidiol (Epidolex)
  • Dronabinol (Marinol, Syndros)
  • Nabilone

Currently, marijuana use is either decriminalized or legal in 46 states. Anyone considering using medical items should first examine the regulations in their locality as each state has different legislation.

Dr. Olivia Seecof, clinical assistant professor of medicine and attending physician in supportive oncology at NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Centre in New York, said she was “very excited” about the study because it was “one of the first studies to address some of the issues surrounding recommending medical cannabis products in an evidence-based way.”

During outpatient supportive oncology appointments, I do certify patients for medical cannabis. I had to enroll in the New York State Medical Cannabis Programme and complete further training/certification to be able to do that,” she explained to us.

The market for medical marijuana is expanding.

Its US market value in 2021 was close to $27 billion. Market Research Future estimates that by 2030, it would reach $248 billion.

According to a Reuters article, some proposed measures in Congress would decriminalize or legalize marijuana.

It would be decriminalized under one statute, leaving state regulation to their discretion. More research will be possible thanks to the regulation reform, giving doctors and other healthcare providers the data they need to treat patients.

Because of cannabis’ murky legal status and negative connotations, many doctors are still uneasy about marijuana, according to Piomelli. “But the profession can no longer bury its head in the sand with so many patients using it. To better meet the requirements of their patients, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals need to have more knowledge about the advantages and drawbacks of cannabis.


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Longer naps may increase the risk of obesity & hypertension

Longer naps may increase the risk of obesity & hypertension

According to research, those who nap during the day for longer than 30 minutes appear to be more likely to be obese and have high blood pressure.

They observed that persons with shorter naps are less likely to develop high blood pressure.

Longer naps, according to specialists, may play a role in these illnesses because they can disturb both eating and sleeping patterns at night.

More than 30-minute naps during the midday may raise blood pressure, increase body mass index, and worsen diabetes and heart-related diseases, according to research.

The prevalence of high blood pressure was lower among people who took what are known as “power naps,” which are midday sleep sessions lasting 30 minutes or fewer.

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston evaluated more than 3,000 adults from a Mediterranean population—where midday naps, known as “siestas,” are common—for a recent study that was published in the journal Obesity.

The duration of siestas and their association with metabolic syndrome and obesity were investigated by the researchers.

According to studies, those who take siestas of at least 30 minutes are more likely than those who don’t to have higher blood pressure, a higher body mass index, and other diseases linked to diabetes and heart disease.

Additionally, compared to people who did not take a siesta, those who took brief naps were less likely to exhibit elevated systolic blood pressure. “Not all siestas are the same,” said Marta Garaulet, Ph.D., MS, a senior study author and a visiting professor in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders. “The health effects of a nap can depend on the length of time, position of sleep, and other particular factors.”

Obesity and Naps

According to Garaulet, the group previously conducted research in the UK and discovered that siestas were linked to a higher risk of obesity. The next step was to examine siestas in a nation where afternoon naps were more prevalent in culture.

According to Garaulet, “in this case, Spain, as well as how the duration of siestas is related to metabolic health.” The group notes that there are more than 1 billion obese people in the world, which is a rising health risk.

In the course of metabolic processes, how people digest food has a connection to fat accumulation in the body. Researchers suggested that studying how habits, such as napping, alter certain metabolic pathways, could contribute in the understanding of how habits affect health.

Findings from the napping research

The group looked at information from 3,275 persons in the Murcia region of Spain.

Participants at the University of Murcia had their baseline metabolic parameters assessed, and information about their naps and other lifestyle elements was gathered. No siestas, shorter than 30 minutes, and more than 30 minutes were the categories into which the subjects were split.

In comparison to those who did not take siestas, subjects who took longer naps had higher body mass indices and were more likely to have metabolic syndrome (MetS).

The extended nap group exhibited greater waist circumference, fasting glucose levels, systolic blood pressure (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure values as compared to the no-siesta group. Longer siestas were linked to later nighttime eating and sleeping, more energy consumed during lunch, and smoking.

Sleep and obesity

A lot of study has been done on the relationship between sleep and obesity, according to Becca Krukowski, PhD, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

In contrast, Krukowski noted, “This article adds knowledge about sleep and health risks in a cultural context where naps are promoted among healthy people, across the lifespan, while also considering other potentially related factors, such as nap length and eating patterns.”

