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.
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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.
Throughout Sleep Technologists Appreciation Week (STAW), we will be highlighting a few of our 2020 STAW Honorees. These honorees have been nominated by their peers for their hard work and dedication to the sleep industry and community.
As we celebrate Sleep Technologists Appreciation Week (STAW), we want to take this time to celebrate and honor sleep technologists for their hard work, dedication and numerous accomplishments made over the past year in sleep disorders centers, laboratories, educational facilities and within AAST.
This blog is based off of the AAST 2019 Annual Meeting Session "Parasomnias." For more information on this session and other session recordings click here. From nightmares to sleepwalking to REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), parasomnias can occur in many forms without the patient even knowing they are experiencing an event. For sleep professionals, it is imperative they can educate patients with parasomnias as these sleep disorders can have lasting and physically damaging effects.
As wearables have become more common, it’s no surprise companies are expanding their wearable offerings. The latest trend? Smart headbands — wearable devices that reportedly help monitor and inform sleep patterns.
If you’re keeping up with sleep technology trends, you’ve probably heard of smart beds. From temperature controlled mattresses to adjustable firmness, it seems the traditional box spring mattress has been replaced with a technological equivalent.
Whether worn for function or fashion, wearables aren’t going away anytime soon. If anything, companies are investing in the long-term use of wearable technology and enhancing the user experience.
As sleep professionals, we know the importance of using a CPAP device to keep our patients’ breathing consistent while they sleep. For patients with compliance difficulties, CPAP group education might be a viable option. Evidence shows improving CPAP adherence with education in a peer-to-peer environment is an effective way to engage patients. These CPAP support groups and CPAP group discussions can be extremely beneficial for both the patient and the sleep technologist.