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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on March 12th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: March 12, 2019

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

SLEEPING mother and baby gorilla

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



 

ADVOCATE WATCH

American Academy of Sleep Medicine announces 2019 award recipients
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE
March 4, 2019

From the article: “Senator Anthony Portantino [wins the] Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy or Advocacy Award for developing public policy that positively affects the healthy sleep of all Americans. …Portantino represents California’s 25th State Senate District. He recently reintroduced SB-328, 'Pupil attendance: school start time,' which made it all the way to the governor’s desk in 2018 before being vetoed. The bill would require the school day for middle schools and high schools in the state to begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m., which is in agreement with an AASM position statement. The bill demonstrates that legislation promoting healthy sleep for teens can garner bi-partisan support, and it provides a model for other state legislators throughout the country.

Takeaway: Want to become politically active about sleep and our school start times? Here's an example to follow and be inspired by.

CULTURE WATCH

"The Sleep Crisis & Latino Health" Tweetchat
WAKELET
March 5, 2019

From the Tweetchat: 

Salud American Tweetchat for March 5, 2019

Takeaway: For those sleep clinics with a large Latinx population, this Twitter event might be useful for creating handouts specific to the needs of those patients for things they can control, like sleep habits and hygiene. Don't forget to produce both English and Spanish formats!

INDUSTRY WATCH

Why do we sleep? Scientists find brain repair mechanism
MEDICAL NEWS TODAY
March 7, 2019

From the article: “They found that during sleep, individual neurons were able to perform maintenance work on the nucleus, the central element of each cell, which encloses most of that cell's genetic material. …When the nucleus begins to deteriorate, the DNA information it contains also becomes damaged, and this can lead to aging, disease, and poor overall functioning in an organ or tissue. During sleep, the researchers explain, the neurons have an opportunity to recover from the stress they accumulated during the day and 'fix' any damage they may have sustained.”

Takeaway: If medicine wants to maintain its focus on preventing and treating chronic illness, sleep sounds like the perfect place to start.

TREND WATCH

Daylight savings sees 'sleepy consumers' with a wider variety in their shopping carts
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA via SCIENCE DAILY
March 11, 2019

From the article: “Sleep deficiency of varying levels is a common occurrence among adults, but its impact on consumer behaviour has rarely been studied until now.” 

Takeaway: Looks like we could expect some new consumer marketing campaigns to spring from this and similar research as merchants try to cash in on our collective sleep deprivation. 

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

Blue-enriched white light to wake you up in the morning
KOREA ADVANCED INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (KAIST) via SCIENCE DAILY
March 6, 2019

From the article: “The team conducted an experiment with 15 university students. They investigated whether an hour of morning light exposure with different chromaticity would affect their physiological and subjective responses differently. The decline of melatonin levels was significantly greater after the exposure to blue-enriched white light in comparison with warm white light.

Takeaway: Hmmm, those simulated dawn lamps are looking more appealing than noisy alarm clocks, based on these outcomes.

PHARMA WATCH

Inflammation in the brain increases side-effects of hypnotic drugs
NEWS-MEDICAL.net
March 7, 2019

From the podcast:In a study recently published in the European Journal of Pharmacology researchers at Okayama University show how the presence of inflammation in the brain can increase its sensitivity to benzodiazepines.” 

Takeaway: Not surprisingly, sleep apnea leads to inflammation in the brain, so this makes yet another argument for avoiding certain kinds of sleep aids for those with sleep-disordered breathing.

HEALTH LITERACY WATCH

Is an ice cream that promises a better night’s sleep too good to be true? Maybe.
THE WASHINGTON POST
February 27, 2019

From the article: “Trendy adaptogenic foods—foods with natural compounds that promote certain physiological functions, such as healthier skin, less anxiety or improved concentration—are on the upswing, but it is hard to determine how well these products fulfill their claims. The placebo effect is strong. And while my sleep was not disrupted after eating Nightfood, it typically is not after eating other ice creams, anyway.” 

Takeaway: Sounds much more tasty than sour cherry juice at bedtime… just sayin'.

REGULATORY WATCH

FDA to Review Lemborexant NDA for Treatment of Insomnia
MPR
March 11, 2019

From the article: The NDA [new drug application] submission was based on data from two phase 3 studies (SUNRISE 1 and SUNRISE 2) that enrolled approximately 2000 patients. In SUNRISE 1, lemborexant achieved its primary and key secondary objectives (change from baseline in both sleep onset and sleep maintenance variables using objective polysomnography) vs placebo and vs zolpidem tartrate extended-release (active comparator) in patients aged ≥55 years with insomnia disorder.” 

Takeaway: Ambien is facing some potential competition here.


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.