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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on February 4th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: February 4, 2020

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping yellow lab

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


Good sleep practices may boost performance in older shift workers
January 31, 2020

From the press release: “Older people working nights may feel more alert and sleep longer if they stay up longer after getting off work, then stay in bed for a full eight hours, waking up closer to the start of their shift, a small trial suggests.

Takeaway: Here are some tips for those long timers among us working nights. 


Macalester College’s ‘Sleep Well Initiative’ emphasizes mental health benefits of sleep
February 3, 2020

From the article: “When Broek started the Sleep Well Initiative, the national conversation around sleep on campus was focused on stress reduction. In the decade since, campus mental health experts have come to view sleep education as a form of prevention, a way of helping students build the strength needed to weather the challenges of college life. …'Mental health is about resilience and self-care,' Broek said. 'Not to say that if you have a diagnosable mental illness you don’t need to get appropriate care, but getting ahead of it with programs like this one is a good way to help students maintain a more even balance.'

Takeaway: I hope this focus on sleep's connection to mental health spreads beyond campuses; it's such a big link and it sure seems like nobody notices. 


Circadian health and wellness sabbaticals are set to be big trends in 2020
January 31, 2020

From the article: “Expect any conversation or product launch focused on sleep to emphasise the importance of circadian rhythms, the roughly 24-hour cycle of living things. This won’t just be for sleep, mind you. You’ll also spot more people taking on the circadian diet or working with their circadian rhythms to be more productive.

Takeaway: I'm doing a Snoopy Dance reading this, just sayin'.


Untreated Sleep Apnea Takes Heavy Medical, Financial Toll on Older Patients
January 28, 2020

From the website: “Study authors suggest that insurers, legislators, and health systems consider routine screening for OSA in older patients—especially those with medical and psychiatric comorbidities—to better contain costs. 'The good news is that highly effective diagnostic and treatment strategies are available. Our team is currently using big data approaches as well as highly personalized sleep disorder treatments to improve outcomes and reduce costs associated with sleep disorders,' Wickwire said.

Takeaway: Money drives a lot of decision making. Maybe hospitals will see this research as yet more reason to push for a sleep navigator program


Top Sleep Technology Trends For 2020
February 1, 2020

From the article: “One of the biggest growth areas for CES in recent years has undoubtedly been sleep technology, with the growing phenomenon getting its own sector on the massive show floor this year. …The area was full of new tech ideas designed to help people get a better night’s sleep and ultimately improve their quality of life. Read on as we look at the some of the latest sleep tech trends.

Takeaway: New developments in sleep headbands, smart beds, tracking watches, and bracelets designed to adjust your core body temperature. Whatever will they think of next?


Prescribing Info Update: Belsomra Improves Total Sleep Time, WASO in Study of Mild-to-Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease Patients
February 3, 2020

From the article: “Merck has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an update to the prescribing information for BELSOMRA (suvorexant) C-IV to include findings on its use for the treatment of insomnia in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. BELSOMRA is indicated for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulties with sleep onset and/or sleep maintenance.

Takeaway: Let's hope this will help some more folks get the sleep they need to slow the progress of their Alzheimer's disease.  


Dad ‘killed four-month old baby son by adding powerful sleeping drug to his milk to stop him crying’
February 3, 2020

From the article: “The Russian Investigative Committee said that detailed forensic analysis found Batogov had secretly added insomnia drug Donormyl as a powder to the baby’s formula.
Donormyl is a prescription drug in Russia. …Overdose of the drug can lead to hallucinations, convulsions, renal failure, coma and death. …The court was told little Bogdan died from 'acute poisoning' after consuming a dose of Donormyl higher than that recommended for an adult.'

Takeaway: Why do people think medications prescribed for adults are safe to give to children? I'm no fan of The Sun (it's a bit tabloid for me), but this story isn't likely only happening in Russia because we all know how people just do not understand basic biology, no matter where they live.


Recalls announced for more than 165,000 life-threatening infant sleepers
January 29, 2020

From the press release: “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that four companies have issued recalls for their inclined infant sleepers. Since their introduction, inclined sleepers have led to at least 73 infant deaths and pose a serious suffocation threat to babies. Despite these dangers and continuous advocacy from consumer groups, concerned parents and medical experts, some of these products still remain for sale.

Takeaway: Personally, I've often wondered whether these inclined sleepers were hazardous after becoming a sleep technologist. I know I have trouble breathing when I'm in the dentist's chair at just the right (wrong) angle; these babies have no way to adjust their position to breathe better.


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.