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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on October 20th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: October 20, 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.


REGISTER NOW: AAST Webinar, Nov 5, 2020—The WHY's and HOW's of Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Sleep Center

Dr. Seema Khosla, Medical Director of the North Dakota Center for Sleep in Fargo, ND and industry expert contributor will provide a look into how she is managing patient care, break down the ”WHY’s” that sleep centers have to respond to and the risks presented by this pandemic, as well as the need to educate our patients on the safety precautions being taken.

The AAST is also responding to the "HOW's" of implementation of a safety plan. Dottie Covey-Elleby, ACHC Corporate Accreditation Surveyor will provide her perspective on best practices for meeting national safety standards. AAST Members who attend this webinar will be able to claim 1 CE credit after passing a short knowledge assessment. 

For the latest information, please check the following resources:


Fatigue Is A Major Cause Of Work Injury And Workers’ Compensation Claims
October 14, 2020

From the blog: “[W]orking longer irregular hours causes mental and physical stress. Consequently, these undesirable and stressful work conditions increase the risk for illness and workplace injury. More explicitly, loss of sleep and fatigue dramatically impact work safety in several ways.

Takeaway: Don't forget, November 1 through 8 is National Drowsy Driving Awareness Week 2020, and one of the most common outcomes of workplace fatigue is falling asleep at the wheel while operating a vehicle or heavy equipment or machinery.


Casting OUT OF BREATH, a documentary film about those suffering from snoring / sleep apnea
October 7, 2020

From the casting call: “Seeking participants to be featured in a documentary feature on sleep apnea by award-winning filmmaker George T. Nierenberg. George Nierenberg’s films have been featured in major festivals worldwide and released theatrically and on television. It is our hope, that this film will receive the same kind of release. Applicants are required to have sleep apnea, snoring, or sleep issues.

Takeaway: October interview introductions are booked up but November seems wide open. If you know a sleep apnea patient who would be a good candidate for this kind of opportunity, why not encourage them to reach out to the documentary filmmaker?


Emergence of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic differences in objectively measured sleep–wake patterns in early infancy: results of the Rise & SHINE study
October 15, 2020

From the research study summary: “Racial/ethnic differences in sleep emerge in early infancy. Night and 24-hour sleep durations increase less in Hispanic and black infants compared to white infants, with differences largely explained by SES.

Takeaway: Studies into the impact of SES—socioeconomic status—on sleep, as well as other factors belonging to the social determinants of health (SDOH)—such as racial/ethnic background—continue to be a large, and overdue area of focus in healthcare research even beyond sleep medicine. 


Incidence of hypertension in obstructive sleep apnea using hypopneas defined by 3 percent oxygen desaturation or arousal but not by only 4 percent oxygen desaturation
October 15, 2020

From the research study summary: “Use of the 4% only hypopnea definition resulted in the failure to identify a significant number of individuals with OSA who eventually developed hypertension and could have benefited from earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Takeaway: It would be nice if we could just stick with one definition of hypopneas, wouldn't it? The one that is most helpful for the patient?


Smart Pillow Will Automatically Adjust Its Height to Give You a Better Night’s Sleep
October 19, 2020

From the article: “Smart pillow Zerema incorporates “deep-learning AI to learn your sleep habits” in order to automatically put you in a more comfortable sleeping position, according to the product’s Kickstarter page.

Takeaway: A pillow that raises or lowers its loft to encourage proper breathing? A nice idea. But does it work? 


Efficacy and Safety of Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium Oxybates (Lower-Sodium Oxybate [LXB]; JZP-258) in a Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Randomized Withdrawal Study in Adults With Narcolepsy With Cataplexy
October 14, 2020

From the research study summary: “Study Objectives: Evaluate efficacy and safety of lower-sodium oxybate (LXB), a novel oxybate medication with 92% less sodium than sodium oxybate (SXB).

Takeaway: Medications with high sodium content put patients at risk for hypertension. It's good that research is looking at alternatives to this important narcolepsy drug, as high blood pressure isn't an acceptable side effect, but people with  narcolepsy still need treatment.  


Oculus is an artificial skylight that mirrors the actual colour of the sky outside
October 14, 2020

From the article: “Finnish brand Light Cognitive has created a circular LED skylight, which gradually changes colour according to the time of day, in a bid to bring the benefits of natural light to a windowless retail space in Barcelona.

Takeaway: This appears to be a much larger light installation similar to the small personal simulated dawn lamp you can use on your nightstand. I bought a small one and swear by it. I think the idea of using this workplace model may really improve worker energy and mood while helping them maintain entrained circadian rhythms. 


Driver Diagnosed with Sleep Apnea Loses Claims
October 14, 2020

From the article: “A truck driver for Walmart Inc. diagnosed by its safety program as having sleep apnea could not contest his resignation after refusing to wear a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.

Takeaway: It's really sad to see people working so hard against their own interests. If this man had just put the same energy into making CPAP work for him, he'd still have a job and a healthier life.  

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 chronic illness patient advocacy publishers, and produces the Journal Club continued education presentations for the AAST. You might occasionally see her work in A2Zzz as well. She can be reached at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com.