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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on August 15th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: August 15, 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.


  1. "Monitoring Oxygen Levels Could Help with Pediatric Sleep Apnea
  2. "Gaps in Treatment and Diagnosis of Childhood Sleep-Disordered Breathing"

August 8, 2017

Two related articles
From article 1: "New research shows that a thorough analysis of blood oxygen levels during sleep in children with habitual snoring could help providers find easier, more inexpensive, and reliable ways to determine if these children would benefit from a diagnosis and treatment plan for obstructive sleep apnea.  They found this analysis was most accurate in children with severe sleep apnea."

From article 2: "The recent increase in research around childhood oSDB has enhanced the awareness and understanding of the condition; however, there is a lack of research in health care economics, outcomes, and health services, which impact the relevance of evidence and how it guides treatment. "

Takeaway:  Both posts point to a need for more focus on childhood sleep apnea. For labs looking to stay relevant, which aren't already taking pediatric patients, this might be a new direction, as the need seems not to be entirely met, especially in areas where there aren't children's hospitals.


"Small Business Spotlight: Sleeptopia filling a niche in sleep apnea testing"
August 12, 2017 

From the article: "Kunz was in medical sales before starting Sleeptopia with Jennifer Burns, who’s a nurse practitioner. He said he was just following the advice of a mentor: 'If you see a niche, take it.' …His fiancee also works for the company, which Kunz said is small enough that 'we were jumping up and down' when they got word that Blue Cross Blue Shield would cover its services. But he also thinks there’s plenty of room for growth in a market that is seriously underserved. Industries such as trucking and aviation are pushing for more testing for safety purposes, he said."

Takeaway: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Here's how one entrepreneur has exploited a change in the industry.


"Being bullied may dramatically affect sleep"
August 10, 2017

From the article:New research, using a mouse model simulating human bullying, suggests that being bullied produces long-lasting, depression-like sleep dysfunction and other effects on daily biological rhythms.

Takeaway: It makes sense, given what we know about the relationship between poor sleep, mood disorders, suicidal ideation, and stress. As techs, we can keep our ears tuned for comments from patients (both pediatric and adult) which might suggest stressors (such as bullying) in their life which might be spilling over to their sleep lives. All we can do is report what we notice in tech notes, but a savvy sleep doctor might be grateful for these insights.


"Miami Man Invents 'Dreamband' to Help You Control Your Dreams"
August 14, 2017

From the article: From Daniel Schoonover, CEO of iWinks (maker of the Aurora Dreamband): “We’re leveraging all the devices we’re shipping to create the world's largest [lucid dreaming] experiment. We're hosting and opening the results of the experiment to researchers and competitors, and seeing the results.”

Takeaway: Perhaps Schoonover should read The Lathe of Heaven* first. There's still so much we don't know about the biology of dreaming, it seems premature to devise ways to manipulate this process without first understanding why it happens in the first place. My opinion. 

*A speculative fiction novel written by Ursula K. Le Guin in 2008 which posits the risks of manipulating dreams to make them more "effective"


"Hypnotics (for Sleep)"
August 10, 2017

Note: This useful overview of hypnotic drugs might be something to print out and add to your individual resources or the lab P&P. It was very recently updated.


"Social Media, Blue Light and Sleep"
August 9, 2017

From the blog/podcast: "This week’s episode is all about things that can disrupt our sleep, which is not great when you’re already running on a deficit thanks to a sleep-disrupted lifestyle, and includes social media and blue-light."

Takeaway: We really can't be the best ambassadors of sleep hygiene for our patients if we aren't following those same rules ourselves. Since we've opted for a life of nightwalking, it behooves us to cleave to those best practices we can employ, even if we can't employ them all.


"With more than a thousand living in cars, what’s the city’s next move?"
AUGUST 9, 2017

From the article: “With the disclosure of new draft legislation that would allow more flexibility for people living in their vehicles when it comes to ticketing or towing, Seattle’s most explosive debate has been rekindled: Where and when people without permanent homes may sleep.”

Takeaway: This may seem irrelevant to sleep techs, but there is a much larger question being asked here that impacts all of us: Is the right to sleep a human right? Be prepared to see more discussions like this opening up in areas where homelessness may be harder to contain. This is a good topic for the sleep tech interested in activism.

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.

The 2017 Fall Course, Current Technology Trends in Sleep Medicine, will be held at the Louisville Marriott East in Louisville, KY, from October 13 - 14, 2017. Will you be there?

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