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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on June 30th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: June 30, 2020

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

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Happy Independence Day
to AAST's US members!

Stay safe this holiday weekend!

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



For the latest information, please check the following resources :


Sleep disturbance and psychiatric disorders
June 15, 2020

From the research summary: It is argued that insomnia and other mental health conditions not only share common causes but also show a bidirectional relationship, with typically the strongest pathway being disrupted sleep as a causal factor in the occurrence of other psychiatric problems. 

Takeaway: What this will look like in the future as the pandemic persists is anybody's guess. It's in our best interests as sleep technologists to be prepared.


Racial differences in sleep duration intersect with sex, socioeconomic status, and U.S. geographic region: The REGARDS study
June 26, 2020

From the research paper abstract: “Short and long sleep duration are associated with poor health outcomes and are most prevalent among racial/ethnic minorities. Few studies have investigated the intersection of other sociodemographic characteristics with race/ethnicity on sleep duration prevalence.

Takeaway: Is it any wonder that people of color don't sleep well? Check out next month's AAST Journal Club to learn more about the root causes of sleep health problems in this particular population.


Help patients adjust to telehealth by remembering the human touch
June 23, 2020

From the feature: Jen Horonjeff, PhD, founder and CEO of Savvy Cooperative: “Sometimes, one of the biggest burdens of [being] a patient [is] we throw all this stuff at them, and it was never designed together. …And then we call them noncompliant because they're not using it, but we haven't designed it in such a way that they can seamlessly interact with it.

Takeaway: Patience with our patients and ourselves in this new wilderness of sleep telemedicine is required if we're going to make these new tools in telehealth work for all concerned.


PearsonVue Test Centers have reopened
June 23, 2020

From the website: “The status of our global test delivery is changing rapidly due to the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions about test center operations in accordance with government and local authorities. Please check this page often for frequent updates.

Takeaway: If you aren't sure if your location has remained open since this announcement a week ago, you'll need to visit this link or check your local or assigned test center site for updates.


Why You Should Use A White Noise Machine This Fourth of July
June 27, 2020

From the blog: “White noise is a great tool you can leverage to help block out loud noises and create a quiet and peaceful sleep environment. Research indicates white noise machines can help people in loud environments get nearly 50% more sleep on average each night than those not using white noise machines.

Takeaway: I wonder if these would work for pets, too?


Current and potential pharmacological treatment options for insomnia in patients with alcohol use disorder in recovery
June 15, 2020

From the article: “Emerging data suggest that excessive and chronic alcohol use disrupts sleep homeostasis and, in abstinence, subjects with AUD [alcohol use disorder] are known to experience insomnia that may persist for weeks to years, which we propose to refer to as insomnia associated with alcohol cessation (IAAC).

Takeaway: This is interesting, as sleep problems occur frequently in people who experience  withdrawals from other kinds of drugs during recovery. 


Can Bad Posture Take a Toll On Your Sleep?
June 26, 2020

From the article: “What's your preferred sleeping position? Are you a devoted side sleeper, back sleeper, stomach sleeper? It's a personal preference and a hard habit to break, especially if you've snoozed this way for as long as you can remember. But different sleeping positions can take different tolls on your body—and, as a result, your sleep quality, says [R. Alexandra Duma, D.C., a Team USA sports chiropractor at FICS, a high-tech fitness recovery and wellness studio in New York City].

Takeaway: Pain will always be an enemy of sleep. The more conscious patients are of their postures at bedtime (and even, this author argues, during the day), the more likely they can make adjustments to their body position to achieve better sleep. 


Sleep and sleepiness in shift-working tram drivers
June 16, 2020

From the research summary: “[S]leepiness in urban public transport remains an understudied subject. To fill this gap, we examined the sleepiness, sleep, and on-duty sleepiness countermeasures (SCMs) in 23 tram drivers working morning, day, and evening shifts for three weeks.

Takeaway: Not-so-fun fact—it wasn't just the third shift drivers who were excessively sleepy.

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.