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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on December 5th, 2016

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: December 5, 2016

Sleep Technologist Advice

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


Tackling snoring as a family problem
December 1, 2016

From the article:Snoring in adults and children often happens for the same reason: the muscle in the upper airway relaxes during sleep, which causes the airway to collapse.

Takeaway: This might be a tactic that sleep technologists can use when working with patients who snore or have sleep apnea and who also have children (or patients who have children who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or who are confirmed snorers).

As sleep specialists, we already know that sleep-disordered breathing can be the result of inherited physiology; sharing this information with patients can help erode any denial they may foster about having sleep apnea (or being a snorer). 


Effectiveness of Maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) surgery in sleep apnea treatment: Case report
November 29, 2016

From the article:The patient in the present report had severe OSAS and was treated with MMA and chin advancement surgery. Although the bone movements did not obtain the maxillomandibular advancement values described in the literature for the successful treatment of OSAS, we observed a significant increase in the airway volume, in the segment that was studied, the SA, and in the anteroposterior and lateral linear measurements. This procedure provided an effective treatment for severe OSAS with a decrease in the AHI from 30.8 to 0.2 and a consequent reduction in daytime sleepiness.

Takeaway: Sometimes it can be easy to think that CPAP alone is going to work for every patient. Studies still suggest, however, that for some patients, alternatives (including surgery) can be a better option. This is a pretty detailed research study, but useful for reviewing what MMA surgery is and how it can be beneficial for some patients.


"Why sleep matters — the economic costs of insufficient sleep" 
December 1, 2016

From the article: “...insufficient sleep is not exclusively a US problem, and equally concerns other industrialised countries such as the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, or Canada. According to some evidence, the proportion of people sleeping less than the recommended hours of sleep is rising and associated with lifestyle factors related to a modern 24/7 society, such as psychosocial stress, alcohol consumption, smoking, lack of physical activity and excessive electronic media use, among others.”

Takeaway: Required reading for anyone working in the field of sleep medicine and sleep health. 


SoClean Premieres “Kill Germs, Not The Mood” Video, Hosts Giveaway
December 1, 2016

From the article:One randomly-selected giveaway winner will receive a SoClean sanitizing machine. To enter, users must watch the video and submit their name, email,and phone number. The giveaway runs from November 29 to December 28, 2016.

Takeaway: You may want to pass on this information to your patients; who wouldn't want to win a sanitizing machine for their CPAP gear? It may also spawn an interest in sales of the machine from your own clinic. 


2B-Alert Web: An Open-Access Tool for Predicting the Effects of Sleep/Wake Schedules and Caffeine Consumption on Neurobehavioral Performance
December 1, 2016

From the article:Here, we introduce 2B-Alert Web, an open-access tool for predicting neurobehavioral performance, which accounts for the effects of sleep/wake schedules, time of day, and caffeine consumption, while incorporating the latest scientific findings in sleep restriction, sleep extension, and recovery sleep.

Takeaway: Caffeine is a good place to begin testing the usefulness of this instrument. After all, it's commonly consumed, easy to access, and used by millions of people. Let's see what this open-access tool can do for neuroscience.


Health fear-mongering: Could our news be making us sicker?
November 16, 2016

From the article:A recent Norwegian study in BMJ Open provides some roundabout insight into that question, looking at the effects of health anxiety in a 12-year study of more than 7,000 people. It found that health anxiety — defined by the study authors as “a specific type of anxiety characterised by preoccupation of having, acquiring or possibly avoiding illness” — was associated with an increased risk of developing ischemic heart disease (IHD). There’s a catch: How those effects were characterized in the news proved to be a demonstration of the problem we’re talking about in the first place.

Takeaway: This makes a good argument for blocking all forms of TV news in patient bedrooms during sleep studies. While we can't control what happens at home, we can certainly dial down the anxiety by giving patients access only to light-hearted media, if we give them access at all. 


How a Trump presidency may impact health care reform
Dec 1, 2016

From the article:As the Trump Administration settles into office, major health care efforts to reform the healthcare system and potentially repeal sections of the Affordable Care Act will be brought before Congress."

Takeaway: If you're not completely versed on how healthcare reform works (or doesn't work), this is a good primer on where things stand with the PEOTUS, as well as the shape of things to come. Also, check out this related article by the AASM from last August, which discusses "Healthcare: The Challenge of Turning a Platform Into Law."

sleepy dog by jake furrellImage: "Sleepy Dog" by Jake Furrell, courtesy Flickr Commons


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.