According to Krukowski, it’s probable that the health issues led to the lengthier sleeps rather than the other way around. The direction of these correlations cannot be determined from this study because it is cross-sectional. It’s likely that obese people sleep less soundly at night and require longer naps as a result.

The study, according to Krukowski, might be a first step towards more illuminating research.

“Previous studies have shown that weight loss interventions improve sleep quality,” said Krukowski. It could be interesting to look at whether weight loss is impacted by sleep therapies, such as controlling nap length and increasing nocturnal sleep.

More study is required on napping

The authors of the study acknowledged that it’s possible that some factors—rather than siestas per se—might be a result of obesity rather than being caused by siestas, as evidenced by a prior investigation of data from the UK Biobank that found a causal link between napping and obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, which they refer to as the most harmful type.

The link between siestas and health indices was found to be mediated by a number of statistically relevant lifestyle factors, according to the authors.

They urge further investigation into whether a little siesta is preferable to a long one, especially for people who smoke, have bad habits like sleeping in late or delaying meals, or who have delayed sleep patterns.

The Brigham’s Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders’ Frank Scheer, PhD, a senior neuroscientist and professor in the Medical Chronobiology Programme, commented on the study’s findings in a statement. “This study shows the importance of considering siesta length and raises the question of whether short naps may offer unique benefits,” he said. Numerous institutions are starting to recognise the advantages of quick naps, mostly for work productivity but also more and more for overall health.


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Can Obstructive sleep apnea cause cognitive decline?

Can Obstructive sleep apnea cause cognitive decline?

According to a study, people who have obstructive sleep apnea may experience cognitive decline.

The study is distinctive because all of its subjects were in good health and were free of the comorbid conditions that are frequently cited as the processes behind the association between sleep apnea and cognition.

According to the study, males as young as middle age can experience cognitive decline brought on by obstructive sleep apnea.

When a person has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), their airway occasionally becomes obstructed for at least 10 seconds while they are asleep. It has been hypothesised that the cardiovascular or metabolic comorbidities that cause these breathing disruptions are the cause of the eventual decline in cognitive function.

According to a recent research of individuals without these comorbidities, sleep apnea itself can cause cognitive deterioration as early as age 40.

Men from a distinctive group took part in the study. People with systemic hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other metabolic illnesses are more likely to be diagnosed with OSA.

This study is the first to examine the cognitive impact of OSA in otherwise healthy and non-obese persons because none of the study participants had any such comorbidities.

In their otherwise healthy subjects, the researchers discovered that OSA was associated with worsened executive function, visuospatial memory, vigilance (sustained attention), psychomotor function, and impulsive control.

Obstructive sleep apnea

According to a recent examination of data from 16 countries, 425 million adult men and women between the ages of 30 and 69 have moderate-to-severe OSA, and 936 million have mild-to-severe OSA. One estimate places the number of Americans with the illness at 25 million.

Sleep apnea might be one of two forms. The brain is unable to regularly signal the breathing muscles in people with less common central sleep apnea. OSA is more prevalent.

The dilator muscles that normally maintain the soft palate at the back of the throat open during breathing malfunction in people with obstructive sleep apnea or enable the tongue to impede the airway. Respiration is halted until the affected individual gasps or snorts to reopen the airway and restore breathing, which frequently happens before they completely awaken.

The link between obstructive sleep apnea and cognitive decline

According to the study’s findings, males who had severe obstructive sleep apnea had deficiencies in:

  • Vigilance
  • executive ability
  • Visual recognition memory in the short term
  • esteem on a social and emotional level

These issues were present in the males with mild obstructive sleep apnea as well, though not to the same extent as the individuals with severe versions of the illness. In reality, they hardly ever outperformed the control group in a meaningful way.

Even though the majority of men with sleep apnea had medical comorbidities, the study’s participants had none, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic inflammation, or depression. The authors pointed out that earlier studies blamed concomitant illnesses rather than sleep apnea for cognitive deficiencies.

Ivana Rosenzweig, MD, Ph.D., FRCPsych, a sleep specialist and consultant neuropsychiatrist, and the study’s lead author, said in an email to Healthline that “in our small proof-of-concept cross-sectional study, we demonstrated cognitive deficits in male patients with obstructive sleep apnea, even without any comorbidities.” This is extremely relevant because the current prevailing theory holds that cognitive deficiencies in this age range may be caused by comorbidities connected to obstructive sleep apnea.

