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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on August 25th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: August 25, 2020

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping baby donkey

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



For the latest information, please check the following resources :


Ambien Dosage for Women Adjusted in 2013, But Sex Bias in Drug Trials Persists to This Day
August 21, 2020

From the article: “Zolpidem, the popular sleep medication marketed as Ambien, lingers longer in the blood of women than of men, causing next-morning drowsiness, substantial cognitive impairment, and increased traffic accidents, Zucker says. For these reasons, the FDA in 2013 halved the recommended dosage prescribed to women.

Takeaway: If you notice in a female patient's records that they are still being prescribed more than 5mg of zolpidem CR, you can always document that you noticed this in your tech's notes. Some female patients may still be prescribed/using a too-large dosage or their prescription may not be up to date. 


How caffeine changed the world
August 20, 2020

From the article: “…Pollan delved into the science, discussing how the tiny caffeine molecule acts on the central nervous system by suppressing the neuromodulator adenosine that helps make us sleepy.

Takeaway: This should be a good read.


Healthy People 2030: HHS Prioritizes Socioeconomic Disparities, Overall Well-Being
August 20, 2020

From the website: “With the reveal of Healthy People 2030, national public health goals for the next 10 years now place greater emphasis on social determinants of health and quality of life. …
It's the latest iteration of the decennial objectives-setting project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), establishing population-level health targets for older adults, adolescents, LGBTQ individuals, quality of life and well-being, sleep, and more for the next decade.

Takeaway: It's good to see sleep still on the agenda, especially couched within the framework of social determinants of health.  


New pediatric sleep disorder defined
August 17, 2020

From the article: “A UW Medicine researcher, along with colleagues from Italy, Spain and Chile, have defined a new pediatric sleep disorder, which once diagnosed and treated, may help children and their parents get a better night’s sleep. …Their findings were published today in Sleep Medicine, the journal of the World Sleep Society.

Takeaway: Congratulations to Dr. DelRosso and her team. An AAST Journal Club presentation on this topic was released just last January. Check with your AAST member center educational listings for availability.


Deep learning for automated sleep staging using instantaneous heart rate
August 20, 2020

From the research study abstract: “Sleep staging using cardiac rhythm is an active area of research because it can be measured much more easily using a wide variety of both medical and consumer-grade devices.

Takeaway: Don't worry too much about losing your job to an AI device …the study authors acknowledge several limitations that include problems with accuracy and a need for context that a single cardiac channel can't provide. 


The Newer Kids on the Sleep Block. Orexin inhibitors show better results
August 20, 2020

From the article: “When getting to sleep becomes a problem, people will often take their complaints to doctors, seeking help — and now clinicians have additional weapons aside from zolpidem and benzodiazepines for patients for whom cognitive behavioral therapy either doesn’t work or isn’t practical. …The new agents are attack orexins, neuropeptides believed to be involved in wakefulness and arousal, researchers said. The orexins were identified in 1998, mainly in work involving narcolepsy.

Takeaway: One benefit to these drugs? While zolpidem and benzodiazepine sleep aids last, at most, 4 to 5 hours, these orexin inhibitors can last the entire 8-hour sleep period.


The 5 Healthiest Bedtime Snacks for Better Sleep, According to a Top Dietitian
August 18, 2020

From the article: “According to [registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood] Beckerman, a larger pre-sleep snack may upset your stomach, disrupt your sleeping patterns (or circadian rhythm), and even minimize the quality of rest you get from your eight hours.

Takeaway: Just a heads up: the article cites 2 snack options; you'll need to watch the whole video to get the other 3 recommendations.


Sixth Circuit Upholds Mandated Use of CPAP Device for Driver With Sleep Apnea
August 21, 2020

From the article: “In Allman v. Walmart, Inc., the plaintiff was a truck driver diagnosed with sleep apnea. As a result, Walmart required him to use a CPAP device while sleeping in his vehicle during long-distance delivery trips. The employee objected to this device as irritating. But after confirmation of the diagnosis, Walmart expanded the requirement to using the machine during all sleep periods. The employee refused, resigned his employment, and sued Walmart under the Americans with Disabilities Act, claiming disability discrimination and retaliation.

Takeaway: Treatment for OSA is, of course, only effective if the patient is ALL IN. 


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.