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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on February 12th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: February 12, 2019

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping cherub

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



A distinctive DNA methylation pattern in insufficient sleep
February 4, 2019

From the research study: “In this study, we identified suggestive deviations in DNA methylation of blood leukocytes associated with subjective sleep insufficiency in a population cohort and in an occupational shift work sample. We found a distinctive pattern of DMPs among individuals suffering from sleep disturbances.”

Takeaway: If researchers can find distinctive genetic patterns that lend to a greater likelihood of short sleep and/or sleep insufficiency, this could be a game changer for many who are suffering from insomnia or sleep deprivation who have literally tried everything for relief and come up short.

Postpartum fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and psychomotor vigilance are modifiable through a brief residential early parenting program
January 31, 2019

From the research study: “Findings highlight the importance of recognizing not only sleep disturbance, but also sleep-related daytime functioning in the postpartum periods, and that interventions can be developed to address these impairments.

Takeaway: Maybe sleep deprivation following the birth of a baby doesn't need to be a foregone conclusion. Millions of new mothers will be grateful for the relief.


Rem sleep behaviour disorder Feb 19
February 2, 2019

From the videos: 4 different video recordings of this man's RBD.

  1.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGvvzDUlppk
  2.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQm3MvH8xh8
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXEseBZSBY8
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7N2dBRy5J0

Takeaway: In case you haven't seen an RBD patient in the lab, this man's behaviors are well articulated.  


New voices at patients’ bedsides: Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple
February 6, 2019

From the article: “At first it was a novelty: Hospitals began using voice assistants to allow patients to order lunch, check medication regimens, and get on-demand medical advice at home.
But these devices, manufactured by Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and others, are now making deeper inroads into patient care. ” 

Takeaway: I wonder how this will develop, given the potential HIPAA privacy violations that could mount over the use of these. 


EPAP Gets a New Look
February 5, 2019

From the article: “It’s an extraordinarily simple solution, so simple that when it first appeared on the sleep treatment scene, it was met with disbelief, Doshi says. He and his colleagues took on the arduous task of convincing the medical community of the viability and effectiveness of EPAP. …Since then, several studies have proven that EPAP is an effective, safe treatment option for patients who might not tolerate CPAP. Research, led by Meir Kryger, MD, showed that patients who used Provent for 3 months had their median apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) decrease from 48.2 to 18.9.

Takeaway: I predict that, for some sleep techs, the new look for EPAP will be an eye roll. (I have no opinion, one way or another, but I've not come across many techs who think these things actually work.)


Pre-clinical Trial on Cannabis Active Ingredients Offers Encouraging Results for Insomnia
February 4, 2019

From the article: “Tel Aviv, Israel-based Kanabo Research presented the results of its pre-clinical trial, which the company says brings it a step closer to providing a safe remedy for insomnia and other sleep disorders, without the risk of dependency or the possibility of an overdose. …This in vivo study evaluated the efficacy of varying compositions of active ingredients in cannabis to induce sleep in comparison to Diazepam, the active ingredient in Valium.” 

Takeaway: It's difficult to convince cannabis enthusiasts that there are risks that come with using this substance, including drug dependence/addiction/habituation. It's good to see these potential adverse side effects taken seriously in research. 


Surprising Anti-Aging Tips: Breathe Through Your Nose (And Here’s How)
February 7, 2019

From the article: “On the list of potent anti-aging tips, you might not immediately think about nose breathing. But when you have more nitric oxide in your body, you can actually slow aging, including minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. The best way to do this is by using mouth tape. But… Why is it so important?”

Takeaway: If you have patients who oral breathe but refuse to address it with their CPAP usage, this might be an additional argument. 


Care About Research? Urge New Congress to Support Sleep & Sleep Disorders Today
February 7, 2019

From the blog post: “Friends in the U.S., if you care about narcolepsy research (or any other area of sleep and sleep disorders research), you can play an important role in ensuring that this research is supported by our federal government. While private fundraising for research is wonderful and important too, private fundraising cannot replace the need for federal funding. These two sources work together, but one cannot magically replace the need for the other. This is why advocacy is an important part of the solution.” 

Takeaway: DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: February 15, 2019 (this Friday).

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.