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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on July 30th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: July 30, 2019

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

 

sleeping cormorant
"Young cormorant sleeping on a fence," ©2015, Graham Robson, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

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


 

ADVOCACY WATCH

Obstructive Sleep Apnea May Be One Reason Depression Treatment Doesn’t Work
SLEEP REVIEW
July 23, 2019

From the article: “The primary intent of the original study was looking at whether treating patients’ insomnia in addition to their depression reduced suicidal thoughts.

Takeaway: For sleep technologists interested in working in the community to support mental health advocacy and awareness, this article provides some interesting perspectives and identifies how complex the relationship is between poor sleep, mental illness, and mood disorders.

CULTURE WATCH

Tips to Help Children on the Autism Spectrum Get to Sleep
CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL THERAPEUTICS
July 23, 2019

From the article: “Children on the spectrum tend to have difficulty handling transitions, and the transition from waking activities to sleep is a big one.

Takeaway: There are quite a few good tips in this article, some which may be possible to employ in a sleep lab environment, and some probably impossible. Whatever the case, as sleep technologists, it's on us to try everything we can to help that child to complete a quality sleep study. 

TREND WATCH

After limits on residency work hours, did doctors perform worse? New study says no
STAT
June 11, 2019

From the article: “Previous literature said that tired doctors hurt and kill patients. In 2006, short-term results showed that lower hours during residency reduced mortality in hospitals. But no one had assessed long-running quality of doctors,' said [co-author Dr. Jay] Bhattacharya.
'This study is unique because it studied outcomes after training,' said [Dr. Sanjay Desai, director of the internal medicine residency program at Johns Hopkins, who was not involved in the study.]

Also: “We need research and researchers to help guide health care design – not make it worse.
…What remains? …Residents are abused by their employers. They are abused slightly less with regulations. Since they are physicians, their employers benefit from their work. Since they are professionals and are vulnerable in their positions—they can be abused. Residents need more support, regular sleep, and time for personal/family activities.

Takeaway: The debate about how much time medical residents can spend in training continues unabated. This author certainly supports a healthier model than what currently exists. What do you think?  

INDUSTRY WATCH

The Feasibility and Utility of Level III Portable Sleep Studies in the Pediatric Inpatient Setting
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL SLEEP MEDICINE
July 15, 2019

From the research study: “Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) may significantly impact the course of medical illness in hospitalized children. Polysomnography (PSG) is the gold standard for establishing diagnosis of SDB, but its availability is limited. The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility and utility of level III portable sleep studies in hospitalized children with SDB.

Takeaway: Portable sleep study technology seems to be part of a trending discussion in sleep medicine circles. Stay tuned.

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

NASA Looks to an mHealth Wearable to Help Astronauts Sleep Better
mHEALTH INTELLIGENCE 
July 29, 2019

From the article: “NASA is working with researchers in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to test an mHealth wearable that detects when a user is in deep sleep and emits a pulse to keep that level of sleep going.” 

Takeaway: What we can learn from use of this "deep sleep headband" in space could be useful to earthbound populations in the future. 

PHARMA WATCH

New label requirements call for adherence and label literacy
PHARMACIST.com
July 26, 2019

From the article: “In response to changes in the American diet and updates in nutrition science, FDA has mandated new label requirements for foods and dietary supplements.

Takeaway: It's a start. Let's see what happens when it comes to dietary supplements like melatonin, though, or other "natural" sleep products.

SLEEP HYGIENE WATCH

Sleep-related attitudes, beliefs, and practices among an urban-dwelling African American community: a qualitative study
SLEEP HEALTH
July 11, 2019

From the research summary: “Short sleep duration and poor sleep quality are more prevalent among African Americans (AAs) and may be a modifiable risk factor for cardiometabolic disorders. However, research is limited about sleep-related attitudes, beliefs, and practices among AAs. Our objective was to evaluate these practices and beliefs surrounding sleep among urban-dwelling AAs.

Takeaway: The study definitely points to some need for increased sleep hygiene education for this population of Americans, which is where we, as sleep technologists, have important opportunities as sleep health educators.

LEGAL WATCH

Drowsy Driving Considerations in Non-Commercial Drivers for the Sleep Physician
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL SLEEP MEDICINE
July 12, 2019

From the article: “This perspective will focus on legal issues related to assessing drowsy driving in non-commercial drivers for the sleep physician as it represents the most common clinical scenario for the sleep physician.

Takeaway: It's a problem that will just not go away. Meanwhile, as sleep technologists, we can use our interactions with patients to raise awareness about this very real concern.


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.