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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on December 1st, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: December 1, 2020

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping polar bear with hat (2)

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

Determinants of postpartum sleep duration and sleep efficiency in minority women
SLEEP
November 21, 2020

From the article: “Findings may inform interventions for improving postpartum sleep in socioeconomically disadvantaged, racial/ethnic minority postpartum women.

Takeaway: If you work with pregnant or postpartum mothers of color, these findings are relevant to the patient education aspect of your job as a sleep technologist. You can really make a difference by helping these mothers reclaim their sleep.  

CULTURE WATCH

New E-Commerce Shop, Sleeplay, Aims to Disrupt the World of Sleep Apnea
CISION PR WEB
November 23, 2020

From the press release: “Sleeplay is a new CPAP shop for all things sleep, wellness and comfort. Focused on providing customers with an easy-to-use site and convenient features like complimentary equipment troubleshooting and digital prescription uploads, Sleeplay’s one-stop shop houses life-changing equipment and accessories that aid the 22 million adult Americans challenged with sleep apnea and other related medical issues. Sleeplay removes the headache and hassle in discovering high-quality products by connecting customers with experts to help understand their diagnosis and achieve the deepest, best sleep possible.

Takeaway: On the one hand, it's great that patients have an easy access place to get their products and support. On the other hand, it would be so much better if they just visited their sleep centers for the same things, right? Sigh. 

TREND WATCH

Sleep health of incoming Army trainees and how it changes during basic combat training
SLEEP HEALTH
November 23, 2020

From the research study summary: “At baseline, trainees reported an average sleep duration of 7.65 ± 1.68 hours per night, with 81.8% rating their sleep quality as 'Very Good or Fairly Good.' …Reported sleep duration was significantly less during BCT (6.73 ± 0.90 hours) compared to baseline ( P< .001).

Takeaway: The trend toward research to uncover sources for poor sleep among military personnel (whether during training, while active, or as veterans) is ongoing but incredibly important. We should all hope our troops are getting enough quality sleep to not only do their jobs efficiently and effectively, but for the purpose of recovering from any physical and mental injuries they might experience while on the job.

INDUSTRY WATCH

WEBINAR: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on OSA Treatment with Inspire for CPAP-intolerant Patients
SLEEP REVIEW
November 18, 2020

From the EventBrite registration page: “Join us for a free webinar to discuss treating sleep apnea patients with Inspire, an exciting new therapy for OSA patients struggling with CPAP. Inspire is a titratable therapy that works inside the body by delivering mild stimulation to restore muscle tone in the upper airway, significantly reducing AHI events.

Takeaway: Still don't know much about Inspire? Here's a good place to start. Sign up for the event now, which takes place online on December 15 from 10-11am Pacific. 

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

A New K-Complex Automated Scoring Tool Is Available to Sleep Researchers
SLEEP REVIEW
November 25, 2020

From the article: “K-complexes occur roughly every two minutes during sleep, so are too labor-intensive for routine sleep scoring. (If K-complexes were considered, Flinders estimates it would take an expert sleep technician approximately 0.5 to 1.5 hours longer to score one sleep study.)

Takeaway: A great case of technology making life easier for people on the job.

PHARMA WATCH

First Patient Dosed in Sleep Apnea Pill Phase 2 Clinical Trial
SLEEP REVIEW
November 24, 2020

From Apnimed CEO, Larry Miller: There is a clear unmet need for an approach that addresses the underlying cause of OSA. Evidence from earlier proof-of-concept studies demonstrated the potential of our oral therapy as an option for the treatment of OSA. We anticipate data from this Phase 2 study in the first half of 2021 and plan to move forward into a Phase 3 registrational study in 2021.”

Takeaway: This is not a repeat from last week, it's yet another pharmaceutical company testing yet another drug as a potential OSA treatment. 

COMORBID WATCH 

The Link Between Sleep And Cardiovascular Health
ALASKA SLEEP EDUCATION CENTER
November 22, 2020

From the blog: “'We have discovered that sleep helps to regulate the production in the bone marrow of inflammatory cells and the health of blood vessels and that, conversely, sleep disruption breaks down control of inflammatory cell production, leading to more inflammation and more heart disease,' said lead researcher, [Filip K.] Swirski.

Takeaway: It all comes down to one word and concept: inflammation.

SLEEP HYGIENE WATCH

Higher Dose 'Z-Drugs' Tied to Serious Risks in Dementia Patients
MEDSCAPE
November 25, 2020

From the article: “Fractures, falls, and stroke are all risks for patients with dementia who take higher dose 'Z-drugs,' including zopiclone, zaleplon, and zolpidem for sleep disturbances, results of a large observational study show.

Takeaway: As we age, we take on a kinds of new health risks, and age-related problems like dementia complicate matters. Maybe there will come a day when the need for Z-drugs for sleep in our seniors is no longer the popular option they have for getting the sleep they need to stay healthy.

REGULATION WATCH

CMS final rule implements changes to the Stark Law
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE
November 13, 2020

From the website: “The final rule, Modernizing and Clarifying the Physician Self-Referral Regulations, will be published in the Federal Register on Dec. 2. Additional details are provided in a CMS fact sheet. CMS indicates that provisions in the final rule will go into effect 60 days from the rule’s display date in the Federal Register. The AASM is reviewing the final rule and will provide an analysis for members.

Takeaway: You can read the unpublished rule language for yourself by clicking the link. 

Bonus content
SOCIAL MEDIA WATCH

Extra topping? Moment Subway worker falls asleep and slumps face-first into the sandwich she is making
DAILY MAIL
November 23, 2020

From the video landing page: “The video, which is believed to be filmed in Chicago, has over 12 million views.

Takeaway: At least she's not driving a 16-wheeler, right?  


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 chronic illness patient advocacy publishers, and produces 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.