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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on January 12th, 2021

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: January 12, 2021

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.



For the latest information, please check the following resources:

   Updated: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: January 8, 2021

   Updated: Sleep-Related COVID-19 Resources
   COVID-19 Sleep Lab Guideline: December 2020

   Updated: 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

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


Implicit Bias and Microaggressions in Medicine Webinar
January 8, 2021

From the webinar description: “The AASM’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee presents a free webinar, which will be a 'fireside chat' featuring Dr. Carl Lambert, family medicine at Rush University Medical Center, and moderator J. Mori Johnson, AMA ambassador. During this engaging discussion, Dr. Lambert will be interviewed by J. Mori Johnson to illustrate how implicit bias and microaggressions in medicine can thwart your organization’s diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts. Dr. Lambert and Ms. Johnson will share their personal experiences with microaggressions and describe how microaggressions can be addressed by the target and by bystanders. Dr. Lambert will explain the emotional, physical, organizational, and cultural effects of unaddressed microaggressions. Two short videos also will be shown to underscore the importance of addressing microaggressions and bias in medicine.

Takeaway: Offered to AASM members, but free to anyone who signs up, with 1 CEC offered.  


The sleep diet—an idea whose time has come
January 8, 2021

From lead researcher Haya Al Khatib, nutritional scientist: ““We started with people who weren’t sleeping enough and taught them to sleep more. …Our primary objective was to see if is it possible to get people to sleep more but we also collected diet data. We found that, yes, it is possible to get people to achieve more and better sleep, but also found that people who slept more tended to eat less sugar.”

Takeaway: I suppose it makes sense for most people, that if you're asleep, you can't be eating (except, of course, in the case of those with sleep-related eating disorder, or SRED).


Fully Disposable HST Devices Are Diagnosing More Patients
January 4, 2021

From the website: “Although home sleep testing (HST) has been available to patients for some time, a new category of fully disposable HST devices is now changing the landscape for providers and patients alike. Whereas patients have had to return the diagnostic base unit, they can now simply discard the entire device after receiving almost-immediate results—but this newfound agility comes with some costs.”

Takeaway: Do you think this new disposable technology will improve the current challenges associated with patients holding on to HSTs that need to be returned? Or does it bring its own share of problems?


In memoriam: Richard P. Allen
January 7, 2021

From the memorial statement by neurologist Dr. Christopher J. Earley : “He had done research in the last 10 plus years on sleep and alcoholism, sleep deficits and education of children, the effects of sleep or stimulant medications on attention deficit disorder and Tourette's syndrome, and with small though growing interest in restless legs syndrome and periodic leg movements.

Takeaway:  This is a wonderful personal dedication to Dr. Richard Allen, whose work has defined so much of our current understanding of sleep biology in myriad ways. I am always struck by the fact that the people responsible for what we know about sleep are living (or just now leaving) the contemporary world. 


Skip the wearables and track your sleep with these 5 apps
January 6, 2021

From the website: “Good sleep means good health, and you can ensure you get the right quality and amount of shut-eye by using one of the many gadgets designed for the task—from the Apple Watch to the Fitbit Sense. …But not everyone wants to wear a watch or a fitness band to bed, so if you’re looking for a wearable-free option, you’ve already got one. With the right app, your phone can keep tabs on your slumber too.”

Takeaway: The subtitle for this article is unfortunate: "Cuddle up with your iPhone." 


Methamphetamine and Sleep: Neurobehavioral Correlates and Molecular Mechanisms
January 6, 2021

From the research study abstract: “Among the unwanted effects of methamphetamine, acute and long-term sleep impairments are of major concern, posing a significant therapeutic challenge, and a cause of addiction relapse. Unraveling mechanisms and functional correlates of methamphetamine-related sleep and circadian disruption are, therefore, of key relevance to translational and clinical psychiatry.

Takeaway: This research should be very useful for understanding the risks of relapse, which may increase due to more severe sleep loss caused by meth use. It's definitely a vicious cycle.


Sleep disorders plague stroke survivors – and put them at risk
January 7, 2021

From the website: “People who have strokes or mini-strokes often experience a wide range of sleep disorders in the months that follow, a problem that can put them at increased risk for subsequent strokes, an analysis shows.

Takeaway: It would be great to see doctors treating patients with stroke refer their patients to the sleep clinic as an automatic protocol. 


Future of Sleep Medicine (YouTube Webinar)
January 3, 2021

From the webinar notes: “The practice of sleep medicine has been integrating more virtual care for the past few years. The pandemic has only increased the velocity of this change. BetterNight helps sleep physicians, physicians in other specialties, and dentists expand their practices, improve patient outcomes, and integrate virtual care.

Takeaway: This presentation will be free to access through the end of March, 2021. 


How the Election Impacted Sleep Across the Nation (2020 Data)
January 7, 2021

From the article: “One unique aspect of this election was the impact it had on the sleep of many Americans. This year has already ruined the sleeping habits of most people, so election night was bound to show added change to sleeping habits. As we will see, it seemed the entire country had trouble sleeping on election night with so many factors helping to contribute to the poor sleep. Once we look at election night and how it affected sleep, we will also look at ways you can get better sleep in general when times are stressful.

Takeaway: This article was very recently updated with this editor's note: "As our nation reels from the events in Washington D.C. last night, we understand that election night is no longer at the top of the list of reasons for lost sleep. However, there are tips in this piece that we feel are helpful for managing lost sleep that are worth sharing.

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.