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research-and-clinical-trials

UMN researchers connecting links to sleep issues and Parkinson’s disease

It is estimated that 50-60 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease have disordered sleep. Colum MacKinnon, Ph.D., associate professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota is embarking on a study that is looking at the link between abnormal muscle activity during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in people with Parkinson’s disease and how the disease progresses.

MacKinnon’s long term goal of the research is to be able to identify specific REM sleep features that are predictive of disease onset and progression, so clinicians can better diagnose and possibly treat neurological disease well before it manifests.

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expert-perspectives

Expert perspective: New sleep guidelines for children announced

Sleep is critical to the overall growth and development of infants, children and teens. But how much sleep is enough? The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently released a set of guidelines that outlines how much sleep children should be receiving at different ages.

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expert-perspectives

Back to school: Getting kids back on a normal sleep schedule

Editor’s note: This post was developed by Michael Howell, M.D., a University of Minnesota neurologist and sleep expert.

It’s that time of year again. From preschoolers to the one-year-to-go high school seniors, students across Minnesota need to adjust their schedules after a summer of flexible sleep times.

This is particularly challenging for teenagers whose body clocks are naturally inclined to run later and due to the long summer days of late sunlight exposure.  This combination creates a delay in a child’s circadian rhythm leading to anxious nights of being unable to sleep followed by impaired, groggy mornings.

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in-the-news

In the News: University of Minnesota doctor discusses America’s sleep problems

Oftentimes when people think of the consequences of poor sleep they think crabbiness and irritability. While those are two outcomes of poor sleep, there are many more serious consequences that can occur.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 41,000 Americans are injured or killed in car crashes caused by drowsy drivers. The amount is second to alcohol-related accidents. As stated in the same report, roughly 62 percent of Americans report having trouble falling asleep more than a few nights per week.

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in-the-news

In the news: Tips for a good night’s sleep

It may be worth it to think twice before picking up your iPad, tablet or laptop computer before bedtime. Using technology devices with bright screens could negatively affect the amount of sleep we are getting, which in correlation affects our brain health.

In a recent interview with KARE 11, Michael Howell, M.D., director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship at the University of Minnesota, shared five tips concerning how to get a better night’s sleep:

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Veterans with lower socioeconomic status sleep less, may suffer related health issues

Regularly sleeping fewer than six hours per night has been linked to a number of health problems including cardiovascular disease, poor mental health, and other life-threatening diseases.

Now, new research published in the American Journal of Public Health from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota highlights socioeconomic disparities in sleep duration among veterans who served in the U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Research found these veterans are at an increased risk of not getting enough sleep, and suffering the resulting consequences.

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