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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on July 21st, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: July 21, 2020

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

 

"Sleeping Hummingbird 'Snores' in Peru" [T.R. Forrester, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj5huCuhD_Q]

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

 


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ADVOCACY WATCH

Intimate partner violence, firearms, and sleep disturbances: The influence of coercive control and partner firearm ownership
SLEEP HEALTH
July 16, 2020

From the research study summary: “Independent of other forms of abuse, coercive control was associated with the sleep disturbances index and five of the seven individual sleep items. Ancillary analyses revealed that this association was party explained by post-traumatic stress disorder symptomatology. Moreover, while gun IPV and sleep disturbances were unrelated, partner gun ownership was associated with five of the seven sleep disturbance items.

Takeaway: Just a formalized way to say that women who are victims of intimate partner violence (a form of domestical violence) have additional negative sleep outcomes when they live with someone who owns a gun in the home. 

CULTURE WATCH

Sleep Paralysis and the Monsters Inside Your Mind
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN
July 15, 2020

From the article: “Based on these findings, it appears that the more people fear sleep paralysis, the more they experience it, and the stronger its effects are. What were once thought to be benign, even inventive, beliefs have transformed the disorder, triggering conditioned fear and coloring the content of hallucinations. Anxiety and stress predispose people to an attack, so those who dread it are often more likely to experience it.

Takeaway: As we're coming to understand, the most entrenched beliefs and active dismissal of scientific evidence can work together to create new "realities" for people, maybe even creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

TREND WATCH

Comparing the effect of aromatherapy with peppermint and lavender on the sleep quality of cardiac patients: a randomized controlled trial
SLEEP SCIENCE AND PRACTICE
July 14, 2020

From the research study: “There was a significant difference in the mean score of PSQI in each of the experimental groups before and after the intervention.

Takeaway: It's a small study, but why not support the use of lavender or peppermint aromatherapy in those with heart disease who struggle with sleep? Seems like a harmless adjunct to other more clinical approaches.

INDUSTRY WATCH

For Patients with Epilepsy, Which Obstructive Sleep Apnea Screening Tool Is Best?
SLEEP REVIEW
July 14, 2020

From the article: “Foldvary-Schaefer and her colleagues conducted an investigation to compare several OSA screeners, including the STOP, STOP-Bang, STOPBAG, and the STOPBAG2 (the latter an instrument created in recent years by the Cleveland Clinic). …The resulting abstract, published in Neurology …found that the STOPBAG2 offers greater discriminatory power for predicting all levels of OSA severity in adults with epilepsy compared with other scoring systems.

Takeaway: Finding ways to treat these specific patients begins with reliable screening. People with both epilepsy and OSA can benefit greatly from CPAP usage, which can reduce seizure activity for them. 

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

Upper Airway Stimulation versus Untreated Comparators in Positive Airway Pressure Treatment Refractory Obstructive Sleep Apnea
ATS JOURNALS
July 14, 2020

From the research study: “Women and those with previous oral appliance use had a lower odds of insurance approval [for upper airway stimulation therapy].

Takeaway: What? Technology to treat sleep apnea, including implantables, should be available to all, yes? 

PHARMA WATCH

In France, Zolpidem Prescriptions Down After Secure Prescribing Form Rule Implemented
SLEEP REVIEW 
July 16, 2020

From the research study: “This decline was partially compensated for by a rise in the use of a nonbenzodiazepine drug called zopiclone.

Takeaway: Interestingly, the point of the new rule was to protect against abuse and drug counterfeiting. Time will tell if all the problems that previously came with using zolpidem (Ambien) will ultimately shift onto users of zopiclone.

SLEEP HYGIENE WATCH

Impact of evening alcohol consumption on nocturnal autonomic and cardiovascular function in adult men and women: A dose-response laboratory investigation
SLEEP 
July 14, 2020

From the research study: “Pre-sleep alcohol ingestion resulted in an overall increase in nocturnal heart rate (HR), suppressed total and high-frequency (vagal) HR variability, reduced baroreflex sensitivity, and increased sympathetic activity, with effects pronounced after high-dose alcohol ingestion.

Takeaway: Many patients leave the clinic with a smoking cessation recommendation. Maybe some counseling against the use alcohol at bedtime as a "sleep aid" might be in order for those at high risk for heart problems? 

REGULATORY WATCH

New hours-of-service rule relaxes critical safety regulations
NTSB SAFETY COMPASS
July 13, 2020

From the blog: “Bluntly speaking, the increase in allowable miles from home base for short-haul drivers is a loophole you could drive a truck through.

Takeaway: These changes aren't limited to long-haul drivers, either. That means it could include third-party drivers delivering groceries into neighborhoods. 


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.