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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on November 19th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: November 19, 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.


Chronic Opioid Therapy and Sleep: An American Academy of Sleep Medicine Position Statement
November 15, 2019

From the position statement: “Patients and medical providers should be aware that chronic opioid therapy can alter sleep architecture and sleep quality as well as contribute to daytime sleepiness. It is also important for medical providers to be cognizant of other adverse effects of chronic opioid use including the impact on respiratory function during sleep. Opioids are associated with several types of sleep-disordered breathing, including sleep-related hypoventilation, central sleep apnea (CSA), and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Takeaway: Just a gentle reminder that many of our patients might be experiencing these sleep-breathing problems due to pharmacological side effects. Updating your patients' medication lists remains an important part of our interaction with them because it can reveal root causes that might have been overlooked.


Habitual Sleep, Social Jetlag, and Reaction Time in Youths With Delayed Sleep–Wake Phase Disorder. A Case–Control Study 
November 12, 2019

From the research summary: “The aim of the present study was to explore habitual sleep as well as social jetlag and day-to-day variations in sleep in youths with DSWPD, compared to healthy controls, by means of sleep diaries and actigraphy monitoring. We also aimed to investigate evening and morning performance in participants with DSWPD compared to controls, by means of a simple, sustained reaction time task.

Takeaway: There's a ton of really good supportive data here for Start School Later initiatives to draw from when arguing for later bell times for high school students, who are often phase-delayed in their sleep purely by biology.   


This Tech Startup Wants To Protect Hospital Staff From Potential Violence
November 13, 2019

From the article: “Healthcare workers face some of the highest rates of serious workplace violence—four times more than other private industries, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Takeaway: Could be a useful option for sleep technologists, especially those working alone. 


Compare 13 Positive Airway Pressure Interfaces
November 13, 2019

From the article: “The Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) Interfaces Guide compares 13 CPAP masks side-by-side on features such as warranty, sizes, latex use, intentional leak, fitting support solutions, pressure range, cleaning instructions, headgear, and additional features.

Takeaway: This annual guide from SR is a must-read for sleep technologists looking for mask options that meet very specific needs. 


Sleep/Wake Detection by Behavioral Response to Haptic Stimuli
November 15, 2019

From the research summary: “Twenty adults underwent 2 nights of laboratory polysomnography (PSG) while wearing a fingerless glove under which a stimulating actigraph ('Wakemeter') was apposed to the palm. The Wakemeter, controlled by a tablet computer, delivered gentle, haptic stimuli every 10 minutes during the sleep period. If a stimulus was detected, the participant squeezed the Wakemeter. Stimulus times, response times and movements were streamed to the tablet. Concurrent PSG data were scored blind to stimuli and responses. Self-reported sleep quality ratings were collected each morning.

Takeaway: Ready, Sleeper One?


Efficacy of Antidepressants in the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Compared to Placebo. A Systematic Review with Meta-Analyses.
November 12, 2019

From the study summary: “Authors identified prospective randomized placebo-controlled studies from MEDLINE through PubMed, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library and EMBASE up to February 2019 in English language. Antidepressants included tricyclic antidepressants (TCA), tetracyclic antidepressants (TeCA), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), and serotonin receptor modulators (SRM).

Takeaway: The need to find an oral therapy to treat sleep-disordered breathing continues.


Sleep And Exercise A Necessary Partnership
November 16, 2019

From the blog: “Exercise benefits sleep by:

  • Extending sleep time
  • Increasing the time spent in deep sleep, the most physically restorative type of sleep
  • Reducing stress, a common source of sleep problems
  • Enhancing sleep quality

Takeaway: Great advice for both sleep clinic patients … and  their attendant sleep technologists.


Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Proposed Rule: Flight Attendant Duty Period Limitations and Rest Requirements
November 13, 2019

From the AASM formal comment: “The AASM supports the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposal to increase the minimum rest period to at least 10 consecutive hours for flight attendants who are scheduled for 14 hours or less in domestic, flag, and supplemental operations under 14 CFR Part 121. Currently, section 121.467(b) stipulates that a flight attendant scheduled to a duty period of 14 hours or less must be given a rest period of at least nine consecutive hours, which may be reduced to eight consecutive hours in some circumstances. Available evidence suggests that flight attendants working such operations do not experience enough rest on duty days, and lack of sleep impairs their safety-related performance capacity.

Takeaway: Safe transportation and good sleep go hand in hand. The AASM has actively addressed the issues of sleep related to trucking and railways, and aviation is another public safety target they're working on.

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.