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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on February 26th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: February 26, 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.



Celebrate Baby Sleep Day on March 1st
February 18, 2019

From the press release: “For the third consecutive year, families will be able to ask members of the PSC questions about their young child's sleep. The question and answer event celebrating Baby Sleep Day will take place via Facebook (facebook.com/pedsleep). Beginning in Australia and Asia, and moving through Europe and North America, experts will answer questions from around the globe, for the entirety of Baby Sleep Day. ”

Takeaway: We don't discuss much in the way of newborn sleep here, but families all around the world need help understanding how infant sleep is different from adult sleep.


Ask the Doctor: Is IH Genetic? Do IH Symptoms Ever Remit?
February 19, 2019

From the column:

“[First question:] It is common (approximately 33%) for IH patients to have a family member with similar symptoms; therefore, researchers believe that IH likely has a substantial genetic component, but the details are not yet known.

[Second question:]  A 2007 retrospective study comparing the characteristics of patients with idiopathic hypersomnia and narcolepsy reported a remission rate of 10% in the IH cases.

Takeaway: If you're interested in keeping up with the latest hypersomnia research, the HF's SomnusNooze monthly newsletter is free.  


Nasal Pillow Interfaces Evolve
February 19, 2019

From the article: "New launches showcase trends such as minimal face contact, noise reducing technology, and a natural feel."

Takeaway: The trend away from full face masks seems to be heading for the other end of the size spectrum, the nasal pillow, and manufacturers are paying attention to patient feedback related to comfort and fit for this specific PAP therapy application.


The Best Sleep Doctor in Every State
February 18, 2019

From the article: “To find the top sleep doctors across the United States, we looked for certification in sleep and related disciplines. These doctors are directors—or on the staff—of American Academy of Sleep Medicine-certified centers. Most importantly, they get extremely high patient-satisfaction ratings.” 

Takeaway: Only one selected per state? Doesn't seem very practical.


Electromagnetic Pulses: Cure for Insomnia or the Latest Snake Oil?
February 20, 2019

From the article: “For decades, medical practitioners have prescribed electrostimulation devices, referred to as 'electroceuticals' in the industry (as opposed to pharmaceuticals) for pain management. Now, an increasing number of companies are developing devices using that technology to cure insomnia, offering an approach that allows users to avoid or minimize sleeping pills.

Takeaway: The article's author takes aim at the US medical industry for dragging their feet on research for insomnia solutions that don't require surgery or pharmaceuticals. 


RespireRx Explores Commercialization of Dronabinol for Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia
February 19, 2019

From the article: “RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc, which is researching and developing cannabinoids for the treatment of sleep-related breathing disorders, has entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding and exclusivity agreement with Impression Healthcare Ltd. The non-binding memo is for the purpose of negotiating terms by which the parties would enter in an arrangement, such as a license, joint venture, or partner agreement, so as to commercialize dronabinol for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.” 

Takeaway: If you participated in the Journal Club last year focused on dronabinol, you saw this coming down the pipeline.


Most sleep does not serve a vital function: Evidence from Drosophila melanogaster
February 11, 2019

From the article: “Here, we report two surprising findings that were uncovered using this system, challenging the notion that sleep is a vital necessity: the discovery of virtually sleepless flies and the finding that chronic sleep restriction in Drosophila melanogaster has notably less pronounced effects on longevity than previously thought.”

Takeaway: Be prepared for people, tired of hearing that they need more sleep, using this study as evidence they can live without it. 


Employee Fatigue Needs to be Addressed Immediately
February 22, 2019

From the article: “According to National Safety Council research, 90 percent of America’s employers have been negatively impacted by tired employees. Forty-three percent of employees admit they may be too tired to function safely at work. With fatigue becoming an increasingly common workplace hazard, the National Safety Council is calling on all employers to implement comprehensive programs—known as fatigue risk management systems—that can help prevent the roughly 13 percent of workplace injuries attributable to sleep problems.” 

Takeaway: I attended the NSC first annual Workplace Fatigue Conference last week in Seattle. It was super encouraging to see so many sleep-specific professionals there (in particular, Drs. Charles Czeisler and Lawrence Epstein) and sitting among the risk management people in the audience, I got the distinct sense that some of them were "waking up" to employee sleep health for the first time.


Sleep and sleep disorders in Franz Kafka's narrative works
December 31, 2018

From the abstract: “We read Kafka's complete literary works looking for references to sleep and sleep disorders, excluding insomnia.” 

Takeaway: Wow, I wish someone would pay me to read literary works for references to 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.