As I step into the role of AAST President and begin my term, I am excited to have this opportunity to connect, and work to advance the sleep field with you all. AAST is an organization that is dedicated to providing its members with top-notch continuing education, networking opportunities, access to world-class education and industry updates, and as your president, I am committed to ensuring these member benefits are upheld.
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.
Access tools and resources related to earning your CCSH credential and sign up to receive updates from AAST.
Sleep disorders, as well as sleep problems, are extremely common in individuals with Down syndrome (DS), with many issues presenting at birth and persisting throughout the life span. Ensuring that sleep assessment is included throughout the life continuum for patients with DS is quite important, as sleep issues may contribute to behavior and cognitive issues or good sleep may contribute to better functioning. Knowledge and appreciation about this condition, as well as treatment options related to sleep and associated disorders for the individual and families, are essential for the sleep health professional, as the sleep problems we face as a society are exacerbated in individuals with DS. Similar to the lack of sleep inquiry in the general population, it may be that much more needs to be done to address this significant issue in this population.
Aging and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease are associated with changes in slow-wave sleep (SWS), slow oscillations (SOs) and spindles, and changes in these sleep features have been associated with impaired memory and cognition. Some recent research indicates that administering noninvasive brain stimulation using transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial ultrasound stimulation can enhance SWS, SOs and spindles. These techniques can also improve certain aspects of memory in older adults and in adults with mild cognitive impairment.
With the close of summer comes the return to school for children and teenagers. For many, school might look a little different due to the coronavirus pandemic; however, whether school is taking place in a traditional setting or via an online format, it is important for children and teenagers to understand and maintain a healthy sleep schedule.
Staffing during this pandemic has created challenges for many sleep centers. We have been challenged to not only implement enhanced infection control strategies and patient health screening but also have been tasked to staff our sleep centers appropriately to provide ideal social distancing. This has resulted in spreading out staff over the week and leaving beds closed rather than having staff work together in some instances. The consequence of this is having more staff working alone, making them more vulnerable to possible workplace violence. It is that safety concern I will be addressing in this article.
Throughout the COVID-19 epidemic, we’ve all been learning a lot about ourselves.