During my site visiting years, I spent a considerable amount of time on planes reading accreditation applications. One thing that always puzzled me was that many centers included high and low ranges for sleep stages as a percentage of total sleep time. Despite the fact that my site visiting hit its peak in 2010, I think these numbers usually came from the 1974 opus by Williams, Karacan and Hirsch, which appears to be out of print. Patients with inadequate Stage 3 or excessive REM were branded as abnormal. But abnormal how?
Murray Johns developed the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and published his methodology in 1991. (1) He subsequently tested its reliability in a group of 104 medical students (2) and found a test-retest correlation of r = .82. For those of us who are fans of Karl Pearson and his product-moment correlation coefficient (and I know there are many fans out there), this is a very large correlation and indicates that the measure is reliable.
This is the final installment in a six-part series on the evolution of the sleep technologist role. AAST has engaged professionals from across allied healthcare to address, from their perspective, the value of collaborating more closely with sleep technologists and/or incorporating the discipline into their area of health. Nurses, Heal Thyself! I am a nurse. I have been for 20 years, and I have been tired for those entire two decades. I am not alone. As nurses, we are called upon to be superheroes ... impervious to things like hunger, pain, sadness and fatigue. We keep going. As the years go on we become crusty and curt. We proudly earn the nickname ‘Nurse Ratchett’. We show up. We put aside our fatigue to care for patients because we consider the need for sleep to be a character flaw; only for the weak. A true nurse can churn out shift after shift, even on minimal sleep because we will never abandon our patients.
This is part three in a six-part series on the evolution of the sleep technologist. AAST has engaged professionals from across allied healthcare to address, from their perspective, the value of collaborating closer with sleep technologists and/or incorporating the discipline into their area of health. Evolution, by any stretch of the imagination, can be a hard concept to grasp. It involves acknowledging that what is happening at the moment might not be the best thing to bring into the future, but trusting that the unknown is going to lead you to where you should be. How we take care of our patients today needs to adapt to the changing healthcare environment, where reimbursements are fluctuating and insurance payors are creating an uncertain future. The way in which we have always done things needs to adapt to this new healthcare reality. The sleep field has evolved tremendously over the years, and the role of a sleep professional continues to grow within the sleep realm.
This is part two in a six-part series on the evolution of the sleep technologist role. AAST has engaged professionals from across allied healthcare to address, from their perspective, the value of collaborating more closely with sleep technologists and/or incorporating the discipline into their area of health. Check out part one here. As a clinical dentist, I have been intimately familiar with the issue of airway patency for almost 40 years. It was during my dental school days back in the late 1970’s that I was introduced to the concept of “form follows function” as it pertains to facial growth in children and adolescents.
Sleep problems can predispose individuals to many medical conditions. Conversely, medical disorders can lead to sleep disturbance. In fact, sleep disturbance represents one of the most challenging, yet exceptionally common problems faced in the primary care practice today.
"The app I downloaded tells me that I am sleeping just fine ..." As sleep technologists, how many times have we heard this from patients? That latest piece of software or technology that promises to help with sleep apnea or make our jobs obsolete, commonly known as “sleep trackers” or “activity monitors" carries with them many questions for both patients and sleep technologists.
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.
As we are now into 2018, there are exciting things in store for members of AAST across the board! From programs to education to events, there will be many tools and resources at the disposal of sleep professionals going forward. We caught up with the six chairs of the various AAST committees and asked them to describe what members should be most looking forward to in the year ahead with regards to their respective committees. Here is what they told us:
Unlike what many people think, sleep apnea is not just a sleep problem. Sleep apnea is failure to breathe properly during sleep. This means vital organs don’t get the oxygen they need. It is a serious problem, especially for the heart. During sleep, the body should be resting. With sleep apnea, the body struggles due to low oxygen levels causing increased stress on the heart.