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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on January 29th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: January 29, 2019

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping bamboo sharks

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



 

ADVOCATE WATCH

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia Reduces Depression in Cancer Survivors
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL SLEEP  MEDICINE
January 15, 2019

From the research study: “Our findings provide preliminary support that in cancer survivors, CBT-I reduces depression via improvement in insomnia. Further, this reduction in depression remained stable 3 months after completing CBT-I. This suggests that a CBT-I intervention has a meaningful effect on depression.”

Takeaway: For those techs who work frequently with cancer patients, or who are actively and personally engaged in cancer research and patient advocacy, CBT-I stands as a science-backed and effective approach you can truly throw your support behind. 

CULTURE WATCH
Shift work for mothers associated with reduced fetal growth and longer pregnancies
THE PHYSIOLOGICAL SOCIETY via SCIENCE DAILY
January 22, 2019

From the article: “Importantly, it was not known when women should stop shift work to prevent adverse effects on their pregnancies. Researchers found that shift work could impair glucose tolerance of mothers in early pregnancy, which means mothers had poorer control of their blood glucose levels. They demonstrated that shift work during pregnancy can disrupt maternal circadian rhythms, or the 24-hour body clock, and metabolism. These findings could inform public policy and workplace practices for shift work during pregnancy in women.

Takeaway: Being a sleep technologist working nights does not protect you from these realities. If you're pregnant and work third shift, really think about what that will mean for your health over the months ahead. 

INDUSTRY WATCH

The problem with abbreviations in the medical record
KEVIN MD
January 28, 2019

From the article: 'This 67-year-old woman with morphine sulfate presented after a fall with injury to her head.' …Throughout the documentation, they kept referring to her as a patient with morphine sulfate. For a while, as I read through it, my eyes skimmed over this, and it didn’t really register as something I needed to pay attention to. Perhaps they were taking note of the fact that she had morphine sulfate with her when she arrived, had taken morphine sulfate before the fall, or was requesting morphine sulfate to ease her pain. Only after diving deeper into her past medical history in our own chart did I realize that someone must’ve typed “MS,” and the computer auto-corrected and somehow turned that into morphine sulfate, instead of multiple sclerosis.

Takeaway: I recently had this confusion myself while reading content online, when someone referred to EDS and I thought the article was pointing to excessive daytime sleepiness, when in fact they were talking about Ehler-Danlos Syndrome. Not sure if the answer is to stop using acronyms, but maybe, as this author suggests, checking for autocorrect mistakes is something we should all make a priority.  

TREND WATCH

Which Type Of Insomniac Are You? Study Suggests Different Sleep Problems Require Different Solutions
FORBES
January 21, 2019

From the article: “The researchers analyzed survey responses from more than 4,000 people participating in the Netherlands Sleep Registry, a project that tracks information on the factors affecting sleep habits.  Roughly half the participants in this group had insomnia, as indicated by their responses, although none had been formally diagnosed. When checked against several other factors—including personality traits, emotional dispositions, and mood characteristics—the results pointed to five categories of insomnia.” 

Takeaway: We may, or may not, deal directly with insomnia-only patients, but understanding why it happens is the surest way to discover how to fix it for the millions who suffer from different categories of sleeplessness. Maybe, if techs were granted extensions to their scope of practice to help physicians manage their insomnia patients, we could, as a group, do more to help these people out.

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

National Sleep Foundation Announces Brands Participating in First-Ever Sleep Show
SLEEP REVIEW
January 24, 2019

From the article: “The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) unveiled a diverse slate of brands, including Philips, Mattress Firm, and Happiest Baby, participating in the first-ever Sleep Show. The Sleep Show is set for March 8-10, 2019 and is expected to draw thousands to the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. Companies will present their latest products and innovations based on the rapidly-evolving science of sleep.

Takeaway: You may want to visit this upcoming event if you live in the region!

PHARMA WATCH

What to know about marijuana withdrawal
MEDICAL NEWS TODAY
January 28, 2019

From the article: “People can become dependent on, or even addicted to, marijuana. They may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drug. …A person might experience poor sleep, mood swings, or stomach problems. Resources are available to those who are interested in quitting marijuana.” 

Takeaway: As a sleep tech living in a marijuana legal state (both recreational and medical), the rise in its use (for some, to treat insomnia, ironically) has led to potential sleep problems when people decide to cut back or stop using completely. It's probably a good idea to add "marijuana use" to your list of patient encounter questions at every meeting with them, for this reason. 

HEALTH LITERACY WATCH

‘Sleep Normal’ Campaign Urges Americans to End Frequent Nighttime Urination and Stop Settling for Nights of Bad Sleep
URO TODAY
January 24, 2019

From the article: “A new awareness campaign called ‘Sleep Normal’ launched on Monday to raise awareness of nocturia, an underdiagnosed, treatable, medical condition that forces a person to wake more than once a night to urinate. Most people have never heard of nocturia and think it is a normal part of aging, despite the negative impact interrupted sleep can have on health. The ‘Sleep Normal’ campaign urges people to talk with their doctors about addressing frequent nighttime urination.”

Takeaway: Let's make sure we continue to support sleep health literacy by refusing to write of nocturia as a symptom of aging. 

LEGAL WATCH

Sleep-Related Violence In Forensic Cases: Overview & Expert Interview
MEDICAL BAG
January 22, 2019

From the article: “As the field of sleep medicine has grown there has been an increase in referrals to experts specializing in sleep disorders, particularly those associated with the potential for sleep-related violence. A paper published in Chest examined the various types of these disorders and described the number and kinds of related cases referred to a sleep medicine center.” 

Takeaway: People in our field—and outside of it—are fascinated with the forensic files linked 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.