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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on August 28th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: August 28, 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.


 

ADVOCATE WATCH

College-bound? Get Our Ed Essentials Guide, Full of Tips from Students with IH!
HYPERSOMNIA FOUNDATION
August 21, 2018 

From the article: “This guide is full of tips from college students, who have experienced what it’s like to attend college while having IH. It covers a variety of topics, including living in a dorm when you need to sleep a lot, finding food when the dining halls are closed, making sure you can wake up for your morning classes (and then staying awake during those classes), and speaking to your professors and college advisors about your IH.

Takeaway: A college education is extremely difficult to attain if you have IH; this guide shows that students can break out of old systems and achieve their dreams even when they have this sleep disorder as a roadblock.

CULTURE WATCH

Surgery Can Successfully Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Malocclusion in PWS, Case Study Reports
PRADER-WILLI SYNDROME NEWS
August 20, 2018 

From the article: “OSA, in particular, is highly prevalent among Prader-Willi patients. In fact, OSA has become a minor criterion for a diagnosis of Prader-Willi syndrome.
If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to significant health issues, including hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiac arrhythmias, and stroke.

Takeaway: Here's an example where treatment by PAP therapy may be less useful than surgery.

INDUSTRY WATCH

Addressing physician self-care means getting doctors more sleep
KEVIN MD
August 27, 2018

From the essay: “I have a tendency to feel guilty when I have an 'easy' call — one that I manage to get adequate sleep — as if I didn’t do my share of the work. I hang my head in 'shame' that I can’t wear the badge of honor for being up all night. Crazy, isn’t it?! But the culture of medicine demands this hardcore attitude where sleep deprivation is part of bragging rights.

Takeaway: Getting adequate sleep is a problem for physicians, but let's not forget—it's a challenge for us, as well, and we already know better than to court sleep deprivation.

TREND WATCH

Multimorbidity In the US – Obesity As A Key Driver of Health Spending
HEALTH POPULI
August 24, 2018

From the article: “In the U.S., the growing prevalence of multi-morbidity is contributing to increased mortality and healthcare cost growth in America. Underlying this clinical and economic phenomenon is obesity, which primary care doctors are challenged to deal with as a chronic condition along with typically co-occurring comorbidities of hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. …The line chart comes from a new study into Multimorbidity Trends in United States Adults, 1988-2014, published in the July-August 2018 issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.”

Takeaway: From the chart, measures for obesity, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, COPD, stroke, cancer, and chronic kidney disease show these interrelated impacts with obesity. It's distressing how the topic of sleep doesn't come up at all. It can seem like sleep disorders (in this case, OSA in particular) quickly fall off the radar of some researchers. 

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

Telemedicine Investors Roundtable Focuses on Progress, Barriers, and ROI
HEALTH CARE LAW TODAY
August 24, 2018

From the article: “As telemedicine continues to see significant traction, health care organizations are working to implement telemedicine programs and  create technology infrastructures all while working within the current legislative requirements. Foley & Lardner LLP and Ziegler recently had an opportunity to sit down with 15 leaders in telemedicine to discuss the progress, barriers, and return on investment as the industry shifts from infancy to adolescence.

Takeaway: It's hard to know how many more jobs may be created for RPSGTs and CCSH credential holders from this article, but it's comforting to be reminded of the natural affinity sleep medicine has for applications of telemedicine, and that it could very well be those of us in allied sleep health  professions taking the helm.

PHARMA WATCH

What Are Nootropics—and Can They Really Make You Smarter?
READER'S DIGEST
August 21, 2018

From the article: “Supplements, medications, and coffee certainly might play a role in keeping our brains running smoothly at work or when we’re trying to remember where we left our keys. But the long-term effects of basic lifestyle practices can’t be ignored. 'For good brain health across the life span, you should keep your brain active,' [professor Barbara] Sahakian says. 'There is good evidence for use it or lose it.'She suggests brain-training apps to improve memory, as well as physical exercise. 'You should ensure you have a healthy diet and not overeat. It is also important to have good-quality sleep. Finally, having a good work-life balance is important for well-being.'” 

Takeaway: This is a good survey of the wide-branching field of nootropic drugs, but what's really sad is that sleep as a biological process necessary for a sharp brain is mentioned only very slightly at the very bottom of this article.

HEALTH LITERACY WATCH

Class is in session when it comes to finding ways to help students score top grades for getting their best sleep
RESTONIC
August 22, 2018

From the article:  “In a comprehensive University of Michigan study, 50% of college students across the country reported daytime sleepiness, irregular sleep schedules and sleep deprivation. More than 70% suffered from insufficient sleep. The general consensus is that young adults should have at least 8 hours of sleep each night but in an architectural school in the Midwest, just 4% of students slept that much on a regular basis.” 

Takeaway: College students find themselves free to make many decisions, including when to go to bed and how long to sleep. Without family schedules shaping these decisions, they need a little extra help achieving a healthy balance of studies, social life, and activities, all which demand adequate sleep for success.  

LEGAL WATCH

Council may ease regulations for those living out of vehicles
ARIZONA DAILY SUN
August 23, 2018

From the article: “With Flagstaff residents spending so much on both housing and transportation, Council continued a discussion on adjusting city codes that some say 'criminalize sleep.' Specifically, Council discussed changes to the camping ordinance and the ordinance governing those utilizing RVs as homes within the city.

Takeaway: Human beings at every socioeconomic status still have a Constitutional right to sleep, but local lawmakers frequently find ordinances that get in the way of that right.  


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.