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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on June 25th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: June 25, 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.



There’s a Large Impact on Mental Health and Sleep in People With Rheumatoid Arthritis, Surveys Suggest
June 13, 2019

From the blog: “1 in 10 patients with rheumatic or musculoskeletal disease had suicidal thoughts related to pain, says data presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2019). 

Takeaway: Keep this in mind when you read your patients' charts and they have an RA diagnosis and a long list of pain meds. Some people aren't drug seekers, they just want to get rid of something known as "suicide pain." 


One way to increase voter turnout? More sleep.
June 20, 2019

From the blog: “For this study, the team of John Holbein (Department of Political Science, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT), Jerome Schafer (Department of Political Science, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich), and David Dickinson (Department of Economics, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC) wanted to know if sleep reduces civic engagement. Using three methods of testing, they found the answer to be affirmative.” 

Takeaway: Totally makes sense to me. But will US voters prioritize sleep?


The ‘Sober Curious’: How the Latest Trend in Booze Is Casting Sobriety in a New Light
June 22, 2019

From the commentary: “Turns out drinkers are experimenting with being 'sober curious,' a term coined by the writer Ruby Warrington who wrote a book of the same name. In Sober Curious, she delves into the myriad questions she started asking herself about the reasons she imbibed drink after drink, arriving at answers that break through the myths society has constructed around booze. …'The blissful sleep, greater focus, limitless presence, and deep connection awaiting us all on the other side of alcohol' is at the heart of her book encouraging readers to question the myths and to get curious about sobriety.

Takeaway:  This is a healthy trend I can get behind. Alcohol abuse statistics in the US are staggering


Ask the Doctor: What Are the Emory Sleep Researchers Looking for in Spinal Fluid?
June 18, 2019

From the interview with PhD neuroscientist Dr. Amanda Freeman of Emory University: “Due to the close contact with the brain, the composition of the CSF can provide insight on the neural processes. The same information is not available in blood samples, because a physical barrier separates the CSF from the blood and filters out these biomarkers.

Takeaway:  Neuroscience and neurobiology continue to shed light on the mysteries surrounding central disorders of hypersomnia. This discussion about "sleepy juice" helps to clarify just what's happening when people are excessively sleepy. 


Nanit's new infant outfit works with smart camera to monitor baby's breathing
June 24, 2019

From the blog: “In order for it to work, parents place Nanit's camera above their baby’s crib. The camera can then interpret the customized pattern on the baby’s clothing item, and translate that into a breathing pattern. This information is then sent to the caregiver’s smartphone or tablet.” 

Takeaway: Getting this granular with baby sleep seems a little over the top, to me. Anyway, I can only speak for myself, but I was always in there watching my baby sleep live and in person. To have a camera do this seems rather creepy.   


New Medication, Sunosi, Will Be Available Soon
June 20, 2019

From the blog: “The once-daily medication will be available in the US in 75 mg and 150 mg tablets in July 2019.” 

Takeaway: This is major news for people with narcolepsy, who lack treatment options. 


Understanding Microsleep—When Our Minds Are Both Asleep and Awake
June 18, 2019

From the column: “Researchers don’t fully understand why certain parts of our brain switch off throughout the day. But they have found the states of sleep and wakefulness aren’t as cut and dry as we might assume. And although fatigue does seem to prime the brain for microsleep, even well-rested people do it—a lot.

Takeaway: If you describe this to a patient while hooking up, you will discover they all know they've had these experiences but simply think it's normal.


ELDs* Mandatory in Canada Starting in June 2021
June 18, 2019

From the article: “'These new mandatory logging devices in commercial vehicles will improve safety for drivers and for all Canadians,' said Marc Garneau, Canada's minister of Transport. 'We know that fatigue increases the risks of accidents, and that is why we are taking action across all modes of transportation.'

* Electronic logging devices are tamper-resistant devices that are integrated into commercial vehicle engines. They are intended to ensure that commercial drivers drive within their daily limit, complying with Canada's Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations, and accurately log their working hours by tracking when and how long drivers have been at the wheel. According to Transport Canada, the devices also reduce administrative burdens, such as eliminating the need for paper daily logs and reducing the time enforcement officers need to verify regulatory compliance.

Takeaway: And yet there are always some who think this is government overreach, no matter what country you're from. 

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.