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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on April 23rd, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: April 23, 2019

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.



 

ADVOCATE WATCH

Upcoming Movie, Ode to Joy, Featuring Narcolepsy with Cataplexy Portrayal
JULIE FLYGARE
April 10, 2019

From the blog post: Project Sleep issued the following public statement after receiving many questions from community members about the upcoming feature-length movie, Ode to Joy. …Project Sleep would like to inform our supporters and the narcolepsy community that we are aware of Ode to Joy — an upcoming feature film depicting a main character portrayal of narcolepsy with cataplexy. The portrayal was inspired by a 2010 NPR This American Life segment titled 'I’ve Fallen In Love and I Can’t Get Up.'

Takeaway: So much of what the public knows about narcolepsy comes from its portrayals in entertainment media. Project Sleep is working to ensure the film is serving the best interests of people living with narcolepsy with cataplexy in order to avoid perpetuating its stereotypes.

CULTURE WATCH

A Global Comparison of Anatomic Risk Factors and Their Relationship to Obstructive Sleep Apnea Severity in Clinical Samples
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL SLEEP MEDICINE
April 15, 2019

From the podcast: Findings highlight the importance of considering ethnicity and sex in clinical assessments of OSA risk.” 

Takeaway: Those facial and cranial phenotypes which are associated with sleep-breathing disorders, and which are consistent with specific ethnicities or gender, have long deserved more thorough observation. Finally, some research has been done to gauge these important anatomical differences.  

TREND WATCH

More Genetic Variants Linked to Sleep Behavior
PSYCHIATRY & BEHAVIORAL HEALTH LEARNING NETWORK
April 9, 2019

From the article: “They identified 47 genetic variants associated with seven sleep traits: sleep duration, sleep efficiency, the number of sleep episodes, diurnal inactivity, sleep midpoint, timing of the least-active five hours and timing of the most-active 10 hours.

Takeaway: I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover that sleep techs might need to learn some genetic biology that's related to sleep and sleep disorders in the future. 

INDUSTRY WATCH

Why Physicians Need to Ask Patients About Sleep
MD MAGAZINE
April 11, 2019

From the article: Primary care physicians can start with a basic line of questioning. 'There are 2 screening questions we suggest that you ask,' Dr. Paul P. Doghramji explained. 'Do you have any trouble getting to sleep? and the second one: How do you feel the next day?''

Takeaway: Yes! Treating sleep as a vital sign is long overdue as a practice in primary care medicine.

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

Medicare Advantage plans will offer additional telehealth benefits
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE
April 19, 2019

From the feature: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will allow Medicare Advantage plans to offer expanded telehealth coverage to beneficiaries, beginning in 2020. This change is due to implementation of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and is detailed in the Contract Year 2020 Medicare Advantage and Part D Flexibility Final Rule, published on April 5, 2019.

Takeaway: Rural patients with Medicare and sleep clinics seeking to serve them are this much closer to becoming united by telemedicine efforts.

PHARMA WATCH

Sleeping Pill Use Linked to Later Increase in BP Meds
MEDSCAPE PSYCHIATRY
April 9, 2019

From the article: The use of sleeping tablets by older hypertensive patients was linked to a subsequent increase in use of antihypertensive medications in a new study.” 

Takeaway: The type of hypnotic used in the study was not identified, unfortunately. 

HEALTH LITERACY WATCH

Sleep myths: an expert-led study to identify false beliefs about sleep that impinge upon population sleep health practices
SLEEP HEALTH
April 16, 2019

From the abstract: False beliefs about sleep can persist despite contradicting scientific evidence, potentially impairing population health. Identifying commonly held false beliefs lacking an evidence base (“myths”) can inform efforts to promote population sleep health.” 

Takeaway: Unfortunately the full text is behind a paywall so we can't know directly from the publishers of Sleep Health what the 20 myths are that the study identified. Fortunately, however, Physician's Weekly generously revealed them here.

LEGISLATION WATCH

Later school bells, alternative testing: California lawmakers try again on quashed K-12 bills
CAL MATTERS
April 18, 2019

From the article: California hit the snooze button last year on legislation that would have let middle and high school students sleep in a little longer. The later—and, experts say, healthier—school start time would have been a national first had Gov. Jerry Brown not vetoed it. …This year, Democratic state Sen. Anthony Portantino of La Cañada Flintridge, author of Senate Bill 328, is bringing that bill back.” 

Takeaway: If, at first, you don't succeed, try try again.


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.