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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on July 23rd, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: July 23, 2019

Sleep Technologist Advice

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


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



I’m A CPAP Dropout: Why Many Lose Sleep Over Apnea Treatment
July 17, 2019

From the feature: “Nate Wymer, 44, said his machine is lying around his home somewhere in Holly Springs, N.C., but he hasn’t seen it in years. …'When I had the mask on I had to think about breathing out of my nose,' said Wymer. 'That’s not something I normally do. After a couple of nights, I just couldn’t do it. My doctor never really followed up from what I can remember, so I back-burnered it,' said Wymer. 'But, if you get in front of somebody, actually talk to them and make sure everything is going OK, that would have been nice.'

Takeaway: That would have been nice?  How are sleep labs missing the crucial aspect of follow-up with patients? Not enough staff? Untrained DME? Lack of protocols in place? Do you know what happens to your patients after they leave your lab with a PAP prescription? This is an area in our field where we have an excellent opportunity to succeed and improve compliance, and yet these stories continue to pop up everywhere. 


Government to issue 'sleep hygiene' guidance
July 13, 2019

From the article: “A leaked draft of a public health green paper, due to be published by the health secretary, Matt Hancock, says the government will review the evidence on sleep and health. It suggests the minimum amount will vary depending on how old someone is, and the paper will give advice on “sleep hygiene”, according to the Times, which obtained the document.
It was reported the guidance was likely to state regularly getting less than seven hours’ sleep a night could damage most people’s health.

Takeaway: This took place in England, where the impact of sleeplessness is acutely felt by 1 in 3 citizens, many of them teenagers under the age of 16 and people in homeless communities.


Nightfood® Sleep-Friendly Ice Cream Featured in Oprah Magazine July Issue
June 22, 2019

From the press release: “Nightfood, Inc. (OTCQB: NGTF), the fast-growing ice cream company addressing America’s $50 billion-dollar nighttime snacking problem, announced today that Nightfood was featured in the July issue of Oprah Magazine, the latest instance in a long series of prominent coverage by major consumer media outlets. …An image of a pint of Nightfood’s popular Cherry Eclipse flavor, along with a big scoop of the ice cream, is prominently featured on Page 74. The editorial recommended that people who prefer ice cream at night should try Nightfood as one of Oprah’s favorite 'sleep-friendly' finds.

Takeaway:  America's $50 billion-dollar nighttime snacking problem …solved by eating ice cream?   


Christian Guilleminault, researcher who coined ‘obstructive sleep apnea syndrome,’ dies at 80
July 22, 2019

From the tribute: “Although Guilleminault studied narcolepsy, insomnia, the physiological and endocrinological changes that take place during sleep, and other sleep-related issues, much of his research focused on sleep apnea. …He coined the term obstructive sleep apnea syndrome to describe episodes during sleep when the upper airway collapses, reducing blood oxygen levels and disrupting sleep. Guilleminault also recorded the condition in children, finding a correlation between sleep apnea and learning and attention disorders. He and Dement devised the apnea-hypopnea index, which is used to diagnose and rate the severity of the condition.

Takeaway: Our field of sleep technology owes this pioneer a great debt of gratitude. 


A version of Zuckerberg’s ‘sleep box’ - coming to a store near you?
July 21, 2019

From the report: “[Greg Hovannisyan] and a team of engineers and builders developed a prototype for Zuckerberg’s 'Sleep Box' and launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to start making them. …In a little more than a month, and with 27 days left, Hovannisyan already raised more than $100,000. His goal was just $5,000.” 

Takeaway: This is basically a new version on an old theme: artificial dawn simulation. 


These slumbering fish may offer clues to the origins of sleep
July 10, 2019

From the article: “For the new study, the team used advanced imaging techniques to watch as zebrafish fell asleep, and they found that the tiny fish cycle between sleep states similar to what we have in humans: rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep and non-REM sleep. This pattern has been seen before in a wide range of mammals, birds, and lizards, but this is the first time it’s been spotted in a fish.” 

Takeaway: I think the laboratory rats might be getting a little jealous these days. 


Take a bath 90 minutes before bedtime to get better sleep
July 19, 2019

From the research summary: “Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering found that bathing 1-2 hours before bedtime in water of about 104-109 degrees Fahrenheit can significantly improve your sleep.

Takeaway: Looks like there is a right biological time for just about everything!


Safety advocates fear more truck crashes if rules for driver rest are eased 
July 17, 2019

From the article: “The 1994 crash on Interstate 287 that killed the driver of a propane tanker and ignited a fireball in a White Plains neighborhood lent new urgency to efforts to keep drowsy drivers off the roads. …But 25 years later, sleep-deprived truck drivers continue killing themselves and others, and safety advocates fear a push by the trucking industry to ease regulations written to keep tired drivers off the road could only make things worse.

Takeaway: Just a few days later, the US Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division opined that the time drivers spend in sleeper berths while on the road "isn't working time requiring compensation." This is going to raise some hackles in the weeks to come.

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.