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1.  Screening of Clock Gene Polymorphisms Demonstrates Association of a PER3 Polymorphism with Morningness–Eveningness Preference and Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6309.
A system of self-sustained biological clocks controls the 24-h rhythms of behavioral and physiological processes such as the sleep–wake cycle. The circadian clock system is regulated by transcriptional and translational negative feedback loops of multiple clock genes. Polymorphisms in circadian clock genes have been associated with morningness–eveningness (diurnal) preference, familial advanced sleep phase type (ASPT), and delayed sleep phase type (DSPT). We genotyped single-nucleotide polymorphisms in circadian clock genes in 182 DSPT individuals, 67 free-running type (FRT) individuals, and 925 controls. The clock gene polymorphisms were tested for associations with diurnal preference and circadian rhythm sleep disorder (CRSD) phenotypes. The PER3 polymorphism (rs228697) was significantly associated with diurnal preference and the FRT phenotype. The minor allele of rs228697 was more prevalent in evening types than in morning types (sex-adjusted odds ratio (OR), 2.483, Bonferroni-corrected P = 0.012) and in FRT individuals compared with the controls (age- and sex-adjusted OR, 2.021, permutated P = 0.017). Our findings support the notion that PER3 polymorphisms could be a potential genetic marker for an individual's circadian and sleep phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC4158573  PMID: 25201053
2.  A before and after comparison of the effects of forest walking on the sleep of a community-based sample of people with sleep complaints 
Sleep disturbance is a major health issue in Japan. This before-after study aimed to evaluate the immediate effects of forest walking in a community-based population with sleep complaints.
Participants were 71 healthy volunteers (43 men and 28 women). Two-hour forest-walking sessions were conducted on 8 different weekend days from September through December 2005. Sleep conditions were compared between the nights before and after walking in a forest by self-administered questionnaire and actigraphy data.
Two hours of forest walking improved sleep characteristics; impacting actual sleep time, immobile minutes, self-rated depth of sleep, and sleep quality. Mean actual sleep time estimated by actigraphy on the night after forest walking was 419.8 ± 128.7 (S.D.) minutes whereas that the night before was 365.9 ± 89.4 minutes (n = 42). Forest walking in the afternoon improved actual sleep time and immobile minutes compared with forest walking in the forenoon. Mean actual sleep times did not increase after forenoon walks (n = 26) (the night before and after forenoon walks, 380.0 ± 99.6 and 385.6 ± 101.7 minutes, respectively), whereas afternoon walks (n = 16) increased mean actual sleep times from 342.9 ± 66.2 to 475.4 ± 150.5 minutes. The trend of mean immobile minutes was similar to the abovementioned trend of mean actual sleep times.
Forest walking improved nocturnal sleep conditions for individuals with sleep complaints, possibly as a result of exercise and emotional improvement. Furthermore, extension of sleep duration was greater after an afternoon walk compared to a forenoon walk. Further study of a forest-walking program in a randomized controlled trial is warranted to clarify its effect on people with insomnia.
PMCID: PMC3216244  PMID: 21999605
forest walking (Shinrin-yoku); actual sleep time; actigraphy; St. Mary's Hospital Sleep Questionnaire; circadian phase
3.  Clinical Implications of Mandible and Neck Measurements in Non-Obese Asian Snorers: Ansan City General Population-Based Study 
Anthropometric abnormalities of the mandible and neck may contribute to snoring in non-obese Asians. The study evaluated the clinical implications of mandible and neck measurements in non-obese Asian snorers.
The external mandible and neck measurements (neck circumference, two lengths of neck, mandibular body angle, and lengths of mandibular ramus and body) were compared between snorers and non-snorers in a sample of 2,778 non-obese Koreans (1,389 males, 1,389 females) aged 40 to 69 years (mean, 48.47±7.72 years).
The overall prevalence of snoring was 64.7% (899/1,389) and 48.3% (671/1,389) in non-obese male and female subjects, respectively. In non-obese males, snorers had significantly a greater neck circumference (P<0.0001) and shorter mandibular body length (P=0.0126) than non-snorers. In non-obese females, snorers had significantly greater neck circumferences (P=0.0165), compared with non-snorers. However, there were no statistically significant differences in other variables between non-snorers and snorers.
Anthropometric abnormalities of the mandible and neck, including thick neck circumference in both genders and small mandible size in males, may be relevant contributing factors to snoring in non-obese Asian snorers.
PMCID: PMC3062226  PMID: 21461062
Asian; Population; Snoring; Mandible; Neck

Results 1-3 (3)