Press releases

Playing a wind instrument could help lower the risk of sleep apnoea

17 April 2015

A new study has found that wind instrument players have a reduced risk of developing obstructive sleep apnoea.

The findings, presented today (17 April 2015) at the Sleep and Breathing Conference 2015, suggest that this could be considered beneficial to those individuals who are at high risk of developing sleep apnoea.

Researchers in India conducted lung function testing in 64 people who played a wind instrument and compared results to a control group of 65 people who did not play any wind instruments. All participants also completed the Berlin questionnaire, an established method used to assess the risk of sleep apnoea.

When analysing the results of the questionnaires, the researchers found that the group who played the wind instruments had a lower risk of developing sleep apnoea. However, no difference was seen between the two groups in the lung function tests.

The relative risk of developing sleep apnoea based on the questionnaire was 0.18 in the wind instrument players, with a relative risk of less than one indicating a lower risk compared to controls. The researchers believe this is due to the increased muscle tone in the upper airways, which wind instrument players are likely to have.

Silas Daniel Raj, one of the authors of the study, commented: “The findings of our small study present an interesting theory on preventative measures or treatment in sleep apnoea. If the findings are confirmed in larger groups, wind instrument playing could become a cheap and non-invasive method of preventing sleep apnoea in those at risk of developing the condition.”

Notes for editors:

Poster title: Estimation of lung functions and assessment of risk of developing Obstructive sleep apnoea in wind instrument players
Presentation time: Friday 17 April 2015 (13.45-14.45)
Authors: Rajam Krishna Subramanian, P.Saikumar, Silas Danielraj, P.R.Devaki, L.Jagadeesh Marthandam

Study reveals an absence of consistent standards in children’s hospital environments

16 April 2015

The sound, light and temperature levels in paediatric hospital wards often vary, highlighting the lack of consistent environmental standards, according to a new study.

The research is being presented today at the 2015 Sleep and Breathing Conference (16 April, 2015).

Children and parents often suffer sleep deprivation when the environment on a ward is disruptive, which can affect disease recovery and quality of life in hospitalised children. There are no general consistent recommendations covering sound, light and temperature levels to help guide hospitals across Europe.

Researchers measured these three factors in five paediatric wards in Santa Maria Hospital, Academic Medical Centre of Lisbon for three days at five-minute intervals. They measured levels in wards and hallways and during the day and night, and compared these to different recommended values taken from a variety of sources, including legislation in Portugal and recommended standards of the World Health Organization and the European Commission.

In all wards the intensity of the sound was higher than recommended for 85% of the time evaluated. The temperature was also higher than recommended in the day time and at night. The lighting levels were as recommended for 85% of the time.

The researchers conclude that while some recommended environmental standards for environment in children’s wards do exist, they are not consistent and not always implemented.

Rosario Ferreira, an author of the study, commended: “For anyone who has attended hospital with their children, they will know the difficulties that can occur in getting to sleep during what can be a difficult time. It is clear to us that while some rules about the environment in children’s wards do exist, the adherence to them is often poor. On the other hand, hospitals may not even be aware of the rules regarding simple factors such as light, temperature and sound, as there are no consistent guidelines.

“Our findings highlight the need for consistent clinical standards to be developed if we are to improve children’s quality of life and improve the experience for parents. Some of the excessive noise could be due to patient care and the monitoring of patients but we are sure that much of the noise we observed could be reduced. This is a pilot study that needs to be followed up by more extended work in order to identify specific factors to be modified.”

Notes for editors:
Poster title: Environment in paediatric wards: sound, light and temperature
Presentation time: Thursday 16 April 2015 (13.45-14.45)
Authors: Lia Oliveira, Claudia Gomes, Leonor Bacelar Nicolau, Luis Ferreira, Rosario Ferreira

Disruption of sleep in children could hamper memory processes

16 April 2015

Sleep disordered breathing can hamper memory processes in children, according to a new study.

The research, which will be presented today at the Sleep and Breathing Conference (16 April 2015), found that disrupted sleep had an impact on different memory processes and how children learn.

Eszter Csabi led a team of researchers from the University of Szeged and Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary. They analysed 17 children with sleep disordered breathing aged between 6 and 12 years. They looked at different memory processes compared to a control group of 17 children of similar age without any sleep disorders.

A story recall task was used to measure memories that can be consciously recalled, known as declarative memory, and a reaction time task was used to assess how the children learnt new skills and sequences, known as non-declarative memory. This is the first study to compare the impact of sleep disturbances on these separate memory processes in children.

The children were assessed across two sessions: a learning session and a testing session, which was separated by a 12-hour period which included sleep. This allowed the researchers to understand whether the children consolidated the information they learnt or had forgotten it by the next session.

The results found that children with sleep disordered breathing had a lower declarative memory in the learning and testing phase, suggesting that sleep can not only hamper how a child consciously learns but can also have a negative effect on whether they remember this learning after a period of time. The learning of new sequences and skills using non-declarative memory was not hampered by sleep disordered breathing in either session.

The authors conclude that disruption of sleep can affect the memory in different ways but is likely to hamper the declarative memory processes more than non-declarative processes.

Lead author, Dezso Nemeth, said: “Our results show that sleep disturbances have an impact on the developing brain and could affect the way children learn. It is crucial that we identify and diagnose any sleep problems early in childhood and properly treat them to prevent this. Our results have also helped us to pinpoint declarative memory as the memory process that is most affected. If these findings are confirmed in larger studies, we can tailor the training and rehabilitation therapies we provide to children with sleep disordered breathing by focusing on improving the conscious memory processes.”

Notes for editors:
Poster title: Declarative and non-declarative memory consolidation in children with sleep disorder breathing
Presentation time: Thursday 16 April 2015 (13.45-14.45)
Authors: Eszter Csabi, Karolina Janacsek (presenter), Palma Benedek, Gabor Katona, Dezso Nemeth

Important Dates


ERS Handbook
of respiratory sleep medicine

Endorsed by ESRS

Accredited by European Board for Accreditation in Pneumology (EBAP)

var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-17263118-2']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/j-avascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();