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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on February 2nd, 2021

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: February 2, 2021

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping pug

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

 


PANDEMIC QUICK LINKS

For the latest information, please check the following resources:

U.S. FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION 
   Updated: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: January 29, 2021

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SLEEP TECHNOLOGISTS 
   Updated: Sleep-Related COVID-19 Resources
   COVID-19 Sleep Lab Guideline: December 2020

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE 
   VIDEO | COVID-19 and Sleep Medicine Update | AASM town hall forum
   Update from the AASM COVID-19 Task Force | January 2021
   
COVID-19 Resources
   New webcasts explore teleVID-19 practice expenses
   AMA finalizes new CPT code for COVID-19 expenses
   VIDEO | Presidential Town Hall Forum – COVID-19 and Sleep Medicine
   Considerations for the practice of sleep medicine during COVID-19
   COVID-19: FAQs for Sleep Clinicians
   Summary of CDC recommendations relevant for sleep practices during COVID-19

OTHER RESOURCES
   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
   World Health Organization Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak


ADVOCACY WATCH

Urgent wake up call for the National Basketball Association
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL SLEEP MEDICINE
February 1, 2021

From the article: “Frequent air travel and the condensed game schedule typical of a National Basketball Association (NBA) team during the season, often results in accompanying sleep disturbances related to sleep length, sleep quality, and sleep timing (with highly harmful impacts on health, both physical and mental). These issues are not only problematic for NBA players, but also the coaches, training staff, and management support. In this narrative review, we summarize the detrimental effects that this travel and game schedule could have on NBA team members’ sleep, as well as their physical and mental health.”

Takeaway: If sleep medicine evangelists can convert sports professionals to better sleep health practices, just imagine how that might influence their fans. 

CULTURE WATCH

Coors Didn’t Buy A Super Bowl Ad. It Wants Into Your Dreams Instead.
FORBES
January 27, 2021

From the article: “'When Coors first approached me, they wanted to know if it would be possible to incubate an ad in a dream,' [Harvard's assistant psychology professor Deirdre Barrett] says in the clip. 'I told them that there is a way if you’ve got cooperative subjects to do dream incubation and influence their dream content.'”

Takeaway: How creepy is this? 

TREND WATCH

Preventive Screenings in Lung Cancer, Sleep Medicine Decrease During COVID-19
PULMONOLOGY ADVISOR
January 29, 2021

From the article: “In November 2020, a task force that included volunteers from the Association of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Division Directors and the American Thoracic Society published a report offering guidance on resuming elective services in various pulmonary and sleep medicine settings when appropriate. The recommendations were created by discussion and consensus among all members of the task force.

Takeaway: Here is a link to that workshop report.

INDUSTRY WATCH

Low test–retest reliability of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale within a substantial short time frame
JOURNAL OF SLEEP RESEARCH
January 25, 2021

From the research study abstract: “The aim of the present study was to investigate the test–retest reliability of the ESS in a short time frame to provide stability of the test circumstances.

Takeaway: One day you're in, the next day you're out. I doubt sleep clinics will stop using the Epworth but if new research shows it isn't reliable, it may be pointless if other, better screening tools are developed. 

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

Large-scale assessment of consistency in sleep stage scoring rules among multiple sleep centers using an interpretable machine learning algorithm
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL SLEEP MEDICINE
February 1, 2021

From the commentary: “Polysomnography is the gold standard in identifying sleep stages; however, there are discrepancies in how technicians use the standards. Because organizing meetings to evaluate this discrepancy and/or reach a consensus among multiple sleep centers is time-consuming, we developed an artificial intelligence system to efficiently evaluate the reliability and consistency of sleep scoring and hence the sleep center quality.

Takeaway: Of interest to all sleep technologists who score studies (that means most of us!).

PHARMA WATCH

Sleeping pill use 'very high' among Atlantic Canada seniors
CBC
January 26, 2021

From the article: Atlantic Canadian seniors need to find better strategies for getting a good night's sleep, says a Dalhousie University researcher. …Using Health Canada data, psychiatry Prof. Dr. David Gardner found that seniors in the Atlantic region are using far more sleeping pills than those in other parts of Canada.

Takeaway: CBT-i (cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia) is recommended instead.

COMORBID WATCH 
Experts Share Views on Managing Patients’ Sleep Problems
PARKINSON'S NEWS TODAY
January 25, 2021

From the article: Sleep problems associated with Parkinson’s disease, as well as ways of managing such problems, were the focus of expert discussion in a recent webinar. …Discussion began with an overview of the sleep disturbances common to Parkinson’s, which include insomnia, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and excessive daytime sleepiness. REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), where individuals physically act out their dreams, is particularly common, affecting as many as 90% of Parkinson’s patients over the course of their disease, the experts said. 

Takeaway: You can catch the whole webinar, hosted by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, here: “Night Fight with Parkinson’s: Acting Out Dreams, Insomnia and Other Sleep Issues.”

REVIEW WATCH

Media Review: The Nocturnal Brain—Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep by Guy Leschziner
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL SLEEP MEDICINE
February 1, 2021

From the review: “This collection portrays patients and their loved ones in a very real and tangible style. It is evident in this well-written, yet easy-to-read, collection that Dr. Leschziner’s patients divulged their stories in order to help introduce to the reader these common (and not-so-common) conditions.

Takeaway: Another one for my Reading List!

LEGAL WATCH

Bus Driver In Colusa Crash That Killed 11 To Be Freed
CBS SACRAMENTO
January 29, 2021

From the article: “Passengers said Watts seemed to be asleep or unconscious, and prosecutors alleged that he was sleep-deprived and hadn’t properly cared for his insulin-dependent diabetes before the crash. …In an earlier story, however, The Bee found that a physician assistant had erroneously cleared Watts to drive despite his history of having a seizure disorder.

Takeaway: This potential mistake in vigilance by a PA has infuriated the families of the victims who died or were injured in this apparent drowsy driving accident. 


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.