Lessons from Upstate: Sleep diaries, jungle races and ankle surgery

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A roundup of news about people at Upstate Medical University:

Studying how best to track sleep

Wrist-worn devices are at least as accurate as paper diaries kept by people tracking their sleep habits, according to a study published in December in the journal Sleep Disorders.

Karen Klingman, PhD, an associate professor in Upstate’s College of Nursing, is one of the researchers who studied 35 sleep-tracking adults over a two-week period. The research project was assembled because paper diaries can be lost, illegible or unreliable “and are considered out of date, according to the newer technology-savvy generations,” the researchers wrote.

Keeping athletes safe in the tropics

Mandatory rest stops for athletes competing in distance-running events in hot climates – such as the Jungle Marathon in Para, Brazil – can improve the safety of the athletes and help them acclimate to the tropical environment.

For a study published in January in the journal Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, Jeremy Joslin, MD, and colleagues from Upstate’s department of emergency medicine reviewed six years of records for the Jungle Marathon.

Before mandatory rest stops were instituted, more than half of the runners who dropped out of the race did so because of a heat illness.

With mandatory rest stops in place during the first two days of the seven-day staged ultramarathon, just 15 percent of those who did not finish blamed heat-related factors.

Easing back into activity

How active can someone be after ankle replacement surgery? Though the surgery is becoming more common, consensus guidelines about recovery activity levels have not been available – until now.

Upstate orthopedic surgeon Scott Van Valkenburg, MD, was involved in research published in December in the European medical journal Foot and Ankle Surgery.

His group surveyed orthopedic surgeons about 50 sports and activities and found that, in general, “surgeons were comfortable with aerobic or low-impact sports and activities” after ankle surgery. High-impact activities and sports requiring cutting and jumping were discouraged.

Surgeons were most restrictive with three types of patients: those who were young, those who were overweight or obese, and those with poor bone quality.

summer16UHThis article appears in the summer 2016 issue of Upstate Health magazine.

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