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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on May 26th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: May 26, 2020

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping pelican

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



Find a Mattress Without Harmful Chemicals
May 18, 2020

From the article: “You know that chemical smell you sometimes get with a new mattress when you pierce the plastic wrapping? …That’s due to volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that are in the solvents used in the manufacturing process. And they’re bad news for you as well as the environment. …VOCs are linked to respiratory illnesses and memory impairment, and they contribute to pollution in the form of ozone and smog, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Takeaway: A relevant topic as we pass by what is normally a huge mattress sales weekend.


Why going to sleep before midnight is so important
May 19, 2020

From the beauty feature: “According to Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan, sleep expert and author of Tired But Wired: The Essential Sleep Toolkit, it's the specific hours during which we're sleeping that prove just as important as the actual sum of hours we sleep.

Takeaway: Call me crazy, but midnight seems awfully late as a normal bedtime for someone who typically works at 9am (if we are to use the general assumption that most people are 9-to-5ers).


Trends in the use of medications with insomnia side effects and the implications for insomnia among US adults
May 15, 2020

From the research article summary: “These findings highlight the need for insomnia screenings among patients who consume medications with insomnia side effects. They also emphasize the increased risks of insomnia associated with polypharmacy.

Takeaway: Polypharmacy is certainly nothing new among our patients!   


National Sleep Foundation CEO David Cloud to Step Down
May 19, 2020

From the article: “National Sleep Foundation (NSF) CEO David Cloud will step down at the end of the year after leading the organization for 13 years. During his tenure, NSF transformed its programs and websites, pioneered sleep technology standards, developed its public sleep guidelines, and launched an award-winning journal. He leaves the NSF with $13 million in reserves, an amount the NSF characterizes as 'healthy.'

Takeaway: Cloud's presence at the NSF was apparent and he will be missed.


The effect of in-lab polysomnography and home sleep polygraphy on sleep position
May 16, 2020

From the research study abstract: “Little is known regarding the influence of in-laboratory polysomnography (PSG) equipment on sleep position, especially on the prevalence of supine positioning, which in many cases may lead to a more severe sleep apnea diagnosis. The aim of this study was to assess the percentage of supine sleep during an in-laboratory PSG compared to that seen during a home sleep apnea test (HSAT).

Takeaway: Interesting point of comparison here, in case you were wondering how the two tests compare based on position alone.


'It's way better than taking sleeping pills': Jane Fonda reveals she uses a weed pen to help her drift off at night
May 19, 2020

From the article: “'I use a pen that limits how many doses you get, which is way better than taking sleeping pills. …However, I have osteoarthritis, so things that help with pain and inflammation are good.'

Takeaway: Is smoking a drug "way better" than taking sleeping pills? 


A Circuit Encoding Absolute Cold Temperature in Drosophila
May 21, 2020

From the article: “Alpert et al. uncover a specialized circuit, from sensory neurons to higher brain centers that processes information about absolute cold temperature in Drosophila. This circuit directly connects thermosensory neurons of the antenna with circadian and sleep centers in the brain, adapting sleep and activity specifically to cold conditions.

Takeaway: Core body temperature has a major influence over both our ability to fall asleep at night and to get out of bed in the morning.


Investigation: Driver fell asleep at the wheel
May 21, 2020

From the article: The driver was cited for second-degree negligent driving. …Gleese was wearing his seatbelt, and neither drugs nor alcohol were involved, patrol records show.

Takeaway: It's interesting to hear that while there are fewer drivers right now due to the pandemic, that in some states the auto fatality rates are rising. I can only speculate, but might not those rising fatality rates be linked to drowsy driving? I mean, who is sleeping well these days? Anybody? Bueller? 

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.