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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on December 19th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: December 19, 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.

Holiday schedule: Hope you are enjoying your holiday season!
WYWS will post a day later over the next two weeks
(Wed Dec 27 and Wed Jan 3) in order to accommodate
the upcoming national holidays. 



Older Adults' Forgetfulness Tied To Faulty Brain Rhythms In Sleep
December 17, 2017 

From the report:During deep sleep, older people have less coordination between two brain waves that are important to saving new memories, a team reports in the journal Neuron.

Takeaway:  This shows a correlation between sleep and memory that's independent of aging-related dementia. That's important, because older people are less likely to discuss memory issues if they believe it will only lead to an Alzheimer's diagnosis. If they understand that you can struggle with memory issues due to sleep problems in general, and that those problems are treatable and don't automatically lead to dementia, they might be more upfront about their concerns.


Characterizing Sleepiness: Are We Drawing the Right Line in the Sand?
December 15, 2017

From the commentary: “However, there are numerous differences between what the ESS and the MSLT are assessing, beyond the subjective/objective difference. The ESS estimates the likelihood of dozing across 8 different conditions, whereas the MSLT measures sleep propensity in one very specific, soporific situation. The ESS considers sleepiness in “recent times,” whereas the MSLT measures sleepability on a single day. The ESS combines situations in which one may be trying to sleep (eg, lying down to rest), situations in which dozing may or may not be considered problematic (eg, watching television), and situations in which dozing is clearly not desired (eg, talking to someone, stopped in traffic), whereas the MSLT measures only sleep tendency when a patient is instructed to try to fall asleep. The ESS is closer to a measure of trait sleepiness, whereas the MSLT is clearly affected by state of physiologic arousal.”

Takeaway: This is an interesting comparison between two of our major sleepiness/hypersomnia measuring instruments. 


Does sleep tracking help rest? | Logged On
December 15, 2017 

From the survey: “Since I'm one of the many who regularly gets too little sleep, I was hoping this device would help me out, but I quickly discovered its limits. I mean, I know when I should get to bed. The app can't stop me from working late or turn off Netflix for me. So what can it do?

Takeaway: Bottom line—data is only useful if you can apply it in a way that supports healthy change.


Minnetonka maker of apnea device raises nearly $60 million from investors
December 18, 2017 

From the article: “Respicardia's Remede device is an implantable neurostimulation system that applies mild current to the phrenic nerve during sleep to cause the diaphragm expand and contract in a normal rhythm, restoring natural breathing.

Takeaway: More advancements in the neurostimulation implant world. These may give PAP therapy a significant challenge if prices come down and outcomes remain positive. Stay tuned.


Common Pain Management Drugs Linked with Poor Sleep
December 14, 2017

From the article: Experts at Newcastle University have published a study in PLOS ONE that shows serious impact of these medications, which the authors say highlights the need to reduce their use. …Findings show that medications commonly used to treat pain, like gabapentinoids such as gabapentin, pregabilin, and opiates, doubled the risk of obesity and were associated with poor sleep.

Takeaway: As techs, we can be a part of the front lines when it comes to opioid problems among our patients by simply keeping a watchful eye on patient prescriptions during intake and recognizing the links between pain medications and sleep problems, especially sleep apnea and insomnia.


A provisional tool for the measurement of sleep satisfaction
December 17, 2017

From the article: “The Panel determined that appropriate sleep satisfaction elements include how an individual feels (a) about their sleep, (b) immediately after their sleep, and (c) during the subsequent day. Additionally, appropriate environmental elements include (a) bedding comfort, (b) bedroom temperature, and (c) noise and light in the bedroom.” 

Takeaway:  How people feel about their sleep can be a strong indicator of how they will comply with treatment. The better they can articulate their self assessments, the better we can help them.


OOIDA, FMCSA offer oral arguments in case over sleep apnea guidance
December 14, 2017

From the article: Attorneys for OOIDA and the DOT went head to head in court last month, with OOIDA claiming the DOT violated federal law by tucking a sleep apnea provision into a larger 2015 rule. Attorneys for the DOT say they only made minor changes to the form used during the DOT physical process.”

Takeaway: The pushback on sleep apnea screening regulations is an ongoing effort. The sleep industry needs continued vigilance to help educate the truckers, the government, and the public to understand the need for sleep apnea screening while appreciating why truckers don't want it (hint: it costs them time and money).

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.