A seminar in this week’s issue of THE LANCET outlines the common but poorly understood condition of insomnia, concluding that awareness and assessment of insomnia by family doctors is a priority.
Estimates suggest that between 5 and 35% of people experience insomnia. Michael J Sateia (Dartmouth Medical School, USA) and colleagues outline how effective management of insomnia begins with recognition and adequate assessment. Family doctors and other health care providers such as practice nurses and psychologists should, the authors believe, routinely enquire about sleep habits as a component of overall health assessment. Identification and treatment of primary psychiatric disorders, medical conditions, circadian disorders, or specific physiological sleep disorders—eg, sleep apnoea and periodic limb movement disorder—are essential steps in management of insomnia.
The authors discuss how drug treatments are common, despite little empirical research among patients with insomnia: ‘Approved hypnotic drugs have clearly been shown to improve subjective and objective sleep measures in various short-term situations. Despite widespread use of standard hypnotics and sedating antidepressants for chronic insomnia, their role for this indication still remains to be further defined by research evidence. Non-pharmacological treatments, particularly stimulus control and sleep restriction, are effective for conditioned aspects of insomnia and are associated with durable long-term improvement in sleep.’
Richard Lane | alfa
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The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research
Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI
The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...
World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles
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Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
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Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
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