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By: Tamara Sellman on April 3rd, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: April 3, 2017

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.


"Are Sleep Apps Junk Science? Here's What Doctors Think
March 17, 2017

From the website: “We tested five apps for months. Here's what doctors said."

Takeaway: The best way to know if consumer-based sleep tracking works is to test it in real-world situations. Here's one effort worth checking out. Maybe it will inspire some in-lab observational studies of your own?


"Somnology, NIH Collaborate to Determine How Controlled Diets, Sleep Environments Change Sleep Metrics" 
March 27, 2017 

From the forum post: From the National Institutes of Health: “Sleep is increasingly recognized as an important contributor to health, but sleep monitoring technology outside the laboratory setting is rudimentary. Somnology Inc has developed a sensor device to accurately measure various sleep metrics in humans.

Takeaway: Lots of new focus in research on studying chronic illness root cause through the lens of the three pillars of health: nutrition, exercise, and sleep. This is an interesting development and could pave the way for more mainstream medical appreciation of sleep health as a contributing factor to overall wellness, something that not all doctors immediately understand.


"Sleep doctor talks about making telehealth work" 
March 21, 2017

From the Q&A:
Part B News: Many physician practices don't bother with telemedicine or telehealth because, outside of HPSAs, Medicare Part B doesn't do much with it. Are there reasons to give it a second look?

Dr. Seema Khosla: I believe somany practices have multiple commercial payers that may actually cover telemedicine services. I know that we utilize Medicare criteria for many things but this may be one area where commercial payers may already be covering these services. It is a way to start small and build up your practice.”

Takeaway: More insights into the expansion of sleep medicine into the field of telehealth.  


"Adaptive Servo-Ventilation Therapy Has Variable Effects in Heart Failure Patients" 
March 24, 2017

From the website:There is minimal clinical evidence about identifying and treating sleep apnea in those who’ve been hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure. The CAT-HF study was designed to help address this, with the primary endpoint being cardiovascular outcomes measured as a Global Rank Score that included survival free from cardiovascular hospitalization and change in functional capacity as measured by the six-minute walk distance. It was also planned to expand on the SERVE-HF study that was investigating the use of ASV therapy to treat central sleep apnea (CSA) in chronic stable heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction patients (HFrEF).

Takeaway: Check out this recent research on the use of ASV and share widely with colleagues. 


"Stop Using These 20 Medications Because They Cause Memory Loss" 
March 26, 2017

From the website: “Every year, prescription drugs are responsible for more than 100,000 deaths and lead to over 1.5 million cases of hospitalized people who experienced severe side-effects... Adverse drug reactions are the top leading reason of death in the United States. Every prescription drug carries some risk, but one of the most common side-effects is memory loss.”

Takeaway: This is a pretty comprehensive article, maybe worth even clipping and adding to the lab P&P manual, as the vast majority of these drugs are on our patients' medication lists. 


"What happens to your hormones when you're asleep? " 
March 27, 2017

From the website: “When it comes to motives for getting a good night’s sleep we don’t usually think about our body’s hormones. But sleep allows many of our hormones to replenish so we have the optimal energy, immunity, appetite and coping ability to face the day’s highs and lows… The activities we do during the day—from having a fight with a partner, using our iPhones at night, running in a race, to travelling overseasalso affect our hormone levels and, in turn, our quality of sleep.”

Takeaway: Good information on the neurochemical balances that constitute sleeping and the transitions to and from sleep. Understanding these hormone issues can be helpful in patient education, especially for those patients with diabetes or who are in menopause.


"Why Internet privacy matters for patients" 
March 29, 2017

From the website: "The first thing that many patients do when they don’t feel right is look up their symptoms on the internet. So if they use Google to ask about a fever or a lump in their neck, Google is now sitting on this data, so Google serves up an ad on cough medicine. When Cox or Time Warner see this internet search, they don’t have the means to serve you an ad, but they do have a lot of people who would like to buy this data.

Takeaway: Though this isn't a direct correlate with the electronic medical records we contribute to, or a HIPAA story, it does show how quickly privacy impacts all patients in these changing times. This may be of special interest to you, as a patient yourself, or for people you care for in your private life.


sleep crossword "Crossword Puzzle: Sleep Medicine-Themed Clues (March/April 2017)" 
March 28, 2017



BIO:  Tamara Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the sleep health information clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health news headlines daily. She is also Web Consultant for the American Sleep Apnea Association, writes MS-related columns for two medical publishers, and contributes as a freelance writer to AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz, and other places.

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