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Blog Feature

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

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: February 18, 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.


Sleep Problems in Children, Teens with Autism Are Focus of New AAN Guideline
February 12, 2020

From the press release: “The guideline addressed four types of sleep problems: refusing to go to bed, stalling, or needing a parent or caregiver present until the child falls asleep; trouble falling asleep and staying asleep; sleeping for only short periods of time or not getting enough total sleep each night; and daytime behavior problems associated with insufficient sleep at night.

Takeaway: I think this is a great step forward for parents and healthcare providers who are burdened with finding solutions to these daily concerns.  


Sleep deprivation in an American homeless population
February 13, 2020

From the research study abstract: “Seventy-five percent of participants report getting less than the 7-9 recommended hours of sleep per night. Participants scored almost one standard deviation above the mean on both PROMIS measures demonstrating greater fatigue and sleep disturbance as compared with the general population.

Takeaway: The results aren't surprising; what's surprising is the lack of discussion about sleep health as part of psychiatric health and well being in this population. 


I'm desperate for sleep – but endless insomnia advice is keeping me awake
February 13, 2020

From the column: “Discussions of sleep and sleeplessness are everywhere I look and I swear they make my insomnia worse.

Takeaway: I think there's something to this. I see it as making some progress… at least people are more aware that their nightly sleeplessness is not only not normal but also something to be concerned about. Now we, as sleep health professionals, need to carry that awareness further by shining the light on possible solutions. Let's face it, it's not enough to just say "sleep more and better." 


How serving LGBTQ patients teaches valuable lessons on patient experience and the practice of medicine
February 13, 2020

From the column: “Our organization’s experience serving our LGBTQ patients has taught us valuable lessons and reminds us that every detail counts, from the check-in process to our new lanyards with rainbows. We must meet people exactly where they are—even if they don’t fit into a neat little box or category.

Takeaway: Remember, as healthcare workers, it's our job to provide the same quality of care to all patients regardless of who they are.  


How Ultrasounds Could Change How Patients Are Screened for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
February 11, 2020

From the article: “How would the field of sleep medicine change if objective airway evaluation could happen in just a few minutes while a patient is awake?

Takeaway: Well, what's your answer? What would happen to the field of polysomnography?


A New Jetlag Drug? Scientists Create Selective Molecules to Bind to MT1 Receptors
February 12, 2020

From the article: Researcher Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD: “Giving these new molecules at the appropriate clock time under a light/dark cycle would allow us to decelerate our ability to adjust to the new environment, potentially providing a treatment for certain types of jet lag and, more importantly, addressing other conditions affected by circadian rhythm disruptions, such as shift work, sleep disorders, and depression.

Takeaway: I could imagine this as part of the daily ritual of a shift worker beyond sleeping and eating.    


Effect of restricting bedtime mobile phone use on sleep, arousal, mood, and working memory: A randomized pilot trial
February 10, 2020

From the research study: “in our study, we aimed to investigate the effects of restricting mobile phone use before bedtime in college students who have a habit of using a mobile phone before sleep and thus have poor sleep quality. We hypothesized that the restriction of mobile phone use will help reduce pre-sleep arousal, enable early sleep, and regulate a healthier sleep with good sleep quality. Additionally, we presumed that sleep will mediate mood and cognitive performances.

Takeaway: University campuses are desperate to figure out how best to help their students sleep better not only for better academic outcomes, but for behavioral and mood improvements as well.  


Mysteries of Sleep (premieres February 26, 2020)
February 10, 2020

From the website: “From fruit flies to whales, virtually every animal sleeps. But why? Why do we need to spend nearly a third of our lives in such a defenseless state? Scientists are peering more deeply into the sleeping brain than ever before, discovering just how powerful sleep can be, playing a role in everything from memory retention and emotional regulation to removing waste from our brains. So why are we getting so little of it?

Takeaway: It's been a while since there's been a good sleep health program on TV. I hope this one will update for a general audience the neuroscience that is changing how we perceive the biological role of sleep. 

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 two chronic illness patient advocacy publishers, and contributes the Journal Club continued education presentations for the AAST. She can be reached at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com.