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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on September 10th, 2019

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: September 10, 2019

Sleep Technologist Advice

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


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



UA Awarded $1.4M Grant for Program that Supports Sleep Apnea Patients
August 23, 2019

From the press release: “The funding—from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute—will be used by Dr. Parthasarathy and his research team to implement the findings of a previous research project in which peers were trained to help patients starting treatment for sleep apnea. …The program will be made available to patients at Banner–University Medicine clinics in Tucson and later will be expanded to 11 centers in six states within the Banner Health system, in which more than 11,000 sleep studies are conducted and 9,000 patients are seen annually for sleep disorders.

Takeaway: If there was ever an amazing opportunity for sleep apnea patient advocacy, this is it.  


How to Cure One Kind of Insomnia Without Drugs
August 28, 2019

From the article: “DSPD (Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder) is a circadian rhythm disorder in which the internal body clock is synchronized abnormally late with respect to local clock time, making it virtually impossible to fall asleep at a conventional hour (say, between 10 p.m. and 12 midnight vs. 3-5 a.m.).

Takeaway: A good review of the circadian rhythm problem that often masks itself as an insomnia problem.


Traditional and Electronic Cigarettes Linked to Poor Sleep
September 7, 2019

From the article: “The study included 1,664 college students, 41% of whom reported ever trying or currently using e-cigarettes and 29% of whom reported ever trying or currently using traditional cigarettes. Across all groups, average sleep scores indicated poor sleep for most students.

Takeaway: Do you distinguish vaping from cigarette smoking or tobacco chewing in your patient intake reports? If you don't already, you probably should. 


Using Small Animal Models to Determine How and Why We Sleep – Amita Sehgal, PhD
September 5, 2019

From the YouTube recording: “In San Antonio on Monday, June 10, 2019, Amita Sehgal, PhD, presented the keynote address, “Using Small Animal Models to Determine How and Why We Sleep,” at SLEEP 2019, the 33rd annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS). She is the John Herr Musser professor of neuroscience in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is the director of the Chronobiology Program.

Takeaway: In case you didn't attend the SLEEP meeting last June, here's an interesting keynote focused on sleep research. 


Medicare Contractors Support Use of Inspire’s Sleep Apnea Device
August 21, 2019

From the article: “These two new LCDs represent another key step in establishing consistent Medicare coverage across the United States for Inspire therapy. Importantly, the reversal of the First Coast negative policy now provides access to Inspire therapy to Medicare patients in Florida,” Tim Herbert, president and chief executive officer of Inspire Medical Systems, says in a statement. …Novitas covers Medicare patients in Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and the District of Columbia. First Coast covers Medicare patients in Florida.

Takeaway: It takes time to get Medicare on board with coverages for medical therapies. This shows some progress since the technology was first approved by the FDA in 2014.  


Reshaping Insomnia Treatment Via the Orexin Receptor Pathway
August 28, 2019

From the article: “Eisai and Imbrium Therapeutics announced in March 2019 the filing of a new drug application  for lemborexant for the treatment of insomnia. The small molecule DORA improved the sleep of patients in 2 phase 3 trials, SUNRISE 1 and SUNRISE 2, which evaluated the safety and efficacy of lemborexant in 1006 and 949 adult patients with insomnia, respectively.

Takeaway: Even though CBT-i is still considered the first-line solution for treating insomnia, drug treatments are still researched because, for one thing, there aren't enough people qualified to deliver CBT-i to the large population of people who need it.


So, What’s the Latest I Can Pound Coffee and Still Sleep Like a Baby?
September 5, 2019

From the article: “Typically, the half-life of caffeine is around four to six hours, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), meaning that four to six hours after consumption, about half of that caffeine is still in your system. At this point, you may still be feeling some stimulant effects of the caffeine, Dr. [Ajay] Sampat says. Then, another four to six hours later, half of that amount is gone. If you drink a cup of coffee containing 100 mg of caffeine at 10 a.m. (about one 8-ounce cup of coffee) as much as 25 mg may still be in your system when you lay down at 10 p.m., whereas if you drink 200 mg at 4 p.m. (twoish 8-ounce cups), about 100 mg can still be in your system at 10 p.m.

Takeaway: It never hurts to review this important timing concern when it comes to quaffing caffeinated beverages (and foods), not only for patients, but for sleep technologists! 


Tell the California Assembly to support SB 328 Later School Start Times!
September 8, 2019

From the advocacy page: “In the next few weeks, the California State Assembly will vote on SB 328, which would mandate later school start times for middle school and high school students in California. If it passes it will go to Governor Gavin Newsom's desk, where he will decide if it becomes law. …It is critical that Governor Newsom and members of the California State Assembly know that sleep medicine professionals support this critical issue. Please send a message and tell them to vote YES on SB 328!

Takeaway: Includes a simple message composer utility with options for emailing or tweeting your support, and pre-written language you can adopt or alter to show your support for this important legislation. 

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 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.