Research highlighted at SLEEP 2012, the 26th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC, generated headlines in the first day of its scientific program. Below are some of the studies from SLEEP 2012 that appeared in the news:

Less six hours of sleep increases risk for stroke: A study that found adults who sleepless than six hours a night are more likely to suffer from a stroke appeared on the front page of USA Today Monday morning. The report, presented by lead author MeganRuiter, found the risk present in healthy adults who were not overweight and did not have a sleep-related breathing disorder such as sleep apnea. Coverage of the study also appeared in U.S. News & World Report, Fox News and the Detroit Free Press.

Some sleep-disturbed adults actually are afraid of the dark: The abstract “Are people with insomnia afraid of the dark?, a pilot study” from Ryerson University Sleep & Depression Lab generated headlines based on its unique and surprising findings. The study reported that nearly half of the undergraduate students involved in a smallstudy had a fear of the dark. The researchers measured fear through blink responses to sudden noise in dark and bright environments. Reports on the study appeared, WebMD and MSNBC’s Body Odd Blog.

Sleep deprivation makes junk food more desirable: Unhealthy food looks a lot more appealing when you haven’t slept, according to a study performed at St. Luke’s -Roosevelt Hospital Center and Columbia University in New York. Brain scans showthat subjects who were sleep deprived had more activity when they saw pictures of unhealthy food. The findings support the oft-reported link between insufficient sleep and obesity. Coverage appeared in Time Magazine’s website, the Atlantic, the Boston Globe and other outlets.