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Harvard Reviews of Health News


Harvard News ReviewsA team of Harvard physicians reviews health news headlines 24/7/365, and creates commentary and provides advice on how a consumer should react to the news. For urgent breaking health news, articles are written within 6-18 hours of the news story’s first appearance. If desired, they can be delivered immediately upon completion. Over 200 new articles are written annually.

'Sleep Drunkenness' Common, Study Finds

A new survey suggests that about 15% of Americans have what's sometimes known as "sleep drunkenness." Doctors call it confusional arousal. This means that you wake up feeling confused and not knowing where you are, perhaps for up to 10 minutes. The new study was based on interviews with more than 19,000 adults. They were asked about their sleep habits, mental health and medicines. About 15% said they had a confusional arousal incident in the last year. More than half of this group said they had the incidents more often -- more than once a week. Most of those who had episodes of sleep drunkenness also had another sleep disorder, mental health disorder or both. Just over 70% had a sleep disorder. About 37% had a mental health disorder. More than 31% took medicines for a mental health issue, mostly antidepressants. The journal Neurology published the study.

Doctors Push Later School Day for Teens

Most high schools and middle schools should start classes later in the morning, a large group of children's doctors says. The change would help teenagers get more sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says the ideal time to start classes would be 8:30 a.m. or later. Only about 15% of U.S. high schools have that schedule now. At the earliest, classes should not start before 8 a.m., the AAP says. The main reason is biology. As children, teenagers still need 8½ to 9½ hours of sleep daily. But it's hard for them to fall asleep before 11 p.m. People start to feel sleepy when the brain releases melatonin. But that happens later for teens than for adults, an expert told HealthDay News. About 43% of U.S. public high schools start classes earlier than 8 a.m. Obstacles to change include the effects on bus schedules for all grades, student jobs, sports and other activities.

2 Americans Recover after Ebola Treatment

Two Americans treated for Ebola infection were released from Emory University Hospital this week. Kent Brantly, M.D., 33, and Nancy Writebol, 59, were infected while working at a hospital in Liberia. They were part of the mission groups Samaritan's Purse and SIM. Dr. Brantly and Writebol were flown home in a specially equipped plane in early August. Both were treated in an isolation unit at Emory. They were given an experimental drug, ZMapp. The drug is so new it has not been tested in humans. It's not known whether the drug helped them or if they would have recovered anyway. Standard treatment involves fluids, pain medicines and other supportive care. Emory doctors said the two are no longer infectious. Dr. Brantly appeared at a news conference August 21. He thanked and hugged members of the medical staff who cared for him. Writebol's husband released a statement.

Harvard Reviews of Health News

A new survey suggests that about 15% of Americans have what's sometimes known as "sleep drunkenness." Doctors call it confusional arousal. This means that you wake up feeling confused and not knowing where you are, perhaps for up to 10 minutes. The new study ...

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