News word of the day: Fatigue

When things are relatively slow in the news business, I like to grab the dictionary, quickly spin the pages and randomly drop my finger on a word, and find out what interesting things in the news fit the word.

Today, the “news finger” fell on fatigue, which leads to today’s stroll around Planet Fatigue.

The Boston Globe reports on a link between a plugged-up nose and fatigue. Its medical blog (Boston being a city of hospitals) reports on research that suggests surgery for sinus problems clears up fatigue as well.

Remember “Yuppie flu,” also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Now, the Houston Chronicle says,the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have labeled it a disabling disease, as debilitating as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. But what’s more interesting (to me) is an example posted by a commenter on the paper’s Web site, on what it’s like to have CFS:

Set a Bic pen point down on your forearm with only gravity holding it down. It may not hurt much at all but a few weeks later you’d be in a big hurry for that little bit of pain to go away. Pain meds would only dull it. Anxiety drugs would help but it would be like a wheel of fire in your mind within a few short months-or quicker. Now figure the spinal cord and the immediate nerves coming off it are the biggest nerves in your body. When they get insulted for a long enough period or constantly—you get chronic pain.

A new study says one in four Australian drivers has fallen asleep at the wheel.

A Seal Beach, California firm is sending its new gadgets — some sort of mp3 player — to some soldiers in Iraq to help them get better sleep. “NAP20’s technology is based on the premise of Binaural Beats, discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. Through this advanced mastering technology, NAP20 delivers the sleep waves as “carrier waves” within the audible range. The result: you get the effect of the natural sleep waves that guide you to sleep,” its press release said.

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