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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on December 19th, 2016

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This Week in Sleep Medicine : December 19, 2016

Sleep Technologist Advice

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Your media watchdog for headlines and trends
relevant to sleep technology and patient education. 

"While You Were Sleeping" is going on holiday
will return on Monday, January 2, 2017.

Happy New Year! See you next year!


Ants crawl onto man's breathing device during Circus Circus stay
December 13, 2016

From the article: “Thomas said the hotel came to check out the issue, but not before he found the bugs crawling on his CPAP machine, a breathing device used to treat sleep apnea. His doctor told him to stop using the device and get a new one in case the ants laid eggs.”

Takeaway: This bit of news doesn't really fit any of the normal categories, but I thought you'd like to learn about this unfortunate situation, all the same. 


Filmmaker turns his annoying sleep talking into a hilarious short film
December 15, 2016

From the article:Of the estimated five percent of adults who talk in their sleep, a condition called somniloquy, filmmaker Adam Rosenberg is one of them. 

Takeaway: I'm sure sleep techs all over could crowdsource their own short film featuring sleeptalkers in action, but that might be a HIPAA violation, so Adam Rosenberg has done the work instead.


"Truckers challenge US regulators over sleep apnea" 
December 15, 2016

From the article: “The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is challenging over what it sees as backdoor effort by regulators to require treatment of sleep apnea in truck drivers. ... The association claims federal regulators bypassed the rulemaking process by including sleep-apnea-related language in an appendix to a final rule on medical examiner certification.”

Takeaway: While many trucking companies and independent drivers have no issue with screening and treating sleep apnea among their workforces, there are still those who continue to fight regulations that would help improve safety across America's highways. 


With a Little Help, Smartphone Tools May Boost PAP Adherence
December 13, 2016

From the article: “'Anecdotally, we already know that patients who take an active involvement in their sleep therapy learn and monitor their results, [and] increase adherence and compliance,' says Angela Giudice, 3B’s director of clinical sales and education.

Takeaway: As technology improves, we can hope to see it help patients become more compliant and empowered. 


What Happens When You Stop Smoking Weed
December 9, 2016

From the article:If you're a frequent marijuana user, you might be tempted to go on a "tolerance break," a period of abstinence meant to lower an individual's tolerance to the psychoactive effects of cannabis. But reduced tolerance isn't the only thing that happens when you stop smoking weed.

Takeaway: Frequent users of marijuana as a sleep aid may wish to consider what might happen to their sleep in its absence, should they decide to stop using it. This is interesting and useful information especially for techs who work in states where pot in legal medicinally, recreationally, or both.


Why Sleep Disorders May Precede Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
December 15, 2016

From the article:When the body’s biological clock goes awry, insomnia and related disruptions may be an early sign of pending cognitive decline.

Takeaway: Here's some good information you can share with patients who are struggling with dysfunctional sleep so that they can be proactive about their health. We know, as sleep techs, how lost sleep is connected to many different chronic health conditions, but our patients aren't usually as knowledgeable. When you can give them good quality information, they can be more empowered to take charge of their health concerns.


'Impossible Demands' Lead to Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
Dec 13, 2016

From the article:Landry lost his job at the federal courthouse in 2015 over what he claims were 'impossible demands' made in connection with his treatment for sleep apnea. He responded by filing a lawsuit against his employer alleging that he was discriminated against in violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts Gen. L. Chapter 151B, the state law prohibiting employment discrimination, including discrimination based on a disability."

Takeaway: This is a great example of how there are still so many hurdles to compliance that have nothing to do with patient behaviors (such as technology and insurance limitations). It's no wonder some patients are frustrated by the imposition of CPAP on their lives.

BIO:  Tamara Kaye Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the weekly sleep news 
clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health
headlines daily. She is also
Chief Content Officer for inboundMed and
contributes to
AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz, and other places.