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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on February 19th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: February 19, 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.



More Sleepless Nights for Toddlers With Autism—More than twice as likely to have sleep problems as kids in the general population
February 11, 2019

Ann Reynolds, MD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine: “For all children, lack of sleep can cause increased hyperactivity, inattention, and irritability, but for kids with ASD, poor sleep has been associated with more repetitive behaviors and self injury and so that has an impact on the quality of life for the child.”

Takeaway: There's always room for more autism advocates with special expertise in sleep, especially in pediatric circles.

Pulse transit time in pregnancy: a new way to diagnose and classify sleep disordered breathing?
February 8, 2019

From the abstract: “There are significant discrepancies between the prevalence of snoring and that of objectively defined sleep disordered breathing (SDB) among pregnant women, suggesting subtle airflow limitations that may not be captured by conventional scoring.

Takeaway: Here's an interesting way to identify sleep-disordered breathing in pregnant women which uses a different mechanism to measure changes in arterial stiffness and sympathetic activation.  


Postop Complications With Sleep Apnea Seen Even After Regional Anesthesia
February 13, 2019

From the article: "'The main focus of perioperative OSA care that needs to be addressed in the future is preoperative optimization,' Dr. [Stavros G.] Memtsoudis [of the Hospital for Special Surgery and Weill Cornell Medical College, New York] said. 'We have spent decades applying this principle to comorbidities like pulmonary and cardiac diseases, as well as diabetes, yet when it comes to OSA, the vast majority of patients presenting for surgery with OSA remain undiagnosed and untreated.'"

Takeaway: This seems like a no brainer, but apparently surgeons are not up to date on this reality. 


Noise is Affecting our Health in More Ways Than We Think
February 12, 2019

From the article: “[N]oise affects our health in many different ways beyond hearing. The so-called non-auditory effects of noise include sleep disturbance, increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and disturbed communication.” 

Takeaway: Serious discussions about forms of sensory "pollution" (i.e. noise pollution, light pollution) are trending worldwide. 


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Positive Airway Pressure Adherence Criteria May Limit Treatment to Many Medicare Beneficiaries
February 15, 2019

From the research study: “Our study is unique in that it tracks PAP usage behaviors in the initial year after PAP introduction in all users (regardless of the degree of adherence) through wireless technology to demonstrate more long-term patterns of adherence. Advances in PAP devices, now with internal modems, allow practitioners to review usage data (duration and timing of use) and therapy data (including machine-calculated AHI and breath to breath waveform display) as quickly as the morning after use. Many studies have now examined the role of remote monitoring in the treatment of OSA. However, our study spans the longest duration, allowing us to examine usage behaviors over the year.

Takeaway: The study is small and focuses primarily on male veterans, so its findings can't be generalized, but it would be good for researchers to open up this research avenue given such easy (nearly instant and remote) access to adherence data. 


A Drug-by-Drug Guide to Treating Insomnia
February 13, 2019

From the article: “Several classes of medications and natural supplements are used in the treatment of insomnia, and selection of drug therapy will vary depending on etiology, symptoms, treatment goals, past treatment responses, patient preference, cost and availability, comorbid conditions, contraindications, drug interactions, and adverse-effect profiles.” 

Takeaway: This is a good overview of all the different substances people will take to curb sleeplessness.


Communicating About Noncommunicable Diseases
February 11, 2019

From the editorial: “Risk factors for noncommunicable diseases—such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diets—are multifactorial. And sleep specialists can do their part by addressing sleep-related factors that contribute to the worldwide threat.”

Takeaway: Sree Roy makes some good suggestions for ways we, as sleep health professionals, can reach out into the greater medical community to educate other healthcare professionals about the importance of knowing sleep-related risk factors for chronic illness. 


NTSB 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements
February 18, 2019

From the website: “The MOST WANTED LIST, the NTSB’s premier advocacy tool, identifies the top safety improvements that can be made across all modes to prevent accidents, minimize injuries, and save lives in the future. These issue areas are ripe for action now; if addressed, they would make a significant impact.” 

Takeaway: Many, if not most, of the categories highlighted in this tool involve some approach that addresses poor sleep, sleep deprivation, and/or sleep disorders. 

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.