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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on May 12th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: May 12, 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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Coming Friday May 15, 2020
Save the Date: AWAKEtogether Summit 2020
May 4, 2020

From the invitation: “As in previous year’s AWAKE Sleep Apnea Initiative and Summits, we will pursue our in-depth exploration of sleep apnea patient experiences. Once again, engaged patient panelists will share their experiences. Just this year you can enjoy the event and participate as you wish from the comfort of your home.

Takeaway: If you have some down time, this might be a good event to attend online to remain connected to patient realities and experiences when it comes to sleep apnea diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment challenges.


NFL Players Diagnosed with CTE May Actually Have Sleep Apnea Or Other Treatable Disorders
May 4, 2020

From the article: “Even though the results are based on player self-reports rather than on documented clinical diagnoses, the researchers say their findings are alarming for a number of reasons. …First, CTE is a post-mortem diagnosis and cannot be diagnosed definitively in living individuals. Second, an erroneous, or clinically unverifiable, diagnosis of CTE could obscure the role of other treatable conditions common among former football players that could cause a cluster of cognitive and behavioral symptoms mimicking CTE. Third, delivering a verdict of an untreatable disease could render patients hopeless, discouraging them from pursuing healthy behaviors and focusing on modifiable risk factors and conditions that may give rise to symptoms attributed to CTE.

Takeaway: These may provide more reliable and realistic measures of OSA-linked blood oxygen desaturation compared to some of the wearable consumer sleep technologies. 


Automated Method for Detecting Acute Insomnia Using Multi-Night Actigraphy Data
May 4, 2020

From the research study summary: “In this paper we propose a new machine learning model for classification of nocturnal awakenings in acute insomnia and normal sleep. The model does not require sleep diaries or any other subjective information from the individuals who took part of the study. It is based on nocturnal actigraphy collected from pre-medicated individuals with acute insomnia and normal sleep controls. …The developed model provides a signature of the condition of acute insomnia obtained from actigraphy only and is very promising as a tool to detect the condition in a non-invasive way and without sleep diaries or any other subjective information.

Takeaway: The more objectively researchers can identify and measure insomnia, the more effective they can be in revealing root causes and choosing proper treatments.


Takuo Aoyagi, an Inventor of the Pulse Oximeter, Dies at 84
May 1, 2020

From the article: “By devising a mathematical formula to cancel out this 'pulsatile noise,' he created a device that measured oxygen levels with greater accuracy than before.

Takeaway: The evolution of this common PSG device is pretty interesting. 


A pilot study of the ‘PSGCloud’ — A cloud-based care service delivery and sleep disorders diagnosis system. Part I: Sleep structure and arousal analysis
May 5, 2020

From the article: “This study aims to explore the effectiveness of our proposed innovative PSGCloud system in providing or enhancing primary care institutions with sleep medicine service capabilities. We will introduce the entire study through a series of three research papers: this first one focuses on sleep structure and arousal analysis, and the other two ensuing papers will cover respiratory as well as limb movement issue, respectively.

Takeaway: These may provide more reliable and realistic measures of OSA-linked blood oxygen desaturation compared to some of the wearable consumer sleep technologies.


Pitolisant for Daytime Sleepiness in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Who Refuse Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Treatment. A Randomized Trial
May 1, 2020

From the research study: “Pitolisant significantly reduced self-reported daytime sleepiness and fatigue and improved patient-reported outcomes and physician disease severity assessment in sleepy patients with obstructive sleep apnea refusing or nonadherent to continuous positive airway pressure.

Takeaway: Maybe I'm wrong here, but this seems like a Band-Aid approach to a much more serious problem.


The Effects of Presleep Slow Breathing and Music Listening on Polysomnographic Sleep Measures – a pilot trial
May 4, 2020

From the research study: “[R]ecent research has demonstrated that slow breathing performed before or at bedtime can improve sleep as measured by polysomnography (PSG).

Takeaway: Not that my experience is anything but anecdotal, but it works for me and when I've had patients practice it prior to a split-night mask application, it seems to work just about every time.


Driver unharmed after falling asleep and crashing into Arkansas River
May 10, 2020

From the article: Colorado Parks and Wildlife: “The Arkansas Headwaters Colorado Parks and Wildlife river rangers felt lucky because the SUV landed upright and no fluids escaped to threaten the fishery.

Takeaway: The bad fishing puns are worth the click alone.

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.