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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on May 21st, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: May 21, 2019

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping baboon

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



Under fed court ruling, Thousand Oaks to allow homeless people to sleep on public property
May 20, 2019

From the article: The ruling came in a case in which a group of homeless Boise, Idaho residents sued that city after being cited for camping on public property or sleeping in public buildings or places, in violation of the city's ordinance. …The court ruled that the Boise ordinance was a violation of the Eighth Amendment, which protects against cruel and unusual punishment.  
'The fundamental, biological need for sleep was a driving consideration in the 9th Circuit's decision,' a staff report from Noonan to the Thousand Oaks City Council states.

Takeaway: The Boise ruling is going to be influential over many cities' regulations regarding sleeping spaces for homeless people. Stay tuned. 


Position Statement from NCCHC: Adolescent Sleep Hygiene
May 20, 2019

From the article: “[M]any patients enter the juvenile justice system already taking psychotropic or over-the-counter medication that either specifically targets insomnia or somehow impacts sleep architecture.” 

Takeaway: It's encouraging to see policy decisions are being made inside the juvenile justice system that take into account the behavioral and mental health problems that might be prevented by prioritizing sleep. 


Research Highlights from 2019 ACSM Annual Meeting
May 20, 2019

From the press release: “This year’s ACSM Basic Science World Congress focuses on biological and physiological mechanisms of exercise, circadian rhythm and sleep. Circadian rhythms regulate several bodily functions such as behavior, hormone levels, body temperature, sleep and metabolism. Most individuals have likely experienced a temporary misalignment between their internal clock and the environment, resulting in 'jet lag.' However, chronic mismatches between internal clocks and lifestyles are associated with increased risk for various diseases. Could those mismatches also negatively affect exercise and sport performance? Find out during ACSM's Basic Science World Congress on Exercise, Circadian Rhythms and Sleep – May 28-June 1 in Orlando, Florida.

Takeaway: Sleep medicine can be an important branch to so many areas of medical specialization. 


The Crazy-Hectic, Sour-Patch-Kid-Fueled Nighttime Routine of a USC Sleep Doctor
May 17, 2019

From the feature: Welcome to Sleep Diaries, where interesting people share a week’s worth of late-night habits. They’ll tell you, the reader, how they wrap up their day, how they get to sleep, stay asleep or fall back asleep, and how they feel when they wake up in the morning. Why? Because sleep is America’s Most Wanted thing. We chase after it like an elusive elixir that'll make us look younger and feel less stressed. (Maybe because it will.) We thought by getting people to share what works for them—and doesn’t—it might help you find better ZZZs.

Takeaway: I dare them to track the sleep challenges of an overnight sleep technologist!


Bryte brings AI-powered bed and tech for improving sleep to its first retail location near Seattle
May 14, 2019

From the newswire: Bryte first began shipping its direct-to-consumer Bryte Bed last month, calling it the 'most comprehensive intelligent sleep platform on the market' and a 'self-learning superbed' that uses AI—through a sleep service app called Aiden—to learn how you sleep so it can improve night after night. Technology within the mattress adjusts to your body as you sleep and light and temperature are controlled automatically to improve comfort.

Takeaway: King version retails for $6,650. Maybe we're in the wrong business.


The truth about attention-deficit meds and insomnia
May 20, 2019

From the blog: ADHDers are actually 2.7 times more likely to suffer high-level insomnia than those without the disorder, per Cankaya University research released this January. Eighty percent of ADHD adults have sleep issues, per a study from The Hague, with 43 percent calling their insomnia 'significant,' compared to less than 10 percent of the general population. Forty-one percent of ADHDers don’t ever get more than six hours sleep a night.  This, of course, is before we take stimulants prescribed for ADHD that have the unfortunate side effect of keeping people awake.” 

Takeaway: Know your lab's policy about patient medication use. Will they be asked to refrain from using stimulant drugs before a sleep study? Do you have a protocol for when patients show up using stimulants against doctor's orders prior to a study? As always, document all medication use and history prior to a sleep study. If you suspect medication use prior to a test is related to your patient's inability to sleep, make sure you include that in your tech notes.  


Scientists Find a Way to Reverse Teen Sleep Problems Linked to Smartphones and Tablet Blue Light
May 19, 2019

From the article: Study co-author Dirk Jan Stenvers of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Amsterdam UMC said: 'Adolescents increasingly spend more time on devices with screens, and sleep complaints are frequent in this age group. Here, we show very simply that these sleep complaints can be easily reversed by minimizing evening screen use or exposure to blue light. Based on our data, it is likely that adolescent sleep complaints and delayed sleep onset are at least partly mediated by blue light from screens.'” 

Takeaway: But will actual scientific research be enough to curb this worldwide behavioral problem?


When a nightmare becomes reality: These people committed murder in their sleep
May 19, 2019

From the article: While it’s very rare, there have been several recorded instances of somnambulant slaying throughout history, where a sleeping person commits murder while completely unconscious and unaware of their actions (or, say the skeptics, just plain old murder someone and come up with this unlikely defense).” 

Takeaway: I confess a fascination with parasomnias that involve criminal behavior. We still know so little about such a complicated aspect of disrupted sleep. 

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.