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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on August 13th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: Aug 13, 2019

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

WYWS cover image narcolepsy anniversary

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



Celebrating 20 Years of Hypocretin/Orexin: Narcolepsy’s Big Breakthrough
August 6, 2019

From the blog post: “Twenty years ago today, a dog named Kahlua was on the cover of the journal Cell. Kahlua was a Doberman pinscher with canine narcolepsy and an important piece of history.

Takeaway: Many thanks to tireless activists like Julie Flygare and equally tireless researchers like Dr. Mignot for their dedication to sleep medicine challenges like central disorders of hypersomnia. We have a lot more to do, but the momentum from these efforts makes it possible. 


1 in 300 thrives on very-early-to-bed, very-early-to-rise routine
August 6, 2019

From the research  summary: “A quirk of the body clock that lures some people to sleep at 8 p.m., enabling them to greet the new day as early as 4 a.m., may be significantly more common than previously believed.

Takeaway: Delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD) is much more frequently discussed in sleep medicine circles as a problem for night owls and young people. Up until now, it's safe to say most people encountering the opposite in extreme circadian rhythm phasing (advanced sleep phase disorder, or ASPD) were characterized as rare. This sheds a whole new light on that notion.


Will technology be the key to putting the ‘sleepy generation’ to sleep?
August 11, 2019

From the column: “Studies have shown that millennials are called the ‘Sleepy generation.’ Always finding ourselves on the brink of exhaustion.

Takeaway: I don't know what y'all think, but I don't think the millennials are the only ones who are sleep deprived. They may just be the generation most acutely aware of this reality.


Sleep Bruxism Detection Using Decision Tree Method by the Combination of C4-P4 and C4-A1 Channels of Scalp EEG
August 12, 2019

From the research study: “ The main aim of this work is to detect sleep bruxism by analyzing the electroencephalogram (EEG) spectrum analysis of the change in the domain of different stages of sleep. The present research was performed in different stages such as collection of the data, preprocessing of the EEG signal, analysis of the C4-P4 and C4-A1 channels, comparison between healthy humans and bruxism patients, and classification using decision tree method. In this study, the channels C4-P4 and C4-A1 of the EEG signal were combined for the detection of bruxism by using Welch technique, which mainly focused on two sleep stages such as S1 and rapid eye movement.

Takeaway: Some researchers believe there is a need for a faster, more effective detection system for identifying sleep bruxism accurately. Here's another idea: Maybe have the patient's sleep physician and dentist communicate more closely, as bruxism is a fairly easy thing to spot in the hygienist's chair. Does the problem, as common as it is, truly require big data research to identify and treat it? 


Thinking of buying a smart bed? Here’s what you need to know
August 11, 2019

From the website: “When you struggle to sleep, any technological assistance seems like a wise investment. But should you spend your hard-earned cash on a smart bed? Here’s our overview of the technology and our favorite products.

Takeaway: Yes, this is more about selling overpriced high-tech sleeping surfaces, but it's also what's top of mind for many who struggle with sleep who don't want to see a doctor about their sleep problems.


Lingual Spray Formulation of Zolpidem Enables More Than Two-fold Faster Onset of Sleep Over Tablets
August 6, 2019

From the article: “A clinical study published in the journal Pharmacy and Pharmacology finds that ZolpiMist, Aytu BioScience’s lingual spray formulation of zolpidem, achieves sleep onset more quickly than the oral tablet form of zolpidem (brand name Ambien) in patients seeking short-term treatment for insomnia.

Takeaway: Who knows? Maybe patients in the future will be using a zolpidem mist in the future before they undergo their sleep studies. 


CPAP Compliance in Obstructive Sleep Apnea
August 10, 2019

From the open-access PDF: “It is important that adherence to CPAP therapy continues to be improved. Increase CPAP compliance is essential thus it is important that adherence to CPAP therapy is enforced. Measures for good CPAP compliance are patient education, a good doctor-patient relationship, role of partner/family, and an intensive follow-up program, which can be addressed through a multidisciplinary team approach.

Takeaway: Can't preach this enough. Those cracks that patients fall through between diagnosis and treatment need fixing. 


New Jersey Pilot Program to Study Later High School Start Times Signed into Law
August 12, 2019

From the website: “As New Jersey high schools continue to rank top in the nation, legislators are hoping to encourage even better academic outcomes with more emphasis on student health. Given the connection between more sleep and improved academic performance, Governor Murphy signed a law on Friday to assess how pushing back high school start times to 8:30 a.m. could be beneficial. …The law (A-4865) establishes a four-year pilot program to study the issues, benefits and options for implementing later start times across New Jersey high schools. To participate, school districts will need to submit an application to the Commissioner of Education. Five schools will then be selected so as to represent the northern, central and southern regions of the state as well as a combination of urban, suburban and rural areas.

Takeaway: It's quite a process, but California's statewide efforts could lend positive momentum to New Jersey's own efforts.

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.