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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on August 18th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: August 18, 2020

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.



Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine COVID-19 letters to the editor series ||
August 15, 2020

For the latest information, please check the following resources :


Pendleton could allow limited homeless sleeping
August 15, 2020

From the article: “In 2018, a federal court ruled that the city of Boise, Idaho, couldn’t prohibit people from sleeping outdoors without providing an alternative. More recently, the courts ruled that the city of Grants Pass was violating its homeless residents’ Eighth Amendment rights by fining them for sleeping in public spaces.

Takeaway: Given the potential for so many more homeless people due to COVID-19, the reality of sleeping on public property is probably going to explode as we head into winter this fall. Stay tuned to see how this challenging situation develops.

Bonus: Here's an additional story about the policing of homeless people in Colorado and the impact it's having on their sleep, as well as a story about a homeless camp removed in North Carolina and what they're trying to do about the sleep health for those people. 


Car alarms, snoring and dentist's drills... the noises that put our ears (and teeth) on edge
August 15, 2020

From the article: “The research from the University of Manchester was commissioned by Specsavers, and showed that for those surveyed here the most grating sounds were car alarms (46%) and snoring (43%).

Takeaway: Not only is snoring annoying, it can be deafening to bed partners as well as to the snorers themselves.


How Big Data Is Revolutionizing Sleep Science and Health
August 15, 2020

From the website: “Today, sleep data can be collected more comfortably, affordably, and (what’s most important) on a large scale. That’s all thanks to new tools for collecting data – various wearable sensors that provide real-time data on a large number of factors that can affect how someone sleeps. We’re talking headbands, watches, rings, bracelets, and even mattresses equipped with sensors that can provide even more data.

Takeaway: This reads as an argument for using these gadgets instead of polysomnography because PSG is "complicated, expensive, and invasive." I did not find the word "accurate" or "accuracy" used even once in this piece, though they did mention that "[s]ome of the data will also be of very poor quality. In the absence of a regulatory body, this can lead to products with dubious effectiveness, to say the least." 


Boston Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hypersomnia Screening Survey
August 13, 2020

From the website: “Dr. Kiran Maski, a sleep physician and researcher has developed a questionnaire that will improve screening for narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia in the community. We hope this survey will help school and health care professionals identify hypersomnia symptoms quickly. We are looking for participants to complete online surveys and we will provide a $10 gift card as a token of appreciation. Participation should take no more than 10-15 minutes.

Takeaway: Spread the word if you are actively engaged with pediatric patients who suffer from hypersomnia.


ZEREMA AI height-adjusting pillow responds when it detects snoring
August 14, 2020

From the review page: “Useful for anyone who sleeps on their back or side, this AI height-adjusting pillow evenly distributes the weight of your head to reduce neck pain.

Takeaway: Still being crowdfunded, but the price isn't that much higher than what some of the cooling gel or other high-end pillows are fetching.  I'd be curious to see how this works for people using PAP therapy.


Can Magnesium Help You Sleep Better?
August 15, 2020

From the blog: “Not only does magnesium help you sleep better, but it’s non habit forming, readily available, and has other benefits, too. But one problem with trying out a natural sleep remedy, is that you can’t take full advantage of its sleep-inducing effects unless you understand how to use magnesium and which magnesium supplement is best for better sleep.

Takeaway: Dr. Breus' caveat about knowing how to use magnesium is important because, as with any other substance, adverse side effects can occur.


Sleep hygiene education can increase sleep quantity, decrease hospital visits
August 15, 2020

From the article: “Although more than half of people with type 2 diabetes report poor sleep, sleep hygiene is often missing from diabetes self-management education, according to two speakers at the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists annual conference.

Takeaway: Sleep technologists should always have sleep hygiene patient education in their back pocket, to share whenever possible.


Son kills father in UP for snoring
August 11, 2020

From the article: “In a bizarre incident, a son allegedly killed his father as he could not sleep due to his snoring.

Takeaway: This is so sad and could have been prevented.


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 multiple chronic illness patient advocacy publishers and apps, and contributes the Journal Club continued education presentations for the AAST. You might occasionally see her work in A2Zzz as well. She can be reached at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com.