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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on July 9th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: July 9, 2019

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping baby squirrel

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



New guidelines aim to enlist primary care physicians in transgender care
July 1, 2019

From the article: “In a move that reflects a growing acceptance of transgender individuals in the U.S., the American College of Physicians on Monday issued its first guidelines on caring for transgender patients. 

Takeaway: This is a welcomed progression in the field of healthcare; don't be surprised if you find a new learning module from your hospital or clinic focused on the topic of practicing sensitivity in caring for trans patients.  


Neck Grasp Predicts Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
July 1, 2019

From the research study: “Participants were screened using Easy Sleep Apnea Predictor (ESAP), STOP-Bang questionnaire, and Berlin questionnaire. A positive ESAP was defined as a 1cm gap when a patient encircled their hands around the neck. All subjects underwent in-laboratory PSG testing.” 

Takeaway: ESAP may be the simplest way yet to screen for undiagnosed sleep apnea in individuals with type 2 diabetes. 


Synergic Effects of Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation with Sleep Hygiene in Patients with Chronic Insomnia
June 30, 2019

From the research study: “There are two major forms in the CES: transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and cranial alternating current (AC) stimulation. According to recent studies about the mechanism of CES, tDCS is known to change the cortical excitability by its polarizing effects on the brain tissue. The AC stimulation is believed to make its effects on the brain by changing the electrochemical responses of the synapse and neural networks. Both methods are expected to modulate the brain activity, especially the psychophysiological status including chronic insomnia.

Takeaway:  This continues to be a promising nonpharmaceutical pathway for those with chronic insomnia, for whom ordinary sleep hygiene tactics are ineffective. I expect to see growth in this area of research.    


Coding FAQ: Billing for cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia
July 3, 2019

From the website: “There are three different code series that can be used to report cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I).

Takeaway: If your sleep physicians see insomnia patients, this information will be handy for those technologists who also work in billing. 


CPAP provides relief from depression
July 1, 2019

From the research summary: “Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.” 

Takeaway: For those with the worst symptoms, the improvements appeared to be the most dramatic and were sustained six months out. Yet one more reason to promote PAP therapies; it seems to have multiple positive impacts for those who need it. 


For Many, Pot Is Now an Alternative to Opioids or Sleep Meds
July 2, 2019

From the article: “For many, cannabis is replacing over-the-counter painkillers, prescription opioids and sleep aids. …'These aren't the only reasons people are using marijuana, but it's one of the drivers for use,' said study author Dr. Gwen Wurm, an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.” 

Takeaway: If only people would put in the same amount of time and energy to understand the root cause of their sleep problems, they might find better, even safer, solutions with more scientific backing. 


Say good night: less screen time can improve teen sleep habits in a few weeks
July 4, 2019

From the article: “New research out of the Netherlands suggests that cutting off screen time two hours before it’s time to call it a night—or at least wearing glasses that block the blue hue—could make significant differences in a young adult’s sleep patterns. …The research was presented last weekend at the annual meeting of the European Society of Endocrinology in Lyon, France.

Takeaway: Other recommendations include physical exercise and exposure to natural sunlight.


Where do homeless people sleep in Austin? The answer isn’t so obvious
July 1, 2019

From the article: “On July 1, the City of Austin entered into uncharted territory as changes to the city’s no sit/lie, no camping and panhandling ordinances went into effect. Starting Monday, homeless people will be able to camp on city sidewalks. That means it is now legal for people who are homeless to set up camps or sleep on public sidewalks, but you can not block the sidewalk, and you can’t be a public health or safety hazard. The changes were designed to decriminalize homelessness, but some people have been worrying they’ll lead to 'tent cities' popping up all over town.

Takeaway: This is a legal nightmare all across the country, not just in Austin. But a bigger nightmare might be the fact that so many people in this country have no safe place to sleep at all.

While Your Were Sleeping will be on a break next week, but will return on July 23, 2019.

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.