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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on January 26th, 2021

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: January 26, 2021

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping piglets

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 22, 2021

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

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE 
   NEW: VIDEO | COVID-19 and Sleep Medicine Update | AASM town hall forum
   NEW: Update from the AASM COVID-19 Task Force | January 2021
   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

FREE WEBINAR: Chicken, Egg, or Both: Progress in Understanding the Association between Sleep and Circadian Rhythm Disruption and Alzheimer's Disease in 2020
ALZHEIMER'S ASSOCIATION
January 23, 2021

From the webinar description: “Dr. Andrew Lim will highlight epidemiological and mechanistic studies from the past year linking sleep disruption to Alzheimer's Disease and shedding light on the potentially bidirectional nature of these links.”

Takeaway: If you work with a large population of Alzheimer's and dementia patients, this may be a very useful event to attend (or to watch when you're awake!). SIGN UP NOW, the webinar takes place Thursday January 27 at 330pm Eastern. 

CULTURE WATCH

Russell Crowe Totally Unamused by Mockery of ‘Master and Commander’ as a Pandemic Sleep Aid
COMPLEX
January 18, 2021

From the article: “The 2003 Oscar-winning drama from director Peter Weir, which pulled from a trio of naval novels by Patrick O'Brian, is swimming through the currents of pop culture once more thanks to a tweet that posited the film as the cinematic equivalent of a sleep aid.”

Takeaway: This puzzles me. I remember it being a good movie!

TREND WATCH

TBH: A bath, a peaceful environment and a doomscroll until 3 am. Ciara O'Connor's sleep routine
THE INDEPENDENT
January 24, 2021

From the commentary: “How do you sleep at night? Probably not very well, if the data is to be believed. The pandemic has brought a plague of insomnia and hypersomnia, night terrors and sleep medication misuse. We're missing daylight; we've fallen out of step. Good sleep hygiene has never been more important. I have a routine, and they say routine is key.

Takeaway: Don't be fooled by her claim of a routine. Meanwhile, I'm willing to bet many sleep technologists have had to take phones and tablets away from patients who are trying to doomscroll during a sleep study. Yep, thanks to the pandemic, that's a thing.

INDUSTRY WATCH

In memoriam: Sleep and dreams pioneer Rosalind Cartwright, PhD
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE
January 20, 2021

From the website: “As one of the first women to establish a career in the nascent fields of sleep research and sleep medicine, Dr. Cartwright was a trailblazer whose curiosity, perseverance, and generosity were an inspiration to many. She also was committed to ensuring that women are represented among the participants in sleep research studies.

Takeaway:  Hats of to a trailblazer in sleep research and her leadership and example for women in science everywhere. 

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

Best sleep gadgets of 2021: Drift away with smart sleeping masks, white noise machines, and more

TECH REPUBLIC
January 22, 2021

From the review: “It should really come as no surprise that the market for assistive sleep aids is a multi-billion dollar industry. There are myriad devices designed to help people slowly drift to sleep at the end of the day and wake feeling rested and refreshed.”

Takeaway: The widget innovators cannot be stopped, not even during a pandemic. 

SUBSTANCE WATCH

‘I’m a Neuroscientist, and This Is Exactly How Alcohol Ruins Your Sleep’
AOL.com
January 20, 2021

From the article: “Dr. [Kristen] Willeumier, who wrote Biohack Your Brain: How to Boost Cognitive Health, Performance & Power, explains that while the sedative properties of alcohol increase deep sleep during the non-rapid eye movement phase (NREM), it also reduces the time spent in the rapid-eye-movement (REM) phase. 'REM sleep is critical to healthy brain function as it is essential in emotional regulation and the consolidation and retention of memories,' says Dr. Willeumier.

Takeaway: It's amazing how people still think a little wine at bedtime is an okay thing.

COMORBID WATCH 

Sleep Disturbances during Pregnancy and Adverse Maternal and Fetal Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
SLEEP MEDICINE REVIEWS via SCIENCE DIRECT
January 22, 2021

From the research study summary: “Significant associations were found between sleep disturbances in pregnancy and a variety of maternal complications and adverse fetal outcomes. Overall sleep disturbances were significantly associated with pre-eclampsia ... gestational hypertension ... gestational diabetes mellitus ... cesarean section ... preterm birth ... [being] large for gestational age ... stillbirth, but not [being] small for gestational age, or low birth weight.

Takeaway: Makes me wonder how many obstetricians and midwives are checking their patients' sleep health? Seems like this research supports a closer look. 

SLEEP HYGIENE WATCH

Sleep ‘Irreplaceable’ by Rest During Wake
SLEEP REVIEW
January 19, 2021

From the article: “Not only did the group that slept perform significantly better than the group that was awake and active, but the sleep group also performed significantly better than the group that was awake but deprived from any external stimuli. The improvement in performance was linked to typical deep-sleep activity of the brain, which has an important function for the connectivity of nerve cells.

Takeaway: Nope, there's really no way to replace sleep and still stay healthy.

LEGAL WATCH

How Can I Prove a Trucker Was Driving While Drowsy?
MINNEAPOLIS LEGAL EXAMINER
January 20, 2021

From the article: “If you were struck by a drowsy trucker, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you incur in the wake of the wreck. In order to pursue a payout, though, you’ll have to prove that the trucker was in fact liable for the incident.

Takeaway: Well, you don't come across this kind of advice every day. Granted, this link is to a legal firm's site, so take that as you will. But this article wasn't written in a vacuum, suggesting that people who've been in accidents are actually wondering about drowsy driving as a cause. This means the public education campaigns out there to prevent falling asleep at the wheel may just be working after all. 


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.