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By: Kimberly Trotter, MA, RPSGT, FAAST on November 24th, 2021

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Education Recap: California Sleep Society Hosts 2021 Educational Symposium

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The following is a recap of the California Sleep Society’s 14th annual education symposium.


The California Sleep Society recently hosted its 14th annual educational symposium in October in San Diego, California. After last year’s virtual conference, it was refreshing to go to a conference and see colleagues and speakers in person!

Day 1

The conference started on Friday morning, and the first talk was on COVID-19 and the sleep lab. Different approaches were discussed and shared, including COVID-19 testing for positive airway pressure (PAP) titration patients prior to the sleep study, air filtration in the patient rooms, personal protective equipment (PPE), technologist COVID-19 screening and vaccination mandates.

There were also presentations on consumer wearable devices, performance and future usage and validations. And speaking to the future of the sleep field, multiple presenters discussed the continuation of COVID-19 response and the 2025 vision for the field. Michael Ferrell, CEO, ResMed, and Dr. Atul Malhotra from the University of California San Diego spoke on the future of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) therapy.

Additional presentations for the day included an interesting talk by Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Ph.D., University of California San Diego, entitled “Sleep in the Bible: Nothing New Under the Sun,” in which she previewed her research of different Bible passages related to sleep and dreaming. AASM President-Elect Jennifer Martin, Ph.D., spoke on cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) and provided AASM updates.

The day ended with a nice dinner by the canal and live music.

Day 2

The second day’s presentations covered some of the basics of our profession such as sleep disordered breathing management strategies, restless legs syndrome (RLS) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder, insomnia pharmacology and circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders.

Talks that stood out to the attendees included “Enhancing Sleep to Advance Transportation Safety” by Mark Rosekind, Ph.D. from Zoox Inc. and “Sleep, Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Disease” by Dr. Richard Castriotta, University of Southern California, who presented research showing the benefit of nocturnal blood pressure monitoring. Castriotta remarked that nighttime high blood pressure may contribute to cardiovascular disease more so than daytime high blood pressure.

The conference ended with a presentation by California Sleep Society President-Elect Patrick Moday, who spoke on cannabis, sleep and society.

About Kimberly Trotter, MA, RPSGT, FAAST

Kimberly Trotter, MA, RPSGT, began her sleep career while completing her master’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in behavioral sleep research. She started as a clinical sleep technologist, conducting sleep disorders testing in a sleep disorders center, and has been in the field of sleep for over 30 years. Over the years, she has published and presented sleep research, created and taught insomnia classes, coordinated support groups for sleep apnea sufferers, presented educational talks on sleep and health to the public, written numerous articles on sleep, taught sleep disorders medicine to future technologists and physicians, and accredited two sleep disorders centers. She served on the AAST Board of Directors from 1996-1998, was the 1999 recipient of the Carskadon Research Award, and the 2006 recipient of the Allen DeVilbiss Literary Award. She is currently the administrative director of the University of California San Francisco Adult and Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center, AAST Ethics Committee member, founding member of the California Sleep Society, adjunct professor at Skyline College and has a very active support group for sleep apnea sufferers.