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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on January 19th, 2021

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: January 19, 2021

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping ringtail dove

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 15, 2021

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

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE 
   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

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


ADVOCACY WATCH

Night Owls Unite: Advocating for Policy Changes
SOCIETY FOR RESEARCH ON BIOLOGICAL RHYTHMS
January 17, 2021

From the website: “Night owls have organized and our ranks are growing. Groups like the Circadian Sleep Disorders Network and B-Society are advocating for people with late chronotypes—building awareness of flexible work and school schedules, reducing stigma, and increasing federal funding for sleep research.”

Takeaway: It seems like one of the better things that could come out of the pandemic is freedom from the unrelenting 9-to-5 work schedule frame of mind, as well as some greater interest in business practices that don't require global teams to take online meetings at 2 in the morning. 

CULTURE WATCH

Association between diet and sleep quality: A systematic review
SLEEP MEDICINE REVIEWS
January 16, 2021

From the research study summary: “Twenty-nine studies were reviewed: in summary, consumption of healthy foods was associated with better sleep quality, while higher intake of processed and free-sugar rich foods was associated with worse sleep features.”

Takeaway: The link between dietary choices and habits continues to be linked to sleep health. We should expect to see more of this research in the months to come. 

TREND WATCH

South Carolina town bans sleeping in public spaces
NEWS 2 CHARLESTON
January 16, 2021

From the article: “The new ordinance prohibits people from sleeping in public parks, buildings or grounds. The ban says that laying down bedding, storing personal belongings, or using tents or other structures to sleep in are also not allowed.

Takeaway: The town of Port Royal, SC also lacks a homeless shelter. So where are these people supposed to sleep?  Not in nearby Beaufort SC, which has launched a similar ban. 

INDUSTRY WATCH

CMS promotes value-based health care with Stark final rule
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE
January 15, 2021

From the article: “While the rule change is not the universal Stark Law exception for sleep medicine physicians sought by the AASM, it may present a unique opportunity for some of our members to structure their practices in a way to take advantage of the safe harbor exemptions and move toward value-based care. …[T]he AASM also is consulting with outside counsel to plan a future webinar to guide our members on how to leverage the rule change and cut through the Stark red tape to provide high-quality, coordinated care for Medicare patients who have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Takeaway:  Stark rule review and compliance is not eliminated, however, and the incoming administration could delay or change the final rule, so stay tuned. 

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

The Best Headphones for Sleep
HEALTHLINE
January 13, 2021

From the article: “While it doesn’t work for everyone, some people find listening to music, podcasts, or soothing sounds before bed helps them fall asleep faster. …Below, we’ll take a look at the best headphones for sleep and outline the safety considerations for listening to audio at bedtime.”

Takeaway: Could be potentially useful for sleep technologists trying to find the perfect sleep sendoff in the morning. 

SUBSTANCE WATCH

Oolong Tea Burns Fat During Sleep Without Interfering with Sleep Architecture
SLEEP REVIEW
January 12, 2021

From the article: ““Like all teas, oolong contains caffeine, which impacts energy metabolism by increasing our heart rate. However, studies suggest that tea consumption may also increase the breakdown of fat, independent of the effects of caffeine,” says senior study author and professor Kumpei Tokuyama, PhD, in a release. “We therefore wanted to examine the effects of oolong consumption versus caffeine alone on energy and fat metabolism among a group of healthy volunteers.”

Takeaway: Watch out green tea, you might have some bedtime competition!

COMORBID WATCH 

Psychological, physical, and sleep comorbidities and functional impairment in irritable bowel syndrome: Results from a national survey of U.S. adults
PLOS ONE
January 14, 2021

From the research study summary: “Poor sleep quality, prolonged sleep latency, frequent nighttime awakenings, and daytime dysfunction are also commonly associated with IBS, similar to that seen in patients with inactive inflammatory bowel disease.

Takeaway: This may explain some patients' challenges with getting through a sleep study. 

SLEEP HYGIENE WATCH

Western University researchers looking at how social media and poor sleep influence mental health
CTV NEWS
January 14, 2021

From the article: “The review found significant associations between excessive social media use and poor mental health outcomes, as well as between poor sleep quality and negative mental health. Frequent social media use was a risk factor for both poor mental health and poor sleep outcomes.

Takeaway: Is anyone surprised by these findings? 

LEGAL WATCH

VA Respiratory Therapist Sentenced to Prison for Stealing & Selling Home Sleep Test and Other Medical Equipment
SLEEP REVIEW
January 12, 2021

From the article: “A respiratory therapist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Seattle was sentenced on Jan 11, 2021, in U.S. District Court in Seattle to three months in prison and nine months of home confinement for theft of government property, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. …Gene Wamsley, 42, of Bonney Lake, Wash, admits stealing a ventilator and other respiratory medical equipment in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and selling it for his own gain. At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said, 'This is an extremely serious offense, quite independent of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was exploiting patients.'

Takeaway: Yeah, don't do this. Ever. Not if you want to stay out of jail and keep your credential.


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.