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Text messaging on mobile phones is affecting the quality of sleep of almost half of 16 year olds, says a study.

The research says that the sleep of one in four 13 year olds could be affected too, a news website reported.

About 2500 first and fourth year children (aged 13 years and16 years respectively) in the Leuven study on media and adolescent health based in Flanders, were asked how often they were awoken at night by incoming text messages on their mobile phone.

In the first year students, 13.4 per cent reported being woken up one to three times a month, 5.8 per cent were woken up once a week, 5.3 per cent were woken up several times a week and2.2 were woken up every night, says a report.

According to the report, in the fourth year group, 20.8 percent were woken up between one and three times a month, 10.8 percent were woken up at least once a week, 8.9 were woken up several times a week, and 2.9 were woken up every night.

The teenagers were also asked to indicate how tired they felt at various times. “These preliminary findings suggest that mobile telephones may be having a major impact on the quality of sleep of a growing number of adolescents.”

“The threat to healthy sleep patterns is potentially more important than the threat posed by entertainment media. The latter mainly appear to influence time to bed, while mobile phones actually seem to lead to interrupted sleep.”

Although studies have looked at the sleep disturbance effects on children caused by televisions and computers in the bedroom, little work has been done on the impact of mobile phones, especially when used for text messaging.

“There is a small, but growing body of research looking into the impact of the mass media on young people’s sleep patterns. Lack of sleep and nightmares have been linked to television viewing.

High BP linked to memory problems: Study: People with high blood pressure are likely to have memory problems after the age of 45 years.

During a home visit, BP measurement was taken as the average of 2 measurements using a standard aneroid sphygmomanometer (BP apparatus). The participants were also assessed for thinking and memory problems, Health News reported.

To study the relationship between blood pressure and memory impairment, researchers studied 19,836 American people aged 45 years or more, who did not have prior stroke or a history of transient ischaemic attacks.

A total of 1,505 of the participants, or 7.6 percent, had cognitive problems, and 9,844, or 49.6 percent, were taking medication for high blood pressure. It was found that people with high diastolic blood pressure were more apt to have thinking or cognitive impairment, or problems with their memory, than people with normal diastolic blood pressure readings.

For every 10 point increase in the reading, the likelihood of a person having thinking problems was seven percent higher. The results were same even after the researchers adjusted for other factors that could affect cognitive abilities, such as age, smoking status, exercise level, education, diabetes or high cholesterol.

The above findings indicate that high diastolic blood pressure is directly associated with a higher risk of mental and memory problems.
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