Alaska is a land of extremes, especially when it comes to the unique patterns associated with the cycle of day and night. When summer fades to fall and fall fades to winter, the sunlight fades out as well. With these intriguing patterns of day and night come sleep challenges for those who reside in the state. As a sleep technologist, especially if you live and work in Alaska, it’s vital to understand the sleep challenges of those living in “The Last Frontier” and be equipped with a few tips and tricks to getting a full night of sleep — even when the sun is shining bright at 3 a.m.
Sexsomnia, known by layman terms as “sleep sex,” was once reported by nearly eight percent of patients at a sleep disorders center, and was more prevalent in men versus women, according to American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The first known case of sexsomnia was reported in 1986, and worldwide, only 94 cases have been documented, according to a 2015 study. It is a disorder that is believed to be unreported.
Access tools and resources related to earning your CCSH credential and sign up to receive updates from AAST.
As a sleep professional, it's important that you educate your patients on parasomnias, such as a sleep-related eating disorder (SRED), since sleep disorders like these could negatively impact a patient’s health through weight gain and obesity. The journal Psychiatry provides these sleep-related eating disorder statistics:
In an informal conversation, you might bring the term "sleepwalking" up as a casual way of talking about a lack of focus or energy. But, for numerous adults and children, sleepwalking is a real problem with significant consequences. As a sleep professional, it is crucial you educate patients with parasomnias, like sleepwalking, as these sleep disorders can have physically destructive and lasting effects. What Is Sleep Walking (Somnambulism)? Sleepwalking (somnambulism), is a type of behavior disorder originating while you're in a deep sleep. It falls in the class of parasomnias. It leads to walking around or performing other behaviors while you're still mostly sleeping. It's more common in kids than it is in adults. There are more chances of it occurring in people:
Many people experience short time periods where they're feeling not quite like themselves or maybe a little sad. In some cases, these changes in mood start and end with the change of the seasons. They might begin feeling "down" as the days become shorter in autumn and winter, but start feeling better again come springtime when the daylight hours are longer. Sometimes, these changes in mood are more serious and have an impact on how they think, feel, and handle day-to-day activities.
As a sleep physician, sleep technologist, or respiratory therapist, it's important you have comprehensive knowledge of the AVAPS non-invasive ventilation mode so you can hone your skills in using advanced PAP titration technology.
Adaptive Servo Ventilation (ASV) is a non-invasive ventilatory treatment option created specifically for the treatment of adults who have obstructive sleep apnea and central and/or complex sleep apnea. It's one of the newer positive airway pressure (PAP) units on the market that continuously monitors and adjust to correct the patient's breathing problem.
As sleep centers receive increasingly sick patients that have much more than Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), it becomes even more essential for sleep technologists to gain improved knowledge of their patients and their illnesses. This includes distinguishing between various lung conditions, such as obstructive lung disease and restrictive lung disease.
As public health professionals make the determination it's safe to see patients and there are more relaxed stay-at-home restrictions, sleep technologist practices should strategically plan on how and when it's best to reopen. They should utilize recommended guidance from relevant prominent authorities, such as the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the American Medical Association (AMA), on how to safely reopen their facilities. The AAST has conveniently gathered a great deal of important COVID-19 information for sleep technologists that can be found on the AAST resource page.
Interpreting an arterial blood gas (ABG) is a critical ability for respiratory therapists, doctors, nurses and other healthcare personnel — including sleep technologists. It is particularly essential to monitor ABGs in patients who are critically ill. ABGs are a valuable tool for evaluating our patients in the sleep center presenting with complex health conditions like COPD, obesity hypoventilation, and neuromuscular conditions.