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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on February 13th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: February 13, 2018

Sleep Technologist Advice

While You Were Sleeping: What Sleep Technologists Need to Know This Week

 black and white piglet sleeping

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



The United States of Care Launches to Promote Healthcare for All of US
February 6, 2018

From the website:On the website’s landing page, you’ll see a wide range of stakeholders who support the effort, from all 'aisles' of politics, healthcare industry segments, for- and not-for-profit organizations, and regions of the country. Together, they transcend health politics and converge on a single health policy: that is, to 'ensure that every single American has access to quality, affordable health care regardless of health status, social need, or income.'

Takeaway:  If you are looking to join an organization that engages the healthcare policy debate, you might consider joining this effort.


Lighting Research Center Tests Effectiveness of Apple’s iPad Night Shift Mode on Melatonin Suppression
February 5, 2018 

From the study:Participants exposed to the Night Shift low correlated color temperature (more warm) and Night Shift high correlated color temperature (less warm) interventions wore lensless eyeglasses frames fitted with an LRC-developed circadian light meter called a Dimesimeter, which measured eye-level light exposures. Data from the Dimesimeter was used to calculate the circadian stimulus received by participants during the experiment.

Takeaway:  If you have patients who tend to use electronics into the evening hours, it may be impossible to convince them to step away from their technology at bedtime when they're at home. However, the next best thing could be their use of blue-blocking utilities in their devices, as this research shows they can effectively tone down blue light exposure in users. 


Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Effectiveness of Oronasal vs Nasal CPAP
February 12, 2018

From the article: “A meta-analysis published in Chest reported that compared with nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with oronasal masks was associated with a significantly higher CPAP level, a significantly higher residual apnea/hypopnea index (AHI), and lower adherence.

Takeaway: It's important to help your patients find the mask that's right for them. Knowing the risks of using one mask type over another is part of that guiding hand you can offer them when they are getting to know CPAP for the first time.


Time to rethink sleep quality: PSQI scores reflect sleep quality on workdays
February 12, 2018

From the article: “Our results suggest that the original PSQI predominantly reports sleep quality on workdays and that work schedules may affect sleep quality. The mediation of social jetlag on the association of chronotype and PSQI score differences could mean that not chronotype per se, but rather the collision of an individuals´ chronotype with fixed work schedules explains the differences between sleep on workdays and work-free days.

Takeaway: This is an interesting study that seeks to fine tune one of sleep medicine's favorite instruments for measuring sleepiness based on an awareness of workplace-influenced sleeping patterns.


Empatica's consumer-facing epileptic seizure-detecting wearable gets FDA clearance
February 5, 2018

From the article: “[P]eople with epilepsy often don't want to admit it or have it widely known, so the important thing in creating a consumer device was that it be easy to use but also attractive to wear. Since the company plans to market the device to anyone who might want to use it for tracking stress, activity, or sleep, wearing it doesn't necessarily broadcast that the user has epilepsy.

Takeaway: The seizure-detecting features in this wearable, if they are accurate, could come in handy in sleep labs where patients suspected of having epilepsy are undergoing tests.


Patients Are Needed for Clinical Trial
February 5, 2018

From the announcement: “Flamel, part of the Avadel Pharmaceuticals, is looking for subjects to participate in their clinical trial – REST-ON; evaluating their once nightly sodium oxybate  (FT218for the treatment of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) and cataplexy in narcolepsy. FT218 is dosed only once at bedtime.

Takeaway: If you have narcolepsy patients in your records, they may wish to participate in this important trial, as it could help to deepen researchers' understanding of a new narcolepsy medication that reduces dosage of sodium oxybate to just once a night—a significant improvement for patients who, using the current formula, must literally awaken in the middle of the night to take a second dose.


Safety Risks of Buying a Used CPAP Machine
February 8, 2018

From the blog:  “Many people try to recoup the lost cost by selling their used CPAP on Craigslist or at a garage sale. But there are dangers associated with buying a used CPAP machine under these conditions.” 

Takeaway:  Patients who ask about ways to save money on a CPAP machine are probably going to go to eBay, Craigslist, or another online retailer to purchase a used one (or try to find one at a garage sale). Not only is it dangerous for them to try a used machine that hasn't been inspected, disinfected and reset to their prescribed settings, it means they are participating in the perpetuation of the preexisting CPAP black market.  


OOIDA plans to appeal court's decision in sleep apnea case
February 12, 2018

From the article: The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association [OOIDA] said it plans to appeal a court’s decision to dismiss its lawsuit that alleged the FMCSA bypassed the rulemaking process in order to regulate obstructive sleep apnea. …The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit heard oral arguments on Nov. 15 and dismissed the case in January. …'We don’t agree with the ruling, and we also think it runs counter to decisions made in other appellate courts,' said OOIDA Acting President Todd Spencer. 'The negative consequences are that the supposed sleep disorder screening guidelines that were added to the regulations would be regularly practiced as they have in the past. It basically makes it to where drivers can be held hostage for ransom when it comes time to get a physical.' The Eighth Circuit ruled that OOIDA’s case 'lacked standing.'”

Takeaway: The OOIDA is one of the most vocal opponents of sleep apnea screening regulations for truck drivers. 

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.