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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on August 29th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: August 29, 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.

CULTURE WATCH

"Sleep and Cancer"
TUCK
August 22, 2017 

From the website:An increasing amount of research has found links between poor sleep and several cancers. Keep reading to learn what the latest research suggests about the connection between cancer and sleep, and how you can get better sleep if you’re undergoing cancer treatment."

Takeaway:  If you've never really looked at the relationship between sleep quality and cancer, this could be a useful website article. 

INDUSTRY WATCH

"Could Amazon Revolutionize The Patient Experience In Clinical Trials?"
CLINICAL LEADER
August 22, 2017 

From the blog: “Probably the biggest benefit Amazon could offer to pharma is the ability to quickly identify many qualified patients for clinical trials. A related press release from Evidation Health, a Silicon Valley digital health startup, caught my attention — it reported that Evidation and its collaborator the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) had enrolled a staggering 1,000 participants in the first 24 hours for the Sleep Health Web Study."

Takeaway: As techs, we may not be thrilled by the encroachment of personal sleep technology tracking apps and hardware, which seems to appeal to consumers as a DIY method of self-diagnosis. However, the bright side is more patients (both healthy and diagnosed) can be pulled into clinical research using these apps. They're free, private, and easy to use. This means more Big Data opportunities to capture real numbers that could help scientists better estimate, identify, and treat sleep disorders.

Note: The American Sleep Apnea Association hopes sleep techs will sign on to become participants in the aforementioned Sleep Health Web Study. It's free and easy to use, and you don't need to have a sleep disorder to participate. [Currently on the Apple platform, but soon available for Android.]

TREND WATCH

"Sleep Deprivation in adults is more common than thought"
ABC 10 NEWS NOW
August 24, 2017

From the article: From Jason Hausmann, lab manager of UP Health System sleep labs in Marquette, MI: “The number one cause of people not getting enough sleep, is just not dedicating enough time to get the sleep. So, typically they recommend getting between 7 and 8 hours for a typical adult individual. A lot of times, it’s just with our busy lives people aren’t having that amount of time to just try to sleep.

Takeaway: Sometimes, it's not sleep apnea, restless legs, or some other disorder... which is why those sleep diaries and interviews we have with patients are so critical to understanding the nature of their daytime sleepiness. Sometimes it's just not getting enough sleep. When this is the case, we are tasked with educating our patients about prioritizing sleep. 

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

"Apple's 11 picks for sleep health apps"
MEDWORM
August 28, 2017

From the blog: “In the Medical and Health and Fitness sections of Apple's app store, the company often creates curated lists around particular health or wellness areas. While the app store isn't transparent about its methodology, the list gives us an insight into what apps Apple is promoting and what apps consumers are seeing when they go looking for a particular kind of health app.”

Takeaway: Naturally, there will be bias in this list, but if you're interested in what's available, you might find some valuable information here. 

PHARMA WATCH

"Greater Demand for Melatonin Supplements In More Developed Countries"
SLEEP REVIEW
August 28, 2017

From the article: "Amber Chourasia, a lead health and wellness research analyst at Technavio, says in a release, 'Melatonin supplements are also used to reset the circadian rhythm for other medical conditions such as AD [Alzeheimer's disease], dementia, bipolar disorder, COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease], and endometriosis, which affect the sleep cycle of people.' "

Takeaway: As neuroscientists continue to uncover the value of melatonin to circadian rhythms, they are finding more applications for man-made versions of the neurotransmitter in medical treatments. 

HEALTH LITERACY WATCH

"What Is Gwyneth Paltrow's 'Clean Sleeping' (and Should You Be Doing It)?"
NBC NEWS
August 25, 2017

From the report: "Is there anything to Gwyneth Paltrow's 'clean sleeping' regimen? For once, health experts say, there is."

Takeaway: Maybe "sleep hygiene" is just not a catchy phrase... maybe we should all change our language to refer to it as "clean sleep." Whatever it takes to get the point across, right? 

LEGISLATION WATCH

"Traffic fatalities linked to marijuana are up sharply in Colorado. Is legalization to blame?"
DENVER POST
AUGUST 25, 2017

From the article: “In Boulder, 18-year-old Quinn Hefferan admitted to smoking marijuana just before falling asleep behind the wheel on May 7, 2016, and crashing into another car killing two people. Records show Hefferan had 20 ng/mL of THC in his system—four times the legal limit.

Takeaway: Drowsy driving typically refers to falling asleep at the wheel (by whatever reason). Considering these trends in driving while high (so-called "drugged driving"), it wouldn't be surprising to see more laws bloom where recreational marijuana has been legalized. One of the chief reasons why people get into accidents while impaired is because they fall asleep at the wheel.


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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