Rosenzweig stated, “Our research demonstrates that sleep apnea is sufficient to initiate cognitive alterations. Since the majority of these patients were (otherwise) healthy males with this condition, the vast majority of them were consciously ignorant that they already had cognitive abnormalities detected by the extremely sensitive testing battery.

The following are some potential causes of the cognitive issues, according to the researchers:

  • sporadic low oxygen
  • high blood carbon dioxide levels
  • changes in the brain’s blood flow
  • fragmented sleep
  • Neuroinflammation

They stated that sleep apnea is a disorder that could be harmful.

Sleep apnea and dementia

The chance of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, may be considerably raised by sleep apnea. An assessment of research from 2022 found that it does not appear to raise the likelihood of acquiring vascular dementia.

Unfortunately, dementia can also cause sleep disruptions, according to Merrill. “Sleep disturbances increase dementia risk,” she said. As a result, your memory may eventually deteriorate to the point of dementia, which will make it harder for you to sleep. In this way, disturbed sleep can contribute to a downward spiral, making it even more crucial to recognize and address sleep problems during early and midlife adult development. Dementia affects sleep in several different ways, Merrill continued. “Dementia is a neurodegenerative illness, which means that brain cells begin to malfunction and die as time passes.

The brain’s sleep centres begin to malfunction when a person loses brain cells, making it harder for us to communicate with our bodies to stay asleep. Sleep is frequently broken up or even inverted, keeping patients awake all night before they fall asleep for the most of the day.

Merrill stated, “Ideally, sleep will be optimised years before the potential onset of dementia.” “With better sleep, we may be able to postpone the age at which dementia first manifests itself. To increase a person’s healthy life span as much as feasible, sleep quality should be improved.

The CDC recommends that those aged 61 to 64 receive seven to nine hours of sleep per night, while those aged 65 and over should aim for seven to eight hours.

Causes of OSA and cognitive damage

“Craniofacial and physiological particularities can be a risk factor for OSA — having a short chin, large tonsils, a large tongue, etc.,” said neuroscientist Dr. Nadia Gosselin from the University of Montreal in Canada, who was not involved in the study.

According to her, “these peculiarities increase a person’s risk of upper-airway obstruction during sleep.”

Although it is unclear how OSA causes cognitive loss, several of its fundamental characteristics, such as sleep disruption, intermittent hypoxemia, neuroinflammation, and oxidative stress, may be to blame.

According to Dr. Gosselin, OSA stops sleep from playing its part in memory consolidation, brain plasticity, and the elimination of cerebral metabolic waste by continuously fragmenting sleep.

She stated that systemic inflammation and blood-brain barrier disruption resulting in neuronal death are two more potential causes.

According to one study, the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex, two areas of the brain that degrade quickly in Alzheimer’s disease, have higher levels of oxidative stress and inflammation.

How to treat sleep apnea

The good news is that OSA can frequently be treated by making small lifestyle adjustments, such eating better, working out more, and decreasing weight, she continued.

Through a range of therapy techniques, doctors can also assist patients in controlling OSA.

The CPAP machine, which uses continuous positive airway pressure to keep the airway open while you sleep, is the OSA technology that is used the most frequently. People with central sleep apnea may also be given medication, CPAP machines, or other breathing aids.

Other OSA therapies include oral mandibular advancement devices or dental appliances that prevent the tongue from obstructing the throat. Additionally, there are neurostimulation implants for OSA, and surgery can occasionally be beneficial.


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Melatonin and reduction in risk of youth Self harm.

Melatonin and reduction in risk of youth Self harm.

Researchers examined how melatonin consumption affected children’s and teenagers’ self-harm. They discovered that melatonin consumption reduced self-harm in children and adolescents. Particularly in adolescent girls who were depressed and anxious.

These findings and the potential advantages of melatonin for mental health and wellbeing require further research to be confirmed. Young people frequently experience sleep difficulties including insomnia, particularly those who have psychiatric issues.

Some estimates place the number of young people who self-harm at roughly 17%. There aren’t many treatments for the disease among young people that have empirical backing right now.

According to a recent meta-analysis, addressing the root reasons of self-harm may lower its prevalence. Hence, some have proposed that correcting sleep issues may lower the frequency of self-harm.

Melatonin is the most frequently prescribed medication in Sweden for treating sleep disorders in kids and teenagers. A hormone that occurs naturally, melatonin supports a healthy sleep-wake cycle as well as other biological functions.

