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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on September 11th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: September 11, 2018

Sleep Technologist Advice

While You Were Sleeping: What Sleep Technologists Need to Know This Week

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Your media watchdog for headlines and trends
relevant to sleep technology and patient education.



AWAKE Sleep Apnea: Raising our voices for progress in treatment and care
September 1, 2018 

From the report: “ The AWAKE Sleep Apnea meeting was the culmination of a collaborative effort with FDA to involve staff and reviewers from two centers — the Center for Drug Evaluation and Review (CDER) and the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), making it the first in the series of approximately 40 meetings identified as a Patient-Focused Medical Product Development (PFMPD) meeting.

Takeaway: The ASAA continues to chip away at obstacles between healthcare providers, federal programs, and patient advocacy. This patient-focused effort is worth keeping your eye on, or you could help them with their efforts by reaching out to the ASAA Chief Patient Officer, Adam Amdur (aamdur@sleepapnea.org)


Clinical Characteristics and Burden of Illness in Pediatric Patients with Narcolepsy
September 10, 2018 

From the abstract: “This review describes the specific characteristics and BOI (burden of illness) of pediatric narcolepsy, using a wide range of published research data.

Takeaway: When narcolepsy presents in children, its manifestation is different from that of adults, making it harder to diagnose accurately.


AASM invites proposals to develop first sleep medicine clinical data registry
September 10, 2018

From the press release: “The AASM’s goal is for the registry to be fully operational by Sept. 1, 2020, in time for the 2020 QCDR self-nomination period. The initial agreement with the selected vendor will be a three-year contract with the potential for an extension. Proposal submissions, with itemized costs, must be submitted to the AASM by 5 p.m. CDT on Oct. 1, 2018.

Takeaway: This effort could go a long way to help firm up the critical importance of the sleep medicine specialty. Established records of quantified evidence-based care and heightened support of the complex needs of sleep-disordered patients (and improvements to their outcomes) are just some of the benefits.


Garmin Debuts Pulse Ox in Newest Activity Tracker So Users “Better Understand Their Sleep Quality”
September 10, 2018

From the article: “Garmin International Inc announced the vívosmart 4, an activity tracker that introduces a wrist-based pulse ox2 sensor. According to the company, the new sensor allows customers to gauge their blood oxygen saturation levels at night to better understand their sleep quality.”

Takeaway: This gadget is $129.99, a tad bit spendy for now, but market forces will likely bring these prices down as competitors step into the ring. Pulse oximeters have become something that patients wish to use without going through a doctor's office in an attempt to better understand their sleep problems.

Should sleep clinics with DMEs stock these? It depends. If patients are going to try self diagnosis first, they will still need a follow through with a sleep specialist to get treatment. Maybe these devices will eventually serve to funnel new patients into labs like home sleep tests have? It's hard to say, but the good news is that patients are at least paying attention and willing to pay money for information.  


This Sleep Mask Is Also a Pair of Headphones
September 10, 2018

From the website: “According to a study done by the Sleep Foundation, 45 minutes of relaxing music before bed is shown to help people fall asleep faster and sleep better.

Takeaway: I'm not sure these will ever be part of the standard equipment in sleep labs, but techs in noisy households who need their daytime sleep might benefit from these. 


Spread the word to protect the herd: New Get Ready video shares message on herd immunity and flu
September 7, 2018

From the blog: “A recent study showed that when people learn about herd immunity and local vaccine coverage, they may be more likely to get vaccinated. To help spread the word about herd immunity, APHA’s Get Ready campaign has created a short new video.” 

Takeaway: 'Tis the season, and you're probably required, as a healthcare professional, to get a flu vaccination anyway. Here's a great simple video to teach others about how and why the flu shot works. It's already available (got my jab last Saturday).


Is Blue Light Really What’s Keeping You Awake?
August 30, 2018

From the editorial:  “While he’s not ruling out the notion that blue light can repel sleep, [Michael Gradisar, a sleep researcher and professor of psychology at Flinders University in Australia] says it’s more likely that devices 'indirectly' repel sleep by keeping people active and alert during times when they’d normally be winding down for bed.” 

Takeaway: This is also part of the challenge, and it gets almost zero attention in mainstream media. 


SEXSOMNIA MADE ME DO IT: Oshawa man cleared of sex assault after sleepwalking defence
September 9, 2018

From the article: “Court heard that for months before the assault he was seeing a sleep specialist for migraines and fatigue he traced back to a severe head injury suffered a decade before in a serious car accident. …That specialist, Dr. Kenneth Buttoo, testified John was likely suffering from sexsomnia at the time of the assault: Confusional arousal or sexsomnia usually occurs in non-REM sleep, in the deep sleep phase, and he was pre-disposed to this rare disorder due to his brain injury as well as his sleep apnea, family history of sleepwalking and triggers of stress and alcohol use.

Takeaway: Every claim of sexsomnia should be investigated on a case-by-case basis for this reason. This parasomnia is for real.

BIO:  Tamara Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the sleep health information clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health news headlines daily. She is also an independent sleep health journalist, writes MS-related columns for two medical publishers, and contributes as a freelance writer to AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz. She can be reached at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com.