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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on March 24th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: March 24, 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.


For the latest information, please check the following resources :


Sleep Health in Women of Childbearing Age
March 17, 2020

From the abstract: “At least 40% of women of childbearing age report inadequate sleep, and sleep is associated with short- and long-term health and performance outcomes.

Takeaway: More research into the sleep health of younger women is still sorely needed.  


Fighting fatigue: A conceptual model of driver sleep in the gig economy
March 20, 2020

From the research summary: “This is the first paper to provide a broad understanding of how scientists, through both research and practice, can help improve sleep, a primary issue in the ridesharing industry.

Takeaway: Glad to see this concern is top of mind among researchers. I have personally had to talk awake a rideshare driver!


Getting too little—or too muchsleep may be bad for the heart
March 10, 2020

From the research summary: “ 'The message, based on our findings, is sleep well, but not too well. Getting too little sleep appears bad for your health but too much seems to be harmful as well,' said Evangelos Oikonomou, MD, consultant cardiologist and the study's lead author.

Takeaway: More isn't always better.


In Memoriam: Mark Mahowald, MD (1937 – 2020)
March 19, 2020

From the article: “Together with his colleague, Carlos Schenck, MD, Dr. Mahowald identified and studied numerous parasomnias, including sleep terrors, sleepwalking, sleep violence, sleep-related eating disorder, and sleep paralysis. He also was a consultant for Sleep Forensics Associates, serving as a resource to the law enforcement and legal communities. …Dr. Mahowald and Dr. Schenck may be best known for their 1986 publication, “Chronic behavioral disorders of human REM sleep: a new category of parasomnia,” which identified REM sleep behavior disorder.

Takeaway: RIP to Dr. Mahowald, a sleep medicine research "founding father" who spent his entire career sussing out unusual sleep disorders and behaviors.  


AG Industries Launches Pediatric Full Face CPAP Mask
March 17, 2020

From the article: “The Nonny full face mask includes a 3D mask cushion, forehead support, and an air vent that the company says minimizes noise and enables efficient CO2 washout. The mask comes in a variety of sizes with two additional extension straps.

Takeaway: Good news for the growing pediatric sleep technology community.


Sleep supplements aren't a cure for bad sleep habits, sleep doctor says
March 19, 2020

From the article: “The specific concern that [sleep medicine specialist] Hussam Al-Sharif MD [Mayo Clinic, Eau Claire, WI) has is that people are using a sleep aid for the wrong reason. For example, if someone has undiagnosed sleep apnea and turns to sleep supplements to fix their unrestful nights, it's not going to help the problem much. Any improvement in sleep quality will only mask the underlying issue, delaying the correct treatment of using a CPAP machine.

Takeaway: Considering how many cases of treatment-resistant insomnia turn out to be hidden cases of untreated sleep apnea, this makes a fair amount of sense.


Evening and night exposure to screens of media devices and its association with subjectively perceived sleep: Should “light hygiene” be given more attention?
March 18, 2020

From the article: “Results suggest that light hygiene in [the] general population should be given more attention not only in the context of clinical sleep medicine but also in the realm of public health.

Takeaway: I'm not sure people will be willing to put their phones down at bedtime these days, but doing so might a/help them sleep better, b/reduce their anxiety, c/bolster their immune system, and d/protect their circadian systems. 


The Lockout: Why Uber Drivers in NYC Are Sleeping in Their Cars
March 19, 2020

From the article: “Almost immediately, ride-hail apps tried and failed to challenge these regulations in court. Over the past nine months, however, they have successfully undercut these rules with a new tiered quota system for drivers. In an attempt to avoid having drivers collecting wages while being underutilized by riders, Uber and Lyft have restricted the number of drivers who can log on at any given time, with preference given to drivers who drive the most. …Ever since these changes were first introduced, Tariq has been sleeping in his car to meet the quotas. It’s not that he’s homeless. Because he has fallen below the top tier of drivers, he tries to be in his car constantly, even if he’s not being paid, so that if he’s suddenly allowed to log on, he can take advantage and have a better chance of moving up the tier system.

Takeaway: Not exactly great sleep hygiene here and who can even predict how sleeping in one's car might impact his driving performance?

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.