Treatment options for the habit might be improved by learning more about how melatonin influences self-harm in children and teenagers. Recently, researchers looked at the risk of self-harm and unintentional injuries in young people with and without psychiatric problems before and after melatonin administration.

They discovered that taking melatonin was associated with lower rates of self-harm, particularly among adolescent girls who were depressed and anxious. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry published the paper.

Why Do Young People Self Harm?

There are several reasons why kids and teenagers self-harm. A traumatic event, like abuse, or a mental illness, like anxiety or depression, are frequently to blame.

Youth who self-harm may also be unable to articulate their emotions or feel like they have no control over their lives. Self-harm is not a healthy behaviour and should be seen as a cry for help rather than a coping mechanism for uncomfortable emotions.

It’s possible that kids and teenagers have trouble expressing their emotions. You can encourage kids to start talking about what’s going on in their lives by paying attention to what they are saying and doing.

Decreased risk of self-harm with melatonin

For the study, the researchers analyzed public healthcare data from 25,575 youths in Sweden who began melatonin treatment between ages 6 and 18.

The children and adolescents were followed for a year prior to melatonin prescription and a year following. They began treatment at an average of age 13 years old, and most commonly initiated treatment in November. Treatment lasted for an average of 6.4 months.

The researchers found that 87.2% of melatonin users received at least one psychiatric diagnosis by age 18. Over 50% received an ADHD diagnosis. Self-harm was around five times more common in girls than boys.

In the end, the researchers found that melatonin use decreased the risk of self-harm by 42% and poisoning risk by 41%. Effects were especially prevalent among girls and adolescents with depression and or anxiety.

They noted, however, that melatonin use did not decrease rates of bodily injuries, falls, or transport accident rates.


Even though he was not engaged in the study, Dr. Lokesh Shahani, an associate professor of psychiatry at UTHealth Houston’s McGovern Medical School, commented:

“Some cases were overlooked since the study employed a national registration to obtain patient diagnosis, prescription, and death records. Moreover, no research was done in this city on the impact of various sleep aids on suicidal behaviour.

As several of the study participants also took antidepressants, Dr. McGrath continued, it’s probable that their use had an impact on the study’s findings.

Dr. Johnson-Arbor cautioned that the findings might not be applicable to other nations. Where melatonin is sold as a dietary supplement rather than a prescription, is less strictly regulated. This may be tainted with other drugs.

How melatonin may help mental health?

Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor, a medical toxicologist, co-medical director, and interim executive director of the National Capital Poison Center who was not involved in the study, responded to a question on how melatonin can decrease self-harm in young people by saying:

Melatonin, a hormone naturally produced by the brain, aids in controlling circadian rhythm and sleep-wake cycles. Young persons with psychiatric disorders frequently experience sleep disruptions, and childhood emotional and behavioural problems have also been linked to sleep issues.

It’s feasible that changes in sleep quality will lead to gains in emotional stability and behavioural control given that sleep issues can affect mood and conduct, said Kelly Johnson-Arbor, M.D.

Because of this, she explained, the authors of the study “sought to explore if management of the sleep cycle, through the use of melatonin, might potentially help avoid self-harm, body injuries, and falls in young individuals between the age of 6 and 18 years old.”

Melatonin during puberty

Depending on the animal species, melatonin administration was found to either hasten or postpone the onset of puberty in animal studies. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which controls puberty in humans, is produced by the brain. It may be altered by melatonin treatment, according to Dr. Johnston-Arbor.

“The development of female reproductive organs may be affected by melatonin as well. Yet, numerous human trials including kids who received melatonin for extended periods of time did not reveal any negative impacts on puberty, she continued.

Dr. Michael J. McGrath, a board-certified psychiatrist and medical director of The Ohana Luxury Alcohol Rehab who was also not engaged in the study, responded when asked the same question by saying:

Melatonin should be used with caution in prepubescent children because there is conflicting information and no conclusive evidence linking it to changes in the timing of puberty.

Melatonin dosage recommendations are still unclear.

The results “suggest that children with sleep disorders may experience additional benefits, other than sleep control, after the use of melatonin,” Dr. Johnson-Arbor stated in response to a question regarding the study’s implications.

“More studies are needed to confirm the appropriate amount and duration of usage of melatonin needed to achieve the effects discovered in this analysis,” she said. “This study’s results may not generalise to other populations, and these findings warrant further exploration.”


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