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By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on April 14th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: April 14, 2020

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.


PANDEMIC QUICK LINKS

For the latest information, please check the following resources :


ADVOCACY WATCH

Have You Talked with Your Narcolepsy Patients About Their Pregnancy Plans?
SLEEP REVIEW
April 10, 2020

From the article: “When a woman first learns she is pregnant, she may wonder if the narcolepsy medications to combat her daytime sleepiness will harm her unborn child. If she decides to reduce her medication, she may ask herself if it is safe to continue to drive to work. If she experiences cataplexy, she may contemplate if it is dangerous to have a vaginal birth. These are just a few of the reasons why having conversations about family planning early and often is all the more important for clinicians who are caring for women with narcolepsy.

Takeaway: One major takeaway: narcolepsy drugs interfere with oral contraceptives. 

CULTURE WATCH

Insomnia in the Elderly Is Often Eclipsed by Other Disorders But Recognizing It Can Help Resolve Comorbidities
SLEEP
April 8, 2020

From the article: “Older adults tend to have multiple health concerns, and the question becomes: Are the problems causing poor sleep, or is poor sleep causing the problems? Sonia Ancoli-Israel, PhD, has wrestled with the chicken-or-the-egg conundrum, and she finds no easy answers.  …'We know insomnia predisposes one to being more susceptible to disease,' says Ancoli-Israel, professor emeritus and professor of research in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. 'There’s memory issues, concentration issues, and reaction-time issues. There’s cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, cancer, arthritis—all those are comorbid with insomnia.'

Takeaway: I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who wishes it were easier to connect these dots with patients who have multiple comorbidities. 

TREND WATCH

Why the Hell Are My Dreams So Vivid Right Now?
YAHOO!
April 10, 2020

From the article: “Once someone has been deprived of sleep, the first thing that’s lost is the tail end of sleep where dream sleep occurs. 'When you start depriving yourself slowly of dream sleep and you reach a point where the body starts to rebound, it starts to crave REM sleep because it’s required the same way clean air and clean water are,' says [ Dr. Abhinav Singh, M.D. the Medical Director for the Indiana Sleep Center]. 'This means that this REM sleep begins to take place or tries to take place more throughout the night to compensate and you’re getting a lot more exaggerated dream sleep.'

Takeaway: None of this should surprise any of us! 

INDUSTRY WATCH

Multimodal Assessment Increases Objective Identification of Hypersomnolence in Patients Referred for Multiple Sleep Latency Testing
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL SLEEP MEDICINE
April 8, 2020

From the research study summary: “The multimodal assessment more than doubled the proportion of patients identified as having objective deficits relative to MSLT≤8 minutes alone. The combination of excessive sleep duration, lapses on the PVT, and impairments on PST also had perfect sensitivity in identifying all patients identified as sleepy by the MSLT across three different MSLT cutpoints (5, 8, and 10 minutes).

Takeaway: There will never be too many new and better approaches for MSLT diagnostics.

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

Consumers Have Another Mail-Order Option for Sleep Apnea Testing, and It Bypasses In-Person Visits
SLEEP REVIEW
April 1, 2020

From the article: “Robert Wilkins, CEO of Lunella and SoClean, realized he could make a difference in the lives of the huge number of people who have sleep apnea but are undiagnosed—by increasing their sleep care access, comfort, and convenience. So he started putting the pieces together for an all-at-home diagnosis-to-therapy option. First he wanted to address 'bulky' home testing devices that have to be returned. 'So when we saw what Itamar Medical had with the WatchPAT ONE [disposable sleep apnea test], we thought this was the first piece,' he says. 'You don’t have to send it back. And the information goes automatically to the cloud.'

Takeaway: Great to use during a pandemic, but maybe not great for the field of clinical sleep medicine if it means fewer overnight studies in the lab.

PHARMA WATCH

The Effect of Venlafaxine on Apnea Hypopnea Index in Patients with Sleep Apnea - a Randomized, Double-Blind Crossover Study
CHEST
April 9, 2020

From the abstract: “One of the key mechanisms underlying obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a reduced pharyngeal muscle tone during sleep. Recent data suggest that pharmacological augmentation of central serotonergic/adrenergic tone increases pharyngeal muscle tone. …We hypothesized that venlafaxine, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, would improve OSA severity.

Takeaway: The outcomes of this study weren't great news for Big Pharma, which has been trying to crack the nut of pharmaceutical treatment for OSA for years now.

SLEEP HYGIENE WATCH

Your Mattress Is Not the Key To a Good Night’s Sleep
BLOOMBERG QUINT
April 9, 2020

From the article: “We may hold on to the dream that the perfect mattress is the key to a great evening of sleep, but science shows that the answer may lie in lighting.

Takeaway: Personally, I've found the simulated dawn lamp I started using this winter to be a pretty decent way to rise without a noisy alarm during the winter months. 

LEGAL WATCH

18-Wheeler Plunges into North Platte River Near Ft. Steele, Wyoming
COWBOY STATE DAILY
April 10, 2020

From the article: “The driver was cited for failing to maintain his lane of travel.

Takeaway: Some things don't change even during a pandemic.


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 the Journal Club continued education presentations for the AAST. She can be reached at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com.