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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on November 26th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: November 26, 2019

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

thanksgiving graphic for WYWS Nov 2019

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

WYWS will take a holiday break next Tuesday
and will return on Tuesday December 9. Happy Thanksgiving!


Tell the FDA that People with Narcolepsy Need Access to CNS Stimulants
November 19, 2019

From the call for action: “The FDA is seeking public input on the development and evaluation of abuse-deterrent formulations of central nervous system stimulants (CNS). While the intent is to deter abuse, Narcolepsy Network is concerned that the accessibility of CNS stimulants may have a negative impact on people with narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia, and possibly other rare diseases. The public comment period is an opportunity for you to share these concerns with the FDA before any decisions are made. …We have only seen responsible behavior in regard to stimulant use in our community, and these medications are vitally important to the quality of life for so many people with narcolepsy. We need your help to communicate these concerns to the FDA. Please copy, paste, modify (indicated in brackets below), and submit the following comment at https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FDA-2019-N-3403-0001

Takeaway: Here's a great way to truly advocate for a specific sleep-disordered population. Your voice and expertise as a sleep technologist and sleep health educator carry important weight.

[The brackets mentioned in the call to action are at the original link in the title of the post.]


The contribution of sleep to social inequalities in cardiovascular disorders: a multi-cohort study
November 22, 2019

From the research summary: “Sleep disturbances exhibit a strong social patterning, and inadequate sleep has been associated with adverse health outcomes, including cardiovascular disorders (CVD). However, the contribution of sleep to socioeconomic inequalities in CVD is unclear. This study pools data from eight European cohorts to investigate the role of sleep duration in the association between life-course socioeconomic status (SES) and CVD.

Takeaway: It makes sense to look at this. People with inadequate sleep are sometimes dealing with insomnia, caused by chronic stress, caused by external socioeconomic (or other kinds of) pressure.  It's not inaccurate to describe the problem as having a domino-like effect on a person's health. 


Organized Lightning: The Future is Now for ADHD
November 20, 2019

From the column: “Imagine a future where instead of taking a pill every day for some behavioral condition, you could wear a small device called a 'neuromodulator' to electronically change the way your brain was wired. Imagine further that you wouldn’t even need to wear this neuromodulator during the day—turning it on at night while you slept would be enough to rewire your brain and help you perform better throughout the day.

Takeaway: I keep finding more and more discussion about using neuromodulation (and not pharmaceuticals) as a way to help with all kinds of sleep-wake concerns. 


Tongue peak pressure: a tool to aid in the identification of obstruction sites in patients with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome
November 19, 2019

From the abstract: “Purpose of this study was to evaluate whether tongue peak pressure measured using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument is correlated with the topographic site of obstruction in patients with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome observed during drug-induced sleep endoscopy.

Takeaway: Knowing the site of obstruction could be very useful in identifying whether a patient might do better with PAP versus mandibular advancement technology.  


Compare 10 Polysomnography (In-Lab) Systems
November 25, 2019

From the system reviews: “The PSG Guide compares 10 in-lab sleep study units side-by-side on features such as PSG software, lab management software, amplifiers, video, and transducers.
The systems compared are: Cadwell Laboratories Inc Easy III with Easy III Software, CleveMed Sapphire PSG, Compumedics USA Inc Grael HD-PSG Amplifier with ProFusion PSG 4 Software, Natus Medical Inc Natus SleepWorks with Embla NDx, Nihon Kohden America Inc PSG-1100 Sleep System, Philips Respironics Alice 6 DxN with Sleepware G3, Sleepvirtual BW3 PSG Plus, Somnomedics America Inc SOMNOscreen HD with DOMINO Software, Somnomedics America Inc SOMNOscreen plus PSG with DOMINO Software, and Vyaire Medical Somnostar Software with z4 Amplifier.

Takeaway: Sleep Review provides these incredibly useful and updated annual comparisons. What a great service!


Seasonal plasticity in GABAA signaling is necessary for restoring phase synchrony in the master circadian clock network
November 20, 2019

From the study summary: “[T]his work highlights factors that may influence susceptibility to seasonal disorders in humans.

Takeaway: Perfect timing to learn about new neuroscience finds related to the brain chemical, GABA and our circadian system, chiefly to find ways to identify those more likely to develop seasonal affective disorder (SAD).


P031 Management of paediatric sleep problems in primary care: a systematic review
November 19, 2019

From the poster presentation: “Sufficient sleep is important for healthy child development. Behavioural Insomnia (BI) is common and can be treated with behavioural and sleep hygiene interventions. As a first point of contact for families, primary care offers opportunities to prevent or identify and address sleep problems at an early stage. A US review suggested that professionals lack training and sleep is rarely discussed. Our review further explores primary care professionals’ (PCP) knowledge of BI, perceptions of their role and current practice.

Takeaway: Sleep health literacy may not just be a patient or caregiver problem, but a medical professional problem if they aren't versed in the latest knowledge regarding sleep disorders. 


Poor Communication During Referral Leads to Serious Repercussions
September 9, 2019

From the article: “Three weeks later, Ms W was found dead in her apartment by her parents. An autopsy was conducted, and the results indicated that the patient had died from suicide by oxycodone overdose. Ms W’s grieving family consulted a plaintiff’s attorney, who told them that he believed that they had a case against the two physicians. The attorney filed a lawsuit against the psychiatrist and the sleep specialist, alleging that they had failed to consider the patient’s suicide risk when prescribing medications.

Takeaway: This is a sleep-related case study describing a sentinel-like event. Patients do fall through the system, with its many subspecialties and poor communication between referring doctors. Just a cautionary tale here about documenting anything you notice that might be useful and, if you see something, say something.  

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.