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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on October 6th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: October 6, 2020

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping sloth

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


For the latest information, please check the following resources:


Register now for Hypersomnia Foundation's "The Research Continues"
September 27, 2020

From the webinar invitation: “The COVID-19 pandemic has left many in the hypersomnia community wondering about the status of clinical trials and research studies—how have they been affected by the lockdowns and safety advisories?

Takeaway: This is a free, interactive 90-minute program that should bring you up-to-date on the central disorders of hypersomnolence. 


Karen Russell's Novella About Insomnia Epidemic Finds New Resonance In The Era Of COVID-19 (podcast)
September 29, 2020

From the show notes: “Author Karen Russell’s novella, Sleep Donation, is eerily timely. …It tells the story of a fatal insomnia epidemic with people dying horrible, slow deaths by sleep deprivation. People are being tested to see if they have the antidote—dreams that can be harvested by the company Slumber Corps to help others sleep. …From testing sites to overwhelmed hospitals, the comparisons to today are curiously similar, but Russell wrote the book in 2014.

Takeaway: I haven't read this yet, but Russell is a talented author, so I expect this novella to be a good choice for your TBR (to be read) list. It's on mine!


“The schedule is crazy”: Sleep science and the impact of online classes
October 1, 2020

From the article: “Meir Kryger, a Yale sleep expert and Yale School of Medicine physician, and Suman Baddam, Assistant Professor of Clinical Child Psychiatry, co-instruct the course 'The Mystery of Sleep,' which explores the relationship between sleep and well-being. Disruptions to sleep schedules can negatively impact attention, memory and cognitive awareness. Kryger said that there are a number of students in his class who study remotely and must battle time differences. …'When my class starts, which is 4 o’clock in the afternoon, in Taiwan it’s like 4 o’clock in the morning,' Kryger said. 'And the student is actually there wide awake and alert, participating in the class … They seem to be asking questions when it’s appropriate. Even though the schedule is crazy.'

Takeaway: This challenge resembles one from pre-pandemic times, that of global remote workers who must attend virtual teleconferences in the middle of the night as part of their "9 to 5" job.


Financial assistance for the sleep field during the wildfire emergency
September 25, 2020

From the website: As wildfires continue to affect the West Coast, the AASM reminds you that financial assistance is available through the AASM Foundation Disaster Relief Fund. AASM members and AASM-accredited member sleep facilities that need assistance in the aftermath of any natural disaster should contact the AASM Foundation at foundation@aasm.org.

Takeaway: Yes, there are wildfires still burning on the West Coast, and yes, they have a big impact on sleep clinics and labs. 


A wearable sleep-tracker designed by an MIT team could give people the power to shape their own dreams
October 1, 2020

From the article: “A team at the MIT Media Lab has created a device that could help people shape the content of their dreams. …Called Dormio, the device consists of a bracelet that tracks sleeping patterns and an app that uses recorded messages to suggest dream topics. …In a recent study, 67% of people that Dormio told to 'think of a tree' then reported dreaming about trees.

Takeaway: As a reader of science fiction, I find this kinda terrifying. 


Conduct MSLT While Patient Is on Antidepressants? ‘Look at Other Options’
September 28, 2020

From the article: “A Mayo Clinic study reemphasizes that REM suppressing drugs can cause false negatives for people with suspected narcolepsy who are taking a multiple sleep latency test.

Takeaway: This might be a good time to check your protocols and procedures manual for your lab or clinic to determine what the rule is for running MSLTs on patients who are taking certain kinds of medications, such as SSRIs (for more detailed info, check out "Pharmacological effects on REM" in Sleep Review).  


Driver sentenced to 21 months in jail for causing fatal wreck after falling asleep at the wheel
September 29, 2020

From the article: “After Delgado fell asleep, the DA said he crossed the double yellow line and a median, hitting a Ford F-150 head-on.

Takeaway: The driver pleaded guilty to two counts: careless driving resulting in death, and careless driving resulting in injury.  

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 contributes 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.