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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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AAST CCSH Workshop

Save the Date: AAST 2020 CCSH Workshop

Designed for health professionals who work directly with sleep medicine patients, families and other healthcare practitioners to coordinate and manage patient care and improve outcomes

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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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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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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Sleep Disorders | polysomnography | aasm | heart disease

Bad News for Slugabeds

By: Richard Rosenberg, PhD
August 20th, 2018

  I was a postdoctoral fellow at Argonne National Laboratory and had the pleasure of working with George Sacher. At the time, he was president of the Gerontological Society of America and had spent his life working on ways to increase lifespan. He was a proponent of hormesis, the idea that moderation was the path to a longer life. Of course, some things should be off the list, like a moderate amount of murder. 

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Sleep Disorders | Sleep Medicine | polysomnography

Problems of Using Actigraphy in People With Parkinson’s Disease

By: Regina Patrick, RPSGT, RST
August 2nd, 2018

The advent of actigraphy in the 1990s made it possible to indirectly record a person’s sleep-wake cycles based on the person’s activity level, with increased activity indicating wakefulness and decreased activity indicating sleep. In actigraphy, a device — an actigraph — which is typically worn on the wrist, continually records movement data over a prolonged time — one week or more. 

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