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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on January 5th, 2021

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: January 5, 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:


Patients don’t need quick diagnoses. They need accurate ones.
January 2, 2021

From the column: “The patient knocking on your door is not your enemy. They’re sick. They’re scared. They’re in pain. They don’t know why, and they’re hoping for an answer. If you can’t find the source of a problem quickly, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Takeaway: What are we in the lab to do, but perform accurate, comprehensive tests that answer our patients' questions? The New Year is a good time to reestablish why we do our jobs and how we might be able to do them better as well as improve our ability to advocate for them. Yes, even during a pandemic.


ACP: Remove Barriers to Care… NOW: Addressing social determinants of health is key, Part 3 of a 3-part series
December 16, 2020

From the white paper: “When the American College of Physicians issued a white paper outlining its support for the establishment of a single-payer or public option healthcare system, there was no hint that 2020 would unfold as the most perilous year for U.S. medicine in more than 100 years. Nonetheless, the case made by the ACP remains a compelling one—so much so that BreakingMED is offering its users as chance for a second look. This third installement of a three-part deep dive into the ACP proposals was originally published Jan. 22, 2020.

Takeaway: This may be the biggest discussion we have in sleep medicine in 2021. 


Top 10 sleep medicine trends in 2020: Year in review

December 29, 2020

From the website: “By all accounts, 2020 was a tough year. The field of sleep medicine experienced numerous challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lost beloved colleagues such as AASM Founding President William C. Dement, MD; AASM Past President Mark Mahowald, MD; and renowned RLS scientist Richard P. Allen, PhD.

Takeaway: This is a good 30,000-foot view of the world of sleep medicine as it appeared in 2020. 


Pediatric Sleep Certificate Exam
December 17, 2020

From the website: “Based on extensive feedback from BRPT credential holders about the need for a specialty exam for pediatric sleep, the BRPT is pleased to announce our Pediatric Sleep Certificate Exam. Successful candidates will be awarded an assessment-based certificate, based on receiving a passing score of 70% or higher.

Takeaway:  In case you missed it.


Sleep gadgets add complexity when we really should relax
December 29, 2020

From the blog: “For some people, having a way to quantify their sleep might make it easier for them, but most will benefit far more from just having regular bed and getting up times and not trying to score their rest out of 100. Those worried about sleep issues would be far better off seeing their doctor and spending a night in a sleep lab to diagnose what ails them.”

Takeaway: Music to our ears. 


Ambien: When Prescribed Drugs Come With Their Own Legal Defense
December 20, 2020

From the article: Entire legal defenses have been built around the neuro and psychological effects of zolpidem within the system, even after several hours of sleep. For a medication to hold the potential for illegal and dangerous actions that the user may be completely unaware of absolutely brings into question the safety of zolpidem and similar sleep aid medications. Unrestricted in its ability to impair across socioeconomic backgrounds, it can make even the seemingly astute lose their critical thinking skills.

Takeaway: Some thoughtful writing from a small local newspaper.


Free Guide for Adults: How to Sleep Better with ADHD
December 23, 2020

From the website: “ADHD and sleep problems seem go to hand-in-hand. In this free download for adults, learn about the ADHD-sleep connection, best practices for sleep hygiene, and how to manage ADHD symptoms that can get in the way of proper rest.

Takeaway: Looks like a useful tool if you don't have a lot of experience working with patients (adult or pediatric) with ADHD. 


5 Tips for Better Sleep While Traveling
December 24, 2020

From the article: “For millions of people, traveling can be an attempt to get away from the stress and routine of everyday life. What's ironic about this is that even though vacations are thought of as the perfect time to rest and rejuvenate, that doesn't always happen. For just as many others, traveling regularly is part of their job, which means a lot of time is spent sleeping in different places. And when it comes to work, getting adequate rest is essential for performance and focus. Whatever the nature of your travel is, sleep disturbances are common.

Takeaway: Not a lot of people are traveling during a pandemic, but you can bet quite a few of our peers in healthcare are. If you know someone who is a traveling healthcare worker and they're struggling with sleep, you might want to share this advice with them. 


Bigfork woman sentenced for negligent vehicular assault
December 30, 2020

From the article: “An investigation determined Fulford was driving home to Bigfork after picking up a prescription for Ambien, a sleep aid. Fulford said she didn’t remember anything after picking up the prescription. …The officer who investigated the incident saw two pills were missing from the bottle. Fulford told staff at Kalispell Regional Medical Center she took two Ambien pills before driving. Her pharmacist said Fulford had taken the drug before that day and it came with several warnings.

Takeaway: Just a reminder that we really must look out for our zolpidem-medicated patients in the morning to ensure they are safe to drive.

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.