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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on December 15th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: December 15, 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.


For the latest information, please check the following resources:


How to Fall Asleep with a Rowdy, Racing ADHD Brain
December 210 2020

From the article: “Sleep difficulties — falling asleep quickly, staying asleep, and waking up on time — go hand-in-hand with ADHD. Theories for inherent sleep problems vary from biological to the behavioral symptoms of ADHD. Learn how to fall asleep reliably by considering these strategies and best practices ranging from taking melatonin to avoiding electronic devices at night.

Takeaway: Mostly the solutions can be boiled down to two words: sleep hygiene.  


Headspace lands a TV deal with Netflix for three original series
December 10, 2020

From the article: “Each of the eight episodes of 'Headspace Guide to Meditation' is 20 minutes long and includes Puddicombe’s narration, accompanying animations and soothing music. The series will be subtitled and dubbed in 30 languages. …Later in the year, Netflix will release the other two series— one called 'Headspace Guide to Sleep' and the other will be an interactive viewing experience.

Takeaway: This move promises to make meditation and sleep hygiene household names, and it couldn't come at a better time.  


The new technology Rutgers football is using to monitor sleep, recovery

December 10, 2020

From the article: “The Rutgers football program has found a new way to help boost its players' performance on the field. …The school announced Thursday that the Scarlet Knights have partnered with Oura Health to provide wearable 'smart rings' that measures data for sleep and recovery with the goal of achieving 'optimal athletic performance.'. …The ring uses biometric data to measure each player's health and performance readiness, according to a release from the school. It tracks sleep by measuring temperature, heart rate, heart rate variability and respiratory rate.

Takeaway: What do you think? Gimmick or useful tool? 


In memoriam: Sleep scientist and RLS expert Richard P. Allen, PhD
December 11, 2020

From the website: “Dr. Allen was a licensed psychologist, fellow of the AASM, diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM), and research associate in neurology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he founded and co-directed the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center. Together with Christopher Earley, MBBCh, PhD, he also jointly founded the Johns Hopkins Center for Restless Legs Syndrome, located at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

Takeaway:  We can credit Dr. Allen with giving us the parameters we currently use to score periodic limb movements. 


First Patient Implanted in Pivotal Trial for Sleep Apnea Neurostimulator
December 9, 2020

From the article: “The DREAM (Dual-sided Hypoglossal neRvE stimulAtion for the treatMent of Obstructive Sleep Apnea) study is a pivotal, Investigational Device Exemption trial designed to support the marketing authorization of the Genio system in the United States. This multicenter, prospective, open-label, observational study will enroll 134 patients, who will undergo the implantation procedure in up to 26 centers worldwide including sites in the United States, Germany, Belgium, and Australia.

Takeaway: This therapy is intended for those patients who are currently excluded from the current hypoglossal neurostimulation treatment option, Inspire, 


European Commission Fines Teva & Cephalon for Delaying Entry of Generic Modafinil
December 9, 2020

From the blog: “The European Commission has fined the pharmaceutical companies Teva and Cephalon €60.5 million (~US$73 million) for agreeing to delay for several years the market entry of a cheaper generic version of Cephalon’s drug for sleep disorders, modafinil, after Cephalon’s main patents had expired. The agreement was concluded well before Cephalon became a subsidiary of Teva. The agreement violated EU antitrust rules and caused substantial harm to European Union patients and healthcare systems by keeping prices high for modafinil.

Takeaway: Investigators describe the agreement between Teva and Cephalon as a "pay-for-delay" strategy that left Teva behind in the competition.


Pre- and Post-Epileptic Spasm Brain Resembles the NREM Sleep Brain on EEG
December 14, 2020

From the article: “Based on these results, the team concluded the activity of the pyramidal cells in the neocortex before and during a spasm closely mirror slow oscillation waves that are common during NREM sleep, with a slight twist—animals prone to spasms had much more intense or exaggerated activity during the 'up' state, which triggered subsequent spasms.

Takeaway: This is, no doubt, interesting to any sleep technologist who has looked at NREM wondering whether they've actually spotted an epileptiform pattern instead. 


Here's how I hacked my sleep routine in 21 days
December 7, 2020

From the column: “I decided to try two things in an attempt to hack my sleep routine so that I might be able to make it through the night without waking up like the apparent infant baby I am. In fact, I found that tools parents use to put their babies to sleep worked for me as well.

Takeaway: I love that more people who are trying to sleep better aren't just relying on some over-the-counter drug.


CMS releases proposed rule on prior authorization and patient access to electronic health information
December 11, 2020

From the website: “On Dec. 10, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule citing potential reductions in provider and patient burden by improving prior authorization processes and increasing patient access to electronic health information. …Comments in response to the proposed rule can be submitted to CMS until 5 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2021. AASM staff will review the rule in its entirety and will work with AASM volunteers and leadership to submit comments on behalf of the AASM membership.

Takeaway: Always something to stay on top of! 

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.