Roughly a year ago I wrote about a possible link between wind turbines and insomnia – and now I’ve come across another story that seems to back this up.

Apparently, dozens of families in Cape Cod are suing their town and the energy company for damages due to ‘wind turbine syndrome’.

Just months after the energy company erected three 400ft tall wind turbines a few years ago, residents claimed to begin suffering from symptoms such as insomnia, tinnitus, dizziness and headaches.

It’s worth mentioning that wind turbine syndrome isn’t recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a health condition – however, there are case studies of people who have fallen sick after wind turbines were installed near their homes.

The effects are thought to be felt by those living within 1.5 miles of a wind turbine – but some experts have suggested the symptoms are psychological and stem from a ‘nocebo‘ effect (when something harmless provokes a negative response in the body).

In any case, if you’re an insomnia sufferer living in close proximity to a wind turbine, perhaps a move away may improve your sleep.

Source: Daily Mail

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More Insomnia Information

Back in 2010 I wrote about a study that found male insomnia sufferers to be 4 times more likely to die prematurely, compared to healthy sleepers.

Since then, I’ve come across so many headlines linking insomnia with premature death that it’s a wonder any insomniacs are still alive!

I understand, though. Nothing beats a good headline.

However, the truth is that the evidence linking insomnia with mortality is mixed. Furthermore, I’ve yet to come across any studies that have found insomnia to be the cause of premature death.

Having said that, a more recent prospective cohort study of over 23,447 US men found:

  • A 25% increased risk of death in those who found it difficult to fall asleep,
  • A 24% increased risk of death in those who experienced non-restorative sleep,
  • A 9% increased risk of death in those who found it difficult to stay asleep,
  • A 4% increased risk of death in those who woke prematurely.

It’s worth bearing in mind that this study was not undertaken to determine cause and effect.

Just because researchers found an association, it doesn’t mean that insomnia was the cause of premature death.

Indeed, longer sleep durations are often associated with greater mortality than short sleep durations. 

One study involving over 1 million adults undertaken by the University of California-San Diego found that those who slept more than 8 hours per night were at the highest risk of premature death.

If nothing else, these studies are a reminder of how important sleep is and the impact it has on our health.

Source: American Heart Association

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I’m not talking about whether insomnia is hereditary today. Instead, I want to look at an external influence that is harming the sleep of our children.

Since childhood insomnia can lead to the development of chronic insomnia (and related conditions) later in life, it’s important that we take the sleep health of our children seriously.

A survey out of Australia suggests that time spent watching TV and using the computer is harming the sleep of children as young as 2.

The survey was only small (it involved 101 individuals) – but the results were startling. 54% of the children aged from 2 to 5 years old had sleep problems.

Those who spent the most time watching TV (not violent shows this time) or using a computer or tablet were the worst sleepers.

95% of the children watched TV for an average of 1 hour per day.
64% of the children used computers or tablets for an average of 19 minutes per day.

Some of the children were using these devices for up to 3 hours per day, which put them at a higher risk for sleep problems.

Fortunately, most kids will grow out of any sleep problems they suffer at a young age. However, there are things you can do to improve their sleep:

  • Develop a set routine,
  • Restrict exposure to the TV and other electronic devices,
  • Make sure the bedroom isn’t too warm or too cold (60°-65°F is a good range).

Finally, if you’re wondering how much sleep a child aged 2-5 should be getting, it’s around 11 or 12 hours.

Source: The Age

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In a study involving patients with stable heart failure, researchers discovered that participants were suffering from poor sleep quality and moderate insomnia.

Participants were averaging less than 5.5 hours of sleep and had difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.

Patients also said they didn’t mention their poor sleep to their doctors as they felt their doctors wouldn’t be interested in the quality of their sleep.

Those taking part in the study recognized the importance of sleep, but researchers found they had incorrect attitudes and beliefs towards sleep (which is actually common in all insomnia sufferers).

As a result, researchers concluded that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia would be the best insomnia treatment for insomniacs with stable heart failure since this form of treatment not only identifies incorrect assumptions about sleep, it also addresses the behaviors that are harming sleep.

I talk more about cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia in my free sleep training course.

Source: Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care

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More Insomnia Information

Insomnia linked to higher levels of anticipatory anxiety

by Martin Reed 28 March 2014

There’s an undeniable link between stress, anxiety and insomnia. Normally we hear that stress and anxiety cause insomnia. However, a recent study suggests that insomnia itself is to blame for at least one form of anxiety. Anticipatory anxiety is the anxiety we feel when we think about a potential threat. For example, when we get […]

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Are you texting your way to insomnia?

by Martin Reed 27 March 2014

A few years ago, I wrote about a possible link between the ever-popular activity of text messaging and sleep problems such as insomnia in children. We’re still bombarding our children with so much in the way of stimulation, it’s a wonder any of them have healthy sleeping habits. Now, it would appear that text messaging […]

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