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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on April 21st, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: April 21, 2020

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

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In Appreciation of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
April 17, 2020

From the blog: “It’s April during a strange era where a virus has caused heartache by taking lives, but those of us with sleep apnea are blessed to have plenty to be grateful for this month! Many of us can truly celebrate CPAP Appreciation Day on Saturday the 18th.

Takeaway: This blog post comes with an interview with Dr. Colin Sullivan, inventor of the CPAP. 


How tech destroyed and then brought back our sleep
April 20, 2020

From the blog: “While these devices may not be a miracle cure for the sleepiness that plagues our days, they are an accessible way to gain a little more insight into our non-waking hours. More than just gamifying sleep, this data can give people autonomy over their sleep again.

Takeaway: This is an interesting historical analysis of technology's influence and impact over sleep health. 


Losing sleep! Are we missing the future of sleep medicine?
April 15, 2020

From the commentary: “The present study by Fields et al demonstrates that, although most sleep program directors agree that sleep telemedicine is important and should be incorporated into fellowship curricula, there is a dearth of specific guidance, and concrete steps are vague and not actively pursued. Unfortunately, the majority of respondents in the study by Fields and colleagues reported that they do not provide any telehealth experiences for their trainees. Second, the response rate was low, even among a small sample. Less than half of program directors completed “at least part” of the survey, and the number of program directors who completed the entire survey is not reported. Even so, if we extrapolate results of this study to all sleep medicine fellowships, only 10% of fellowships currently include a tele-sleep program or any training in tele-sleep approaches. Given the national obsession with sleep and wellness, as well as the omnipresence of inexpensive wearable technologies worn by patients, the absence of structured training is concerning.

Takeaway: Seems like there's no better time than the present to get the ball rolling to meet this growing and relevant need.


AADSM Award-Winning Abstract Sheds Light on Interplay Between Sleep Bruxism and Sleep Apnea
April 13, 2020

From the article: “Whether sleep bruxism is primary or secondary has implications on disorder management.

Takeaway: If this is the first time you've heard that bruxism can be primary or secondary, then you need to read this article. 


NextGen Diaphragm Pacing Transmitter for Central Sleep Apnea Earns FDA Approval
April 15, 2020

From the article: “Avery Biomedical Devices has earned FDA approval for its next-generation diaphragm pacemaker transmitter, Spirit, and is now being offered to patients using its pacing system. Indications for use include chronic respiratory insufficiency due to central sleep apnea, congenital hypoventilation syndrome, high spinal cord injuries, acute flaccid myelitis, various central neurological disorders, autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, and diseases caused by insect bites like Lyme disease.

Takeaway: This is an exciting new ventilation support option that centers on the needs of people with comorbid conditions that can contribute to the development of central sleep apnea.


Idorsia's rival to Merck's insomnia drug clears phase 3 test
April 20, 2020

From the report: “Idorsia is yet to share data from the 930-subject trial but did discuss how the drug performed against several endpoints. Both doses of daridorexant improved sleep onset and sleep maintenance at month one and month three, resulting in the trial hitting its primary endpoint.

Takeaway: If this drug can truly improve daytime performance for people who suffer from insomnia, then it should do well if it gets FDA approval.


A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the mask: weight-loss programs and sleep apnea
April 15, 2020

From the commentary: “What is becoming increasingly clear is that we need to continue to strongly advocate weight loss for all our patients, regardless of the severity of their OSA or adherence to our other therapies. The benefits of weight loss are, to a degree, unquestionable. This study highlights that tangible benefits can be obtained with weight-loss interventions. The challenge, as always, lies in the implementation of our lofty goals.

Takeaway: I wish it were as easy as this. Weight loss is right up there with advice for smoking cessation: we can make the recommendations, but the patients may have other ideas. Still, it seems like this should be a bigger part of messaging between doctors and patients in more than just the sleep clinic scenario.


Police stops and sleep behaviors among at-risk youth
April 16, 2020

From the abstract: “Among youth directly stopped by police, youth who reported intrusive police stops (e.g., frisking, harsh language, threat of force) reported significantly lower sleep quality.

Takeaway: Just another good reason to start school later for high schoolers.

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.