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Sleep Technology

AAST Blog

The latest on all issues affecting sleep technologists, including trends, insights, tips and more.

Blog Feature

Sleep Disorders | insomnia

Sleep Disturbances Associated With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

By: Shana Hansen, Lt. Col., USAF, MC, and Shannon N. Foster, Major, USA, MC
July 18th, 2019

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a trauma and stress-related disorder characterized by re-experiencing, avoidance, hyperarousal and negative alterations in cognition or mood. Events that involve threat to integrity of self or others such as rape, physical assault, natural disasters and combat exposure are commonly associated with the development of PTSD.1 The lifetime prevalence of PTSD among adults in the United States ranges from 6-10%, with women being more than twice as likely to have PTSD at some point. Significantly higher estimates have been reported in combat veterans (15-30%). Rates of PTSD in veterans are higher if they were stationed in combat zones, had tours of longer than one year, experienced combat or were injured. Specifically, among veterans with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, 31-86% report multiple traumatic combat exposures and 11-20% endorse significant PTSD symptoms.

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Sleep Disorders | Sleep Medicine | sleep disorder breathing and children | Research

Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarkers in Children With OSA

By: Regina Patrick, RPSGT, RST
June 20th, 2019

The neurocognitive disorder Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 5 million Americans. Its prevalence is expected to triple by 2060. People affected by Alzheimer’s disease have increasing problems with memory, judgement and doing daily tasks of living as the disease progresses. Various studies have indicated that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and that people with OSA have increased levels of certain biomarkers (e.g., amyloid beta protein) associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have recently noted increased levels of biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s disease in young children with OSA.

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Blog Feature

Sleep Disorders | strange sleep

RBD: The Kicking and Screaming Sleep Disorder

By: AAST Editor
April 18th, 2019

Sleepwalking, yelling in your sleep, violently thrashing in bed and hurting those you love. No, it’s not a demonic possession; it is REM sleep behavior disorder, or RBD. RBD is a sleep disorder that common presents itself in older men and causes people who suffer from it to physically act out their dreams. Its cause is unknown, but its effects can be terrifying.

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Blog Feature

Sleep Disorders | night shift work

Workplace Fatigue Meeting Confirms It: We’re Tired at Work, and It’s Costing Us Everything

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH
March 27th, 2019

This article originally appeared in SleepyHeadCENTRAL.com on March 9, 2019. Reprinted by permission of the author. On Feb. 20 and 21, the National Safety Council (NSC) presented its first annual Workplace Fatigue Conference. It convened a diverse cross-section of leaders in the field of workplace fatigue management.

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Blog Feature

Sleep Disorders | strange sleep

Ondine’s Curse: A Mythical Tale and a Deadly Sleep Disorder

By: AAST Editor
March 21st, 2019

What does a German fairytale and a severe sleep disorder have in common? A lot, apparently.

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Sleep Disorders | sleep apnea | Research

Possible Link Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and the Sense of Smell

By: Regina Patrick, RPSGT, RST
February 28th, 2019

An overlooked symptom in people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is olfactory dysfunction (i.e., impairment in the sense of smell) such as an inability to detect or distinguish between odors. A finding that the sense of smell improves soon after a person with OSA begins continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment corroborates a possible link between olfactory dysfunction and OSA.

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Sleep Disorders | Sleep Medicine | Sleep Apnea Screening | sleep technologist

The Role of the CCSH to Improve Sleep in Patients With Insomnia

By: Kathryn Hansen, BS, CPC, CPMA, REEGT
January 10th, 2019

It is very common to have patients with occasional to frequent restless nights followed by increased sleepiness during the day, and subsequent performance issues. In addition to the immediate impact of excessive daytime sleepiness and dysfunction, there is potential to develop chronic insomnia. There is also considerable data that links chronic insomnia to increased risk for diabetes, obesity, hypertension, plus an impact on the personal safety of an individual with chronic insomnia.

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Sleep Disorders | athletics and sleep | sleep apnea

Chasing the Dream: Getting to the Next Level (of Sleep) in the Minor Leagues

By: Brendan Duffy, CCSH, RPSGT
December 20th, 2018

They call it “the grind.” Long bus rides, late night fast food, hotels of bad and mediocre quality, roommates who snore louder than any hometown homerun crowd noise, and living conditions that can be anything from air mattresses, to stolen motel pillows or even dog beds on a bus floor. Much has been made of the need for proper and clean sleep in order to perform at the major league level, yet little is being done for those players in the minor leagues who are hoping to make it to “the show.”

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Blog Feature

Sleep Disorders | night shift work

Hypersomnolence at Sea, Part I

By: Reg Hackshaw, EDD
November 21st, 2018

Drowsy watchkeepers on vessels navigating open waters can be a major hazard during military and commercial shipping operations. The sinking of the H.M.S. Bonetta, a 19th century British warship, was a dramatic example of human error related to hypersomnolence at sea (HSS). The consequences resulting from a sailor who fell asleep during his shift on the ship’s bridge are preserved in a historical account. This article surveys the significance of HSS based on the  findings of an extensive research study and subsequently highlights events surrounding the loss of the Bonetta. Reviews of subjective scales used to identify HSS, and a computer application that estimates likelihood of drowsiness during the night shift, conclude this two-part series.

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Blog Feature

Sleep Disorders | aast

Mary McKinley on Managing Insomnia in Chronic Disease

By: AAST Editor
August 23rd, 2018

  Mary McKinley, R. EEG T., RPSGT, MA, is presenting the breakout session “Complementary and Integrative Therapies for the Management of Insomnia in Chronic Disease” at the AAST 2018 Annual Meeting, Sept. 28-30, 2018, in Indianapolis. We caught up with McKinley to discuss her background and the future of sleep medicine.

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