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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on December 22nd, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: December 22, 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.

Happy New Year

While  You Were Sleeping will return on January 5, 2021.


PANDEMIC QUICK LINKS

For the latest information, please check the following resources:


ADVOCACY WATCH

Sleep During Menopausal Transition: A 10-year Follow-Up
SLEEP
December 16, 2020

From the research study abstract: “This study suggests that PSG measured sleep of middle-aged women does not worsen over a 10-year time span due to menopausal transition. The observed changes seem to be rather age- than menopause-dependent.

Takeaway: It's easy to blame menopause for many female health issues, but this (small) study seems to negate that assumption.   

CULTURE WATCH

Sci-Fi Series INSOMNIA Will Premiere on Crackle
BROADWAY WORLD
December 17, 2020

From the article: “Set in the streets of Moscow, Russia, the eight-part series chronicles the story of twenty strangers from around the globe who are forced to play the ultimate game of life and death. There can only be one winner and time is of the essence. Injected with a poison that will stop their heart if they fall asleep, contestants must kill or be killed for the antidote and a new life.

Takeaway: Sleep Hunger… Games?  

TREND WATCH

The Dangers of “Sleep Machismo” Culture
PSYCHOLOGY TODAY

December 18, 2020

From the column: “We live in a competitive, masculine society in which sleep is deemed for the weak. The notion that getting less than the recommended amount of sleep signals something positive about an individual is a cultural misstatement. For example, President Donald Trump has boasted about getting less than four hours of sleep per night and regularly derogates President-elect Joe Biden as 'Sleepy Joe.'

Takeaway: It does seem like there is far less of this "sleep machismo" today than there was even five years ago, possibly due to the work of Arianna Huffington, which focused on workplace fatigue and sleep health as a factor in employee performance. Still, it's something we need to talk about, especially within the context this columnist describes. 

INDUSTRY WATCH

Sleep lab pays over $150,000 to resolve false billing claims
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
December 17, 2020

From the press release: “Medicare rules and regulations require that properly-trained and certified sleep technicians administer sleep studies. However, from Jan. 1, 2015, through July 15, 2019, Apnix improperly billed and received payment for sleep studies when they did not have the properly-trained and certified personnel present.

Takeaway:  One of the best reasons to register as a sleep technologist (RPSGT). 

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

Recognition of ASAA SleepHealth Mobile App Study
AMERICAN SLEEP APNEA ASSOCIATION 
December 16, 2020

From the blog: “After a long year of unexpected pitfalls, pivots and hardships the recent publication of this article has been a welcome and inspirational event. For more in-depth information about the study and the results follow the link."→  Real-world longitudinal data collected from the SleepHealth mobile app study | Scientific Data (nature.com)

Takeaway: In full disclosure, I used to work for the ASAA and this has been a big challenge for the nonprofit for quite some time, so it's great to see them receiving some well earned attention and accolades. 

PHARMA WATCH

Manufacturing Japan's Kobayashi Kako admits manufacturing mix-up led to patient's death
FIERCE PHARMA
December 16, 2020

From the article: “A 'grave' manufacturing error in Japan tainted antifungal tablets with high doses of a sleep medication, leading to the death of one woman in her 70s and side effects in hundreds more people. …Kobayashi Kako, the drugmaker behind the mix-up, said employees may have failed to follow company procedure when removing and mixing ingredients for the two highly divergent drugs, Osaka newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported. The woman passed away Dec. 10 at a Tokyo-area hospital after taking Kobayashi's antifungal drug Itraconazole 50 Meek, the newspaper said.

Takeaway: The sleep drug in the mixup was Rhythmy (rilmazafone hydrochloride hydrate).

COMORBID WATCH 

Biological pathways underlying the association between habitual long-sleep and elevated cardiovascular risk in adults
SLEEP MEDICINE
December 14, 2020

From the research study abstract: “This review will focus on summarizing the literature investigating the mechanisms underlying the association between habitual long sleep duration and cardiovascular risk. We will also propose the mechanistic pathways, distinct from the ones for short sleep, by which habitual long sleep can increase cardiovascular disease.

Takeaway: Here's where the intersection between heart disease and metabolic disease intersects. 

SLEEP HYGIENE WATCH

Sleep Yoga May Be The Answer To Your COVID Insomnia
REFINERY 29
December 15, 2020

From the article: “Sleep yoga is a form of deep relaxation meditation, explains Hilary Jackendoff, a Los Angeles-based yoga nidra and meditation teacher. 'In yoga nidra, we're seeking to disengage entirely from the senses in the same way that we do during sleep,' she says. 'That's part of how it trains you to sleep more deeply, and reduces sleep-onset insomnia.'

Takeaway: Just the breathing aspect of yoga at bedtime can be an effective sleep aid (my opinion).

REGULATORY WATCH

NJ Transit Meets Train Control Deadline Years After Hoboken Crash
PATCH || HOBOKEN, NJ
December 18, 2020

From the article: “On Sept. 29, 2016, a speeding NJ Transit train crashed into the end of the line at Hoboken terminal, causing debris to rain down and kill a young mother. The mother, Fabiola de Kroon, had just dropped her toddler daughter at day care in Hoboken and was about to commute to work in New York. …An investigation determined that the conductor's sleep apnea may have paid a part in the crash. He was ultimately rehired by the transit agency, but with conditions.

Takeaway: The cogs of change grind slowly.


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.