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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on July 7th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: July 7, 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.


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ADVOCACY WATCH

Dr. William Dement, Leader in Sleep Disorder Research, Dies at 91
THE NEW YORK TIMES
June 27, 2020

From the obituary: “'Bill Dement was an evangelist about sleep,' Dr. Rafael Pelayo, a Stanford psychiatry professor who succeeded Dr. Dement in leading the sleep class, said in a phone interview. 'He felt that not enough people knew about sleep disorders, and he thought of his students as multipliers who would tell the world about them.'

Takeaway: Dr. Dement was indeed the ultimate sleep health advocate.

CULTURE WATCH

REM Sleep Duration Tied to Mid-Term Mortality Risk
MEDPAGE TODAY
July 6, 2020

From the article: “'Based on this study, REM sleep appears to be a reliable predictor of mortality and may have other predictive health values,' [study author Eileen] Leary, PhD.  Leary told MedPage Today. 'Strategies to preserve REM may influence clinical therapies and reduce mortality risk, particularly for adults with less than 15% REM.'

Takeaway: Seems like good information to share with associated specialists like cardiologists and endocrinologists.

TREND WATCH

Race and Medicine
NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE
June 30, 2020

From the curation: “A selection of articles on race and medicine, with implications for improving patient care, professional training, research, and public health.

Takeaway: As healthcare workers, we will always have learning to do. The NEJM makes it easy to tackle the complex topic of race relations and racism within the healthcare system and ways we can curb it. I'd also recommend this compelling commentary from physician Chase T.M. Anderson, also published in the NEJM.

INDUSTRY WATCH

Do not underestimate the power of spending an extra minute with a patient and family member
KEVIN MD
June 30, 2020

From the blog: “No matter how suboptimal our health care system, bloated our administration, or how behind with time we feel— nothing comes before communicating with our patients. Imagine yourself in that position of feeling vulnerable or sitting at the bedside of the person you love most in the world. How much you’d appreciate that good communication.

Takeaway: Always a great reminder!

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

Can connected technologies improve sleep quality and safety of older adults and care-givers? An evaluation study of sleep monitors and communicative robots at a residential care home in Japan
TECHNOLOGY IN SOCIETY
July 1, 2020

From the research study: “A sheet-shaped body vibrometer (SBV) is a type of assistive technology which offers a constant and noninvasive method of recording and monitoring the physical condition and sleep patterns of care recipients. With the aim of creating a safer environment for both care recipients and caregivers, we connected the SBV to a communicative robot (com-robot), to function as an integrated system.

Takeaway: Hmmm, wouldn't care recipients prefer a human? 

PHARMA WATCH

Cannabinoid therapies in the management of sleep disorders: A systematic review of preclinical and clinical studies.
PHYSICIAN'S WEEKLY
July 2, 2020

From the article: “THC and CBD are known to interact with the endocannabinoid and other neurochemical systems to influence anxiety, mood, autonomic function, and circadian sleep/wake cycle. However, their therapeutic efficacy and safety as treatments for sleep disorders are unclear. The current systematic review assessed the available evidence base using PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Embase, CINAHL and PsycInfo databases.

Takeaway: I appreciate this survey and its resulting prompt for more and better research. So  many unanswered questions linger that need objective evidence to resolve.

SLEEP HYGIENE WATCH

How the Cult of Sleep-Deprivation Affects Work and Mental Health
HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
June 29, 2020

From the podcast trailer: “Many high-powered jobs require people to work long hours and give up sleep, but that can harm your mental health – and your career.

Takeaway: This is a good podcast to listen to. Also, when these topics pop up, I begin to wonder how effective Arianna Huffington was with her 2016 sleep revolution, which was directed at both corporate leaders and college students. It seems only the college students are doing better when it comes to getting enough sleep, and that may only be due to COVID-19!

ETHICS WATCH

No holding back: A novel perspective on the relationship between sleep loss and prejudice
SLEEP
July 2, 2020

From the accepted manuscript: “In an increasingly globalised and diverse world, it is perhaps no surprise that intergroup tensions and conflicts continue to be an important political issue. It remains crucial for researchers to investigate how prejudice and stereotypes develop, how they cognitively and behaviourally manifest, and ultimately what we can do to reduce them. An increasing body of work suggests that sleep has an important part to play in all of these topics.

Takeaway: Timely and relevant to our field... and also ties in nicely with this month's Journal Club, #66: Causes and Consequences of Sleep Health Disparities


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.