(Andy Wong / Associated Press) Also By Eryn Brown September 23, 2013, 1:45 p.m. Two new studies, both released Monday, offer additional evidence — if any were really needed — that breast-feeding can be really, really difficult for mothers. In one analysis , published in the journal Pediatrics , researchers interviewed first-time mothers at the UC Davis Medical Center to assess their breast-feeding practices, concerns and problems before they gave birth and on several occasions over the first two months of their babies’ lives. They found that 92% of mothers reported breast-feeding concerns at the peak time of difficulty (their child’s third day of life) — including problems feeding, concerns about milk supply, concerns about their ability to breast-feed and pain. Women who reported problems were less likely to continue breast-feeding than those who didn’t, so the authors recommended that all newborns be evaluated by a lactation expert. The second study, in JAMA Pediatrics , examined the relationship between bed-sharing and breast-feeding — a controversial subject, because research has linked bed-sharing to increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome and suffocation. The research team examined data from a study called the Infant Feeding Practices Study II, which surveyed several thousand women around the U.S., ages 18 or older, who gave birth to healthy singleton babies. The mothers answered one questionnaire before they had their babies and 10 follow-up questionnaires over the following year — which examined feeding and sleeping practices. Compiling the results, the researchers found that babies who slept on the same “sleeping surfaces” as their mothers tended to breast-feed longer than those who did not. The “durations of any and exclusive breastfeeding were longest in the often bedsharing group, and shortest in the rare and non-feeding groups.” (Babies who slept in infant co-sleepers, which attach to the side of a parent’s bed, were not considered to be bed-sharing.) In this study, as in the Pediatrics report, around 90% of mothers interviewed said they had breast-feeding problems in the period immediately after childbirth.
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Sleep Disorders in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Now, new research is identifying more sleep problems and also calling for routing screening for primary sleep disorders. When they performed sleep studies of 343 people meeting the Fukuda definition of ME/CFS, they found that 104 – nearly a third – had a primary sleep disorder that explained their symptoms, and thus didn’t have ME/CFS at all. A 1/3 misdiagnosis rate is enough of a reason to look more closely for sleep disorders. In those who didn’t have primary sleep disorders, just under 90% met the criteria for at least one measurable sleep problem. Researchers identified four different groups based on sleep abnormalities. They were: Group 1: Slower to get to sleep, delayed Rapid Eye Movement (REM), lower percentages of stage 2 and REM sleep; Group 2: More frequent awakenings; Group 3: Longer total sleep time, less delayed REM sleep, higher percentage of REM sleep, lower percentage of wake time; Group 4: Shortest total sleep time, highest percentage of wake time after sleep onset.
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Many sleep disorders can involve sexual behaviors
But other sleep disorders can involve such behaviors as well. For instance, Schenck said, there have been a few reported cases among men with obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during the night, causing symptoms like loud snoring and daytime drowsiness. These cases came to light when the men’s partners complained that they were trying to have sex with them while snoring. Similarly, sexsomnia has been reported among people suffering from sleep-related epileptic seizures. Schenck said that people who think they have sexsomnia or waking-hour problems should talk to their doctors, who may then refer them to a sleep center for a full evaluation. On the other hand, he noted, there is such a thing as “normal” sleepsex.
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