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By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on September 22nd, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: September 22, 2020

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

American_Badger asleep

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

While You Were Sleeping
is taking a break next week
and will return on Tuesday October 6


For the latest information, please check the following resources:


Keeping Watch: Sleep in the Military (podcast)
September 18, 2020

From the website: “Season Two of Talking Sleep  launches with a conversation about sleep as an agent of change in one of the nation’s most exacting institutions, the U.S. Navy. Future episodes will include discussions about the AASM scoring manual, disparities in sleep and health care, and the 15th anniversary of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Takeaway: Looking for a new podcast to keep you company? This might be a good choice, and it's now in its second season. Check out all episodes of TS  here.


CTE, Contact Sports Play Linked to REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
September 16, 2020

From the article: “Since CTE can be diagnosed only after death, the researchers interviewed family members of study participants to find out if they had experienced symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder during their lives. ...they discovered that a third of the study participants had displayed symptoms of the disorder while they were alive.

Takeaway: CTE stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease associated with repetitive head impacts such as those experienced while participating in contact sports.


No-show rates to a sleep clinic: drivers and determinants
September 15, 2020

From the research study summary: “Attendance to sleep clinic appointments is imperative to diagnose sleep-related disorders and to offer appropriate treatment. As part of our quality assurance program, we assessed predictors of no-show rates at our sleep clinic. We hypothesize that no-show rates can be predicted by demographics, appointment type (new vs established) and timing, and insurance status.

Takeaway: This is useful information. I think COVID-19 may also be an unexpected factor based on this research highlighting the delay or avoidance of medical care during the pandemic published by the CDC on September 11.  


Bookmark This American Heart Association Webpage for Cardio-Sleep Education
September 16, 2020

From the website: “With financial support from Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc, the American Heart Association (AHA) will create cardio-sleep-related educational multimedia content. …Through Jazz’s financial support, the AHA will create content to educate those living with sleep disorders, their loved ones and the general public. The content will include a series of podcasts featuring experts discussing sleep, sleep disorders, and comorbidities associated with poor sleep.

Takeaway: Just by judging the many requests I've encountered from people asking for help identifying EKG rhythms in sleep technology forums, I think a lot of sleep technologists would welcome more cardio-related content education pertaining to sleep medicine. Check it out here


Monitoring sleep positions for a healthy rest
September 11, 2020

From the article: MIT researchers have developed a wireless, private way to monitor a person’s sleep postures — whether snoozing on their back, stomach, or sides — using reflected radio signals from a small device mounted on a bedroom wall.

Takeaway: The body position sensor may not be the most annoying thing to affix to a patient, but this technology, which needs no attachment to the patient at all, could be useful if incorporated into polysomnography, all the same. Next, they need to do EEGs, EOGs, and EMGs!


Apnimed Successfully Completes Phase 1 Study in Lead Program for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
September 17, 2020

From the press release: “'Obstructive Sleep Apnea represents a significant public health problem in the U.S. and around the globe and current treatment options do not meet the needs of patients,' said Larry Miller, M.D., chief executive officer of Apnimed. 'We believe that AD109, an oral drug candidate dosed once-daily at bedtime, could be a significant breakthrough for these patients by giving them a simple, safe, and effective solution that does not require a CPAP device or surgery. The results from this study support our advancement of this program.'

Takeaway: The quest for a sleep apnea medication continues. 


PepsiCo to launch drink to aid sleep as consumers struggle with stress
September 14, 2020

From the article: “PepsiCo is launching a new drink called Driftwell that is meant to help consumers relax and unwind before bed. …The enhanced water drink contains 200 milligrams of L-theanine and 10% of the daily value of magnesium.

Takeaway: I'm all for healthy, easy ways to encourage sleep, but I can't help but think people will just use this as a mixer. But if it (by itself) works, and it helps people fall asleep, who knows …I think I'd rather work on a patient who drank a vitamin water before bed than one who's taken an Ambien that puts them a risk for drowsy driving the following the morning.


A Tesla driver was caught sleeping on Autopilot at high speed, police are charging him criminally
September 17, 2020

From the article: “'“Alberta RCMP received a complaint of a car speeding on Highway 2 near Ponoka. The car appeared to be self-driving, traveling over 140 km/h with both front seats completely reclined and occupants appeared to be asleep.'”

Takeaway: Who besides me is not surprised by this?


Boyfriend uses bizarre hack to stop his girlfriend from snoring
FM 104 (Dublin)
September 18, 2020

From the article: “22-year-old Jason Lee has revealed that his girlfriend Sharnie Bright-Penny was driving him absolutely crazy with her intense snoring at night but, unfortunately, his efforts to make her stop all ended in failure. …That's until he took things to a whole new level and began licking his girlfriend's face in a last attempt to make her stop.

Takeaway: People will do just about anything to make their bed partners stop snoring. 

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 multiple chronic illness patient advocacy publishers and apps, 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.