Research highlighted at SLEEP 2012, the 26th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, generated headlines all week. A study that found that less than six hours of sleep increases the risk of stroke kicked off national coverage of the conference. The study appeared on the cover of USA Today, and in countless media outlets.
Findings based on efficacy trials using suvorexant, a new class of sleep medications, to treat insomnia made a splash during a late-breaking abstract session on the final day of SLEEP 2012. Researchers and the drug manufacturer Merck report suvorexant significantly reduced the time it took for patients to fall asleep by targeting and blocking the chemical messengers in the brain that keep you awake. Coverage appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and on NBC Nightly News.
Other research that received attention include a study linking many cases of insomnia to fear of the dark, a study on a how CPAP use helps improve depression symptoms and an abstract on how untreated sleep apnea harms the social and mental development of adolescents.