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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on November 12th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: November 12, 2019

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


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relevant to sleep technology and patient education.


What Comes Before Woke? On the History of Sleep as a Form of Protest
November 6, 2019

From the essay: “In popular movements for peace and justice, sleep has signified both a death-dealing ignorance and the utopian promise of a regenerated society. To be asleep is to be apathetic—insensible to the cruelties we inflict or ignore—while in dreams we enjoy a faint awareness of new realities. The language of sleep, charged and motivating, draws its power from the fundamental truth that we need sleep in order not only to flourish but also to survive.

Takeaway: A fascinating read exploring the use of concepts surrounding sleep and dreams to provide metaphors for mindful, socially conscious living. 


The Spectral Fingerprint of Sleep Problems in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
November 8, 2019

From the research summary: “This is the first study to show pronounced changes in EEG spectral topologies during both NREM and REM sleep in PTSD. Importantly, the observed power changes reflect the hallmarks of PTSD sleep problems: insomnia and nightmares and may thus be specific for PTSD. A spectral index derived from these data distinguishes patients from controls with high effect size, bearing promise as a candidate biomarker.

Takeaway: We owe our veterans better pathways for treating PTSD; this kind of research can help advance those goals.   


New Retail Store Offers Direct-to-Consumer Home Sleep Tests
November 5, 2019

From the article: “…More controversially, CPAP EquipSource is selling home sleep testing kits (HST) for self-testing and screening of sleep apnea (OSA), which it says in a release 'requires neither a prescription nor a visit to the doctor.

Takeaway: Yeah, you read that right. 


Compare 6 Positional Sleep Aids
November 9, 2019

From the article: “The Positional Sleep Aids guide compares 6 devices side-by-side on features such as acclimation period, FDA status, accessibility (prescription or over-the-counter), price, power supply, dimensions, weight, data recorded, warranties, reimbursement, and more.

Takeaway: Let's not forget these are options for treating position-related or milder cases of OSA. 


Phenotypes of responders to mandibular advancement device therapy in obstructive sleep apnea patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis
November 6, 2019

From the article: “Mandibular advancement device (MAD) therapy is the most commonly used non-continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Although OSA patients prefer MAD over CPAP, on average over one third have minimal or no major reduction in OSA severity with MAD therapy. Improved understanding of responder characteristics (or 'phenotypes') to MAD may facilitate more efficient use of limited medical resources and optimize treatment efficacy.

Takeaway: It would be so useful if we could identify MAD responders before going through a failure of CPAP to find them. It's not as if MAD is less expensive, and not every user has a positive experience (much like the reality for CPAP users).


Sleep disturbances in early alcohol recovery: Prevalence and associations with clinical characteristics and severity of alcohol consumption
November 5, 2019

From the study: “88% of subjects in early alcohol recovery reported sleep disturbance.

Takeaway: If you know anyone who has gone through detox for any kind of substance, then you are probably already aware of the sleep problems they encounter.


What do people do before going to bed? A study of Bedtime Procrastination using Time Use Surveys
October 30, 2019

From the research summary: “Bedtime procrastination (BP) is defined as going to bed later than intended despite absence of external reasons.

Takeaway: Look at the statistics on smartphone use at bedtime as they relate to BP. Seriously. 


Doctors call for end to daylight saving time transitions
November 6, 2019

From the article: “[Dr. Beth A. Malow, a professor of neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center] and her colleagues observe that despite the weight of evidence and conviction about the biological effects of DST, its elimination faces political and legal challenges.

Takeaway: Medical professionals of late have been told to "stay in their lane" when it comes to public health and safety policy. This research shows a distinct connection to negative health outcomes as the result of what some will say is outdated public policy.

BIO:  AAST blog columnist 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 sleep-related columns for two chronic illness patient advocacy publishers, and contributes as a freelance writer to AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz. She can be reached at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com.