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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on April 9th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: April 9, 2019

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping penguin closeup

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

NOTE: "While You Were Sleeping" will be on a break
next Tuesday, April 16 and will return on Tuesday, April 23. 



Advice to Telehealth Caucus: Eliminate Geography-Based Restrictions
April 2, 2019

From the article: According to Politico, CHIME [College of Healthcare Information Management Executives] called on the caucus to expand broadband access in rural areas to facilitate telemedicine services, and to study how access to Internet connectivity can affect healthcare services in different parts of the country.

Takeaway: Internet access is still a problem for some of the US's most remove areas, so making it available and reliable is a big job for any program striving to bring telemedicine options to people who don't live in large population areas, including hospital and freestanding sleep clinics. 


Episode 37: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
April 7, 2019

From the podcast: Symptoms of tiredness, fatigue and sleepiness are common in chronic fatigue syndrome. How can these symptoms be addressed and sleep improved in people with fatigue syndromes? In this episode we tackle these questions with the help of Nathan Butler of Active Health Clinic.” 

Takeaway: If you don't know about this podcast on sleep, you should. It comes from Australia and explores a lot of content that's relevant to sleep technologists and sleep health educators. 


Untreated insomnia increases all-cause health care utilization and costs among Medicare beneficiaries
April 4, 2019

From the research study: “In this randomly selected and nationally representative sample of older Medicare beneficiaries and compared to non-sleep disordered controls, individuals with untreated insomnia demonstrated increased HCU and costs across all points of service.

Takeaway: We, as, sleep health professionals acknowledge the direct connections between untreated sleeplessness and all kinds of chronic illness, absenteeism, and risk factors for other costly events, like transportation accidents. The current administration demands bottom line analytics as a proving ground for research funding. In terms of the impact of insomnia on that bottom line, how much sleep deprivation and sleep disorders cost the US government (via CMS/Medicare or other measures) continues to be an important focus of researchers. 


The Best CPAP Accessories For Solving Discomfort
April 5, 2019

From the blog post: If you’re still having a little trouble getting used to your CPAP you don’t have to settle. There are numerous ways to increase comfort with CPAP accessories that have been specifically designed with getting quality sleep in mind. You aren’t going to give up your sleep apnea treatment or you’ll destroy your health, so why not take a few easy steps to make it more comfortable?

Takeaway: Anytime we run into patients who have comfort issues, we should have a list of potential options for helping them adapt to PAP therapy. Here's a great foundational list to build from. If they missed some of your best solutions, feel free to share in comments!


New Franchise Helps with Sleep and Relaxation
April 6, 2019

From the feature: The founder of Cereset, Lee Gerdes, developed the technology after a traumatic and violent attack left him unable to sleep for many years. Using his expertise in physics, mathematics, computer software and psychology, he discovered the power of the brain’s self-healing properties. …Cereset’s technology uses sensors to detect brain rhythms, which echo as audio tones played back to the client. The BrainEcho™ process happens in real-time between the computer and the brain to produce a relaxed brain, which can manage stress and support restful sleep.

Takeaway: This proffers a specific application intended for use by some people who struggle with sleep following trauma. The company's research citations are here, in case you want to learn more.  


Benzodiazepine and opioid co-usage in the US population, 1999–2014: an exploratory analysis
April 4, 2019

From the research study: The study objectives were to explore trends in prevalence of course of benzodiazepine receptor modulators and opioids, and nonselective and selective (i.e. Z-drugs) benzodiazepine receptor modulators, in the United States, as well as risk factors for these drug utilization patterns.” 

Takeaway: If you're interested in learning more about the intersection between sleep, benzos and opioids, look no further.


Study Uncovers Large-scale Brain Patterns and Networks That Control Sleep
April 2, 2019

From the article: Researchers from Center for Music in the Brain at Aarhus University and the University of Oxford used a technique called functional MRI together with algorithms that can identify brain activity patterns. …“This provides a new and potentially revolutionary understanding of brain activity during sleep which can in turn lead to new forms of treatment of the sleep problems that affect far too many people,” says postdoc at the Center for Music in the Brain at Aarhus University, Angus Stevner, who is behind the study, in a release. The results have just been published in Nature Communications.” 

Takeaway: Neurological science researchers continue to demystify the mechanisms behind the process of sleeping. The more you know


April 1, 2019

From "Working Time Society consensus statements: A multi-level approach to managing occupational sleep-related fatigue": A substantial body of literature indicates that shift workers have a significantly higher risk of workplace accidents and injuries, compared to workers in regular daytime schedules. This can be attributed to work during nights which require workers to stay awake during normal sleeping hours and sleep during natural waking hours, leading to circadian desynchronization, sleep disruption and cognitive impairment. A fatigue-risk trajectory model developed by Dawson and McCulloch has been used to describe the series of events which may precede fatigue-related incidents. This includes insufficient sleep opportunities, impaired sleep, fatigue-behavioral symptoms, and fatigue-related errors. …The key statements in this paper represent a consensus among the Working Time Society regarding a multi-level approach to managing occupational sleep-related fatigue.” 

Takeaway: This is just one of several deep dives into workplace fatigue for shift workers offered by Industrial Health's special issue on Shift Work Health and Safety. 

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.