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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on August 21st, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: August 21, 2018

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.



Elon Musk says grueling 120-hour work weeks are taking a toll on his health — here's what sleeping less than 7 hours a night can do to you
August 17, 2018 

From the article: “The Tesla CEO told The New York Times that he's been logging 120-hour work weeks lately, and it's taking a toll on his well-being.  …'It's not been great, actually,' Musk told the Times. 'I've had friends come by who are really concerned.'

Takeaway: Certainly we have patients who are overworked or workaholic. This story might help them to better understand why choosing to skip sleep is a recipe for disaster.


'Nap pods': futuristic sleep capsules welcome Hajj pilgrims (video broadcast)
August 19, 2018 

From the article: “Hajj pilgrimage starts on Sunday where Saudi Arabia is expected to host over two million Muslims. To cope with the massive influx of visitors, authorities have introduced this year so-called 'nap pods.' FRANCE 24 reports.

Takeaway: An interesting mashup of old traditions and new approaches. Glad to see sleep is viewed as essential to practicing one's faith. The image of the pilgrimage is stunning.


Restless sleep disorder in children: a pilot study on a tentative new diagnostic category
August 1, 2018

From the abstract: “A group of children with 'restless sleep' who do not fit the criteria for any other sleep disorder but with daytime impairment are studied to identify restless sleep disorder (RSD) clinically and polysomnographically and to differentiate it from other sleep disorders of childhood.

Takeaway: Get ready for a potential new sleep disorder designation for the pediatric population.


Americans Are Getting More ZZZZs
August 16, 2018

From the article: “The findings reveal that daily sleep duration increased by 1.4 minutes on weekdays and 0.8 minutes on weekends per year. At first glance, this may not seem like substantial progress. However, over the 14-year period it translates to 17.3 minutes more sleep each night, or 4.4 full days more sleep each year. It shows that sleep duration has increased among broad segments of the United States population (students 15 and older, people who are employed, and retirees) over this period. The increase in sleep duration was mostly explained by respondents turning in earlier at night, and to a lesser degree by getting up later in the morning.”

Takeaway: Progress is progress, however slow. It's worth considering that significant change that lasts usually doesn't happen overnight (pun intended). 


Circadiance Granted US and International Patents for SleepWeaver Soft Cloth CPAP Masks
August 15, 2018

From the article: “With the addition of these two patents, Circadiance holds 9 US and international patents around its cloth masks technology.

Takeaway: Opinions vary on the effectiveness of these soft-body CPAP masks among sleep techs. What do you think?


Benzodiazepines vs. Narcotics (Opioids)
August 16, 2018

From the website: “Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that cause drowsiness and are used to treat insomnia, seizures, anxiety disorders, nervousness, panic disorders, muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal, status epilepticus, premenstrual syndrome, and as sedation during surgery. Narcotic (opioid) analgesics are used to treat moderate to severe pain. Both benzodiazepines and narcotics (opioids) are common drugs of abuse.” 

Takeaway: It can be hard to keep track of medications and their side effects as they relate to sleep. This recently updated and physician-reviewed post does a good job of explaining the differences and similarities between these two drug classes as well as lists side effects and other pertinent information.


Untreated Sleep Apnea: An Analysis of Administrative Data to Identify Risk Factors for Early Nonadherence
August 15, 2018

From the article:  “Patient education and support focused on those most at risk and delivered by those most capable will likely result in a reduction in untreated OSA through more confirmed diagnoses of OSA and improved adherence with both treatment initiation and persistence.” 

Takeaway: Further substantiation of the value of the patient education aspect of work we do in the lab.


New Jersey trucking company settles charges it fired employee for sleep apnea
August 15, 2018

From the report: “A New Jersey trucking company, P. Judge & Sons, Inc., accused of firing an employee diagnosed with sleep apnea despite having medical clearance to continue his job duties, has been ordered to pay a $30,000 settlement.

Takeaway: Stories like this are becoming more and more frequent. Big business needs to start paying better attention to the health and welfare of its employees and not use their successfully treated medical conditions as a reason to let them go, or pay a price.

BIO:  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 MS-related columns for two medical publishers, and contributes as a freelance writer to AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz. She can be reached at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com.