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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on May 5th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: May 5, 2020

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping toucan

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


⇒ SPECIAL: COVID-19 SURVEY (Tufts Clinical
and Translational Science Institute)

The purpose of this study is to obtain information
about the views of healthcare providers in sleep
medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For the latest information, please check the following resources :


The Strong Relationship Between Sleep and Suicide
April 30, 2020

From the article: “One reason that this sleep-suicide relationship is so important is that sleep disorders represent a modifiable risk factor. As noted a decade ago, several sleep medicine interventions can potentially make a difference in the lives of individuals who may be on a trajectory to suicide.

Takeaway: The explosion of mental health and insomnia content right now on the web in the shadow of the pandemic offers this silver lining: that these challenging topics may come to demand more open discussion and active efforts to identify, diagnose, and manage problems with emotional and psychological health.


Cognitive Performance During Confinement and Sleep Restriction in NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA)
April 28, 2020

From the research article summary: “Maintaining optimal cognitive performance in astronauts during spaceflight is critical to crewmember safety and mission success. To investigate the combined effects of confinement, isolation, and sleep deprivation on cognitive performance during spaceflight, we administered the computerized neurobehavioral test battery 'Cognition' to crew members of simulated spaceflight missions as part of NASA’s ground-based Human Exploration Research Analog project. Cognition was administered to N = 32 astronaut-like subjects in four 1-week missions (campaign 1) and four 2 weeks missions (campaign 2), with four crewmembers per mission.

Takeaway: Fascinating research!


Why Go Wireless? Nox CEO Says 3 Patients to 1 Sleep Tech Is Possible
May 1, 2020

From the article: “'The patient can go to the bathroom in the lab, sit up and watch TV before going to bed, and no one needs to go in,' [Nox Medical CEO Pétur] Már Halldórsson says, 'He can roam around without having a technician disconnect him for a simple thing like going to the bathroom.'

Takeaway: Personally I can think of a lot of reasons why a technologist would still need to go into the patient's room (detached sensors, hello?), so I'm not sure this will be all that much of an improvement for lab workers… but patients might like it.


⇒ SPECIAL: Pediatric sleep survey: DME age and weight requirements for CPAP

From the website: “The AASM is conducting a short survey of pediatric sleep specialists in response to member concerns that some durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers are requiring that ventilators be used instead of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices in pediatric obstructive sleep apnea patients weighing less than 30 kg.

Takeaway: This is a great opportunity to weigh in on this issue if you have a specific interest in it as a pediatric sleep technologist.


How to Buy Wrist Oximeters
April 28, 2020

From the article: “Sleep disorder patients may experience disrupted oxygen levels, and pulse oximetry is one way to track the amount of oxygen the blood is delivering throughout their bodies during rest.

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


Avadel Pharmaceuticals Announces Positive Topline Results from its Pivotal Phase 3 REST-ON Trial of Once-Nightly FT218 for the Treatment of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness and Cataplexy in Patients with Narcolepsy
April 27, 2020

From the press release: “FT218 is an investigational, once-nightly formulation of Micropump™ controlled-release (CR) sodium oxybate. The company conducted the REST-ON study, a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 3 trial, to assess the efficacy and safety of FT218 in the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy in patients suffering from narcolepsy. FT218 has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of narcolepsy. The designation was granted on the plausible hypothesis that FT218 may be clinically superior to the twice-nightly formulation of sodium oxybate already approved by the FDA for the same indication. In particular, FT218 may be safer due to ramifications associated with the dosing regimen of the previously approved product.

Takeaway: This would make life a lot easier for people with narcolepsy who must otherwise be woken in the middle of the night to take their second dose of sodium oxybate.


Which sleep hygiene factors are important? Comprehensive assessment of lifestyle habits and job environment on sleep among office workers
April 28, 2020

From the research study: “The multivariate analyses on the effects of lifestyle habits and job environment on sleep among office workers was conducted.

Takeaway: The different sleep hygiene factors listed make for an interesting snapshot of good and bad habits that lead to worker sleep disruption and even circadian "eveningness."


Fitbit False Advertising Suit Appealed
May 1, 2020

From the article: “The suit claimed Fitbit made false advertising claims for some of its products for a 'sleep-tracking feature' these products were unable to perform.

Takeaway: Consumer sleep technology designers, programmers, and manufacturers should probably watch what they promise in their advertising. This lawsuit targeted several different products under the Fitbit brand.

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.