Dance marathons captivated popular attention in the United States from the 1920s to the 1950s. These events were examples of competitive sleep deprivation. Contestants, who remained in nearly continuous motion for hundreds or even thousands of hours on the dance floor by forcibly delaying sleep onset, exhibited symptoms of behaviorally induced insufficient sleep syndrome (ISS).
Reporters from local dailies who followed these contestants documented irresistible sleep attacks, physical exhaustion and episodes of delusional ideation due to severely restricted rest breaks.
The remarkable dancing plague of Strasbourg is one of the most documented examples of communal choreomania or manic dancing by local residents. For sleep technologists who are treating such disorders as sleep apnea and others, this look into history can be a valuable lesson for the future of sleep wellness.
In the Q4 2017 issue of A2Zzz, Reg Hackshaw, EDD , gives a look back on medieval views concerning sleeping and waking behavior, and how it could impact the work of sleep technologists today.
His article, “Insufficient Sleep and the Dancing Plague of 1518” is one of four designated CEC articles in this issue of A2Zzz. AAST members who read A2Zzz and claim their credits online by the deadline can earn 2.00 AAST Continuing Education Credits (CECs) per issue – for up to 8.00 AAST CECs per year. AAST CECs are accepted by the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) and the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM).
To earn AAST CECs, carefully read the four designated CEC articles and claim your credits online. You must go online to claim your credits by the deadline of March 1, 2018.
After the successful completion of this educational activity, your certificates will be available in the My CEC Portal acknowledging the credits earned.
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