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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on September 4th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: September 4, 2018

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping warthog

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



INFOGRAPHIC: Here’s where you’re most likely to be killed by a drowsy driver
August 28, 2018 

From the article: “This infographic uses data from that National Highway Traffic Safety Institute (NHTSA) to determine the areas where drowsy driving is most likely to turn deadly. The infographic was created by Mattress Clarity (in an apparent attempt to frighten you into buying a new mattress in order to stay alive) and uses data collected by the NHTSA from 2012 — 2016. It’s important to note that the infographic does not make any distinction between drowsy passenger vehicle drivers and drowsy commercial vehicle drivers.

Takeaway: Gotta love that parenthetical aside! But in all seriousnessness, this might make a good handout for some patients who may be more likely to fall asleep at the wheel.


Inpatient Sleep Screening program helps patients
August 6, 2018 

From the article: “In July 2015, Centegra launched one of the first programs nationwide designed to identify patients with this sleep disorder and schedule them for a sleep study prior to leaving the hospital.

Takeaway: Kudos to sleep technologist and clinical sleep educator Andrea Ramberg for helping spread the success of the sleep health navigator program!


Ohio State, Boston hospital awarded $17.7 million for heart failure-sleep trial
August 27, 2018

From the article: “The Ohio State University College of Medicine at the Wexner Medical Center, along with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, will receive $17.7 million from the National Institutes of Health to launch a significant, multicenter clinical research trial.
The researchers will examine the use of low-flow nighttime oxygen therapy to treat central sleep apnea in patients with heart failure.

Takeaway: This will be a major undertaking and could shine a spotlight on central sleep apnea and the need for better treatments.


The genes that let us sleep, perchance to dream: Researchers believe they have identified the two genes that control REM sleep
August 29, 2018

From the article: “The researchers were able to systematically switch off expression of a variety of genes for acetylcholine receptors in mice. In so doing, they discovered that disabling two genes in particular, Chrm1 and Chrm3, significantly affected sleep behaviour.”

Takeaway: Neuroscience continues to break more ground on our clinical understanding of sleep. 


Patients with the most to gain from digital health hardly engage with new tools
August 29, 2018

From the article: “Only a quarter (24%) reported using wearables or mobile apps to track their health, and just 19% use live video telemedicine (i.e. talking to a provider via video call).

Takeaway: While the focus is on health technologies (not specific to sleep), sleep is a specific part of the digital toolkit that stands the best shot of working for the best interests of patients and healthcare professionals—if they can make these tools easier to access and use, keep the costs down, and provide more accurate measurements from a clinical perspective.


Key ingredients in over-the-counter sleep aids
August 28, 2018

From the website: “Whether you’re experiencing jet lag, shifting schedules at work, or adjusting to a new life routine, temporary use of over-the-counter sleep aids may be helpful in allowing you to get the sleep you need. There are many to choose from, and they do different things to your body to cause you to sleep. Keep an eye out for these three ingredients that are most commonly found in OTC sleep aids.” 

Takeaway: One of the three substances mentioned may surprise you.


The Sleep Game, a Board Game Created by a Sleep Clinician
August 23, 2018

From the article:  “When a child is not sleeping well, parents and families often turn to healthcare professionals or day care center staff for advice. To help ensure these professionals are appropriately trained and equipped with effective, useful guidance to pass on to parents, Ruth Silverman has created 'The Sleep Game.'” 

Takeaway: This is a stroke of genius!  


California bans schools starting before 8.30am so youngsters can have more sleep
Sep, 2018

From the article: “State legislators narrowly approved the proposals for all high and middle schools, saying evidence suggested that children who had longer in bed were healthier and more likely to graduate. With Flagstaff residents spending so much on both housing and transportation, Council continued a discussion on adjusting city codes that some say 'criminalize sleep.' Specifically, Council discussed changes to the camping ordinance and the ordinance governing those utilizing RVs as homes within the city.

Takeaway: Human beings at every socioeconomic status still have a Constitutional right to sleep, but local lawmakers frequently find ordinances that get in the way of that right.  

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.