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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on October 8th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: October 8, 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.


 

ADVOCACY WATCH

Effect of Light Flashes vs Sham Therapy During Sleep With Adjunct Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Sleep Quality Among Adolescents
JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
September 25, 2019

From the research study: “Nearly half of US teenagers report regular insufficient sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness, particularly on school days. In one sample of 100 middle-school and high-school students, 80% slept fewer than 8 hours on school nights, with 44% of the students reporting difficulty staying awake during school and 85% reporting using caffeine to combat daytime fatigue.

Takeaway: The Starbucks by my house is most populated by teens right before "zero period," during lunch breaks, and immediately after school… for a reason.

CULTURE WATCH

Incoming Sleep Health Journal Editor Reflects on a Life in Sleep Science
SLEEP REVIEW
September 25, 2019

From the column: [Orfeu Buxton, PhD] has been selected as the upcoming editor-in-chief for Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation.  …Current editor-in-chief Lauren Hale, PhD, will continue to serve the journal until July 2020, when Buxton will take over. …'I’m particularly excited about interdisciplinary researchers who are discovering sleep health or who are including sleep health in their research. Sleep is an amazingly interdisciplinary and collaborative field. We are the glue in many large, complex projects that take an integrative approach to health,' says Buxton. 

Takeaway: Sleep is, indeed, the glue that holds our health together. Let's hope Buxton can get more medical specialists on board with awareness about how sleep health impacts all health, especially in the arena of chronic illness. 

TREND WATCH

These ‘smart pajamas’ will track your breathing, heart rate and sleep patterns
MEDICAL NEWS TODAY
October 1, 2019

From the article: “The idea of technology that monitors you even when you’re asleep may sound Orwellian to some. But this could be a major health breakthrough, the researchers say.
The so-called smart pajamas ­or 'Phyjamas' will be able to monitor your sleep in ways that the current generation of wearables can only imagine. The jammies can track not just your breathing and heart rates, but even the position in which you are sleeping.

Takeaway: It seems like a silly idea at first, but then, patients really don't like all the electrodes… I wouldn't be surprised if incorporating these into sleep study protocols is not too far in the future to cut down on the time spent in hookups and to sweeten the comfort level of the whole process for patients.   

INDUSTRY WATCH

These medical specialties have the biggest gender imbalances
AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
OCTOBER 1, 2019

From the website: “Four specialties featured a near equal mix of men and women among the population of current medical residents: sleep medicine, preventive medicine, pathology (anatomic and clinical), and psychiatry.

Takeaway: Sleep medicine is awesome. 

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

Parents of Infants with Sleep Trouble Have Increased Risk of Daytime Dysfunction
SLEEP REVIEW
October 2, 2019

From the article: “Nanit CEO Sarah Dorsett says, 'These findings are just the beginning. With the advancement of Nanit’s computer vision technology and its consumer adoption in the home, we’re able to better bolster our understanding of sleep health, and the effect it has on our quality of life.'

Takeaway: Just another case where treating the sleep disorder may also treat, reverse, or prevent a related comorbid condition. 

PHARMA WATCH

Why does coffee make me tired?
MEDICAL NEWS TODAY
September 25, 2019

From the article: “Adenosine is a brain chemical that affects the sleep-wake cycle. Adenosine levels increase during waking hours and decrease during sleep.

Takeaway: This is a simple biological explanation for those who tend to "crash and burn" after a cup of coffee. 

HEALTH LITERACY WATCH

Chronic insomnia can be cured in cancer survivors with a basic sleep education class
DANA-FARBER CANCER INSTITUTE via SCIENCE DAILY
September 24, 2019

From the article: “Investigators report that a single-session sleep education program for survivors can cure insomnia in many participants, and that those who don't benefit from this approach are often helped by a more extensive, but still modest, three-session program.

Takeaway: If we could only do these sessions with the entire world…  

LEGAL WATCH

California day care worker gave children Melatonin to 'help them sleep': Officials
ABC NEWS
September 24, 2019

From the report: “An in-home day care facility in California was issued a citation after authorities learned one of the workers administered Melatonin to the children 'to help them sleep,' officials said. …The Brenda Saucedo Family Child Care, located in Bonita, was issued a type A citation, Adam Weintraub, spokesman for the California Department of Social Services, told ABC News on Tuesday. …That citation is considered the 'most serious' because it involves an immediate threat to the health, safety, or personal rights of children in care, Weintraub said.

Takeaway: This news story drives home the need to test the safety of melatonin for children, which hasn't really been done. It falls under the rules of nutritional supplements, which don't require extensive testing to prove their efficacy, and is considered GRAS (generally recognized as safe), though there's disagreement about its use among children. 


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.