Bill Harding, Veterans Service Officer

Bill Harding, Veterans Service Officer

Bill Harding: Sleep-deprived people more likely to catch cold

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Bill Harding, Veterans Hotline

Bill Harding's "Veterans Hotline" column appears in the Craig Daily Press .

U.S. researchers reported Jan. 12 that people who sleep less than seven hours a night are three times as likely to catch a cold than their more well-rested friends and neighbors. The study supports the theory that sleep is important to immune function, said Sheldon Cohen and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Volunteers who spent less time in bed, or who spent their time in bed tossing and turning instead of sleeping, were much more likely to catch a cold when viruses were dripped into their noses, they discovered.

People who slept longer and more soundly resisted infection better, they reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine. "Although sleep's relationship with the immune system is well-documented, this is the first evidence that relatively minor sleep disturbances can influence the body's reaction to cold viruses," Cohen said in a statement. "It provides yet another reason why people should make time in their schedules to get a complete night of rest."

Cohen's team tested 153 healthy volunteers, locking them in a hotel for five days after infecting them with a cold virus. They had been interviewed daily for the previous two weeks to get details on their sleep patterns. They were tested for cold symptoms after the five-day lockup and had blood tests for antibodies to the virus. The men and women who reported fewer than seven hours of sleep on average were 2.94 times more likely to develop sneezing, sore throat and other cold symptoms than those who reported getting eight or more hours of sleep each night. Volunteers who spent less than 92 percent of their time in bed asleep were 5 1/2 times more likely to become ill than better sleepers, they found.

Sleep disturbance may affect immune system signaling chemicals called cytokines or histamines, the researchers said.

"Experiments that explore the relationship between sleep and immune function often involve sleep deprivation or study subjects with sleep disorders, which are often rooted in psychiatric conditions that influence other aspects of health," Cohen added. "This research points to the role played by ordinary, real-life sleep habits in healthy persons."

Source: Reuters Maggie Fox article 13 Jan 09 ++

Air Force announces Thunderbirds schedule

The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, "Thunderbirds," has announced its 2009 air show schedule. In their 56th season, the Thunderbirds are scheduled to perform more than 73 shows in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Far East. Entering his second season, Lt. Col. Greg Thomas, the team's commander and leader, welcomes the opportunity again to represent the nearly 700,000 active duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and civilian Airmen, serving in the United States and overseas. Colonel Thomas will join 11 officers and more than 120 enlisted Airmen during the 2009 air show season.

A Thunderbirds aerial demonstration is a mix of formation flying and solo routines. The pilots perform about 40 maneuvers in a demonstration. The entire show, including ground and air, runs about one hour. The 2009 schedule, places near our area, is as follows:

• March 21 and 22 - Luke AFB, Az.

• May 27 - USAF Academy, Colo.

• May 30 and 31 - Ellsworth AFB, SD

• June 6 and7 - Hill AFB, UT 27-28 - Helena, Mont.

• July 22 - Cheyenne, Wyo.

• Sept. 12 and 13 - Sacramento, Calif.

• Nov. 14 and 15 - Nellis AFB, Nev.

The full schedule across the U.S. can be found at the source: AFNS 30 Dec 08 ++

Health care regarding OEF/OIF PTSD figures

These are the numbers for VISN 19, the VA Rock Mountain Network, which covers the facilities and health care for veterans from Montana, Wyoming, Eastern Colorado, Grand Junction, and Utah plus portions of Idaho, Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas and North Dakota.

The numbers for Grand Junction VAMC, including the telehealth clinic & vet center in Grand Junction are included. They show that VAMC Grand Junction has 7 primary in-patients vets, 10 any in-patient, 167 primary outpatient & 183 any outpatient, with a total primary of 167 vets and 184 any. The vet center shows 5 PTSD, 5 outreach clients and 3 classified as other. The total VAMC Grand Junction figures are 184 veterans from OIF/OEF being treated for significant PTSD issues.

Deb Nicholas-Olson update on her rehab

Word received is that Deb has left St.. Mary's and is returning home to Sheridan, Wyo., to start undergoing rehab. We all wish her the best during this period.

Veteran Flu shots still ongoing at VA clinic

Flu shot walk-ins still are on-going at the Craig VA Telehealth Clinic. Call, stop in and visit with April Branstetter and Robbie Fentress. Vets must be enrolled in the VAMC health care system in order to get these shots. Questions?? Call 824-6721.

For information on these programs and/or other veterans' benefits, call or stop in the Moffat County VSO office at 480 Barclay St. Call 970-824-3246 or use the fax 970-824-7108.

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