Note: This article was originally published in the 2021 Q1 issue of A2Zzz.
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As the new year is now well underway, I want to share a number of new and exciting initiatives AAST has underway to enhance and grow the educational opportunities we offer. From new educational product launches to a new webinar series brought to you by the AAST Education Advisory Committee, we are committed to the continued professional development of our members.
From treating patients to running sleep clinics and everything in between, we know AAST members are working hard and dedicating countless hours to advance the sleep field. Therefore, we want to spotlight our members and member facilities and share the work they are doing day in and day out with the AAST community.
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is the most commonly prescribed device for treating sleep apnea and associated sleep-related breathing disorders, delivering a steady flow of pressurized air into a patient's nose and mouth as they sleep. This keeps airways open and helps normalize breathing. Recent research has shown that patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) exhibited improvements in sleepiness and depressive and anxiety symptoms after three years of CPAP use. Another study found that patients with OSA and a history of cardiovascular disease treated with CPAP therapy reported 20% higher levels of moderate physical activity compared with non-CPAP users, with these patients also more likely to exercise at levels meeting clinical recommendations.
AAST is proud to launch its Dear AAST blog column. This column is aimed at answering questions our audience, particularly AAST members, have on all aspects of AAST – from membership and educational offerings to CECs and new product offerings. Be sure to check the blog often for the latest columns.
It has always been important that a patient is educated on their sleep disorder to increase the chances of them following through with their therapy. Now it is more important than ever before. More and more patients are opting for home sleep tests (HSTs) and then going directly to AutoPAP with no time spent in the sleep lab.
Known as the "hormone of darkness," melatonin, a natural-occurring hormone primarily released by the brain's pineal gland at night, is commonly taken as an oral supplement for the treatment of insomnia and other sleep disorders. It is by far the most used sleep aid used in the United States, with 3 million Americans using it in 2012, according to a nationwide survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Questions remain, however, as to its effectiveness; it has been found that while it may induce sleep faster in some people, it may not necessarily improve overall sleep maintenance or increase sleep duration.
It would be fair to say that this year, 2020, has been more than unique. It started out much like any other new year, full of hope and promise, only to be redirected by the Coronavirus. Decisions had to be made, and made quickly, about how to continue operations where possible. Business as usual was no longer…usual.