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By: Tamara Sellman on February 20th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: February 20, 2018

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

 cat surrenders to sleep

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



February 29, 2018

From the survey:We want to understand outcomes from medical care that are important and relevant to people with sleep disorders and to other people involved with the care of people with sleep disorders.

Takeaway:  One way to participate as a sleep health advocate and activist is to complete these kinds of research surveys, which can greatly assist researchers in narrowing down and prioritizing their goals at the bench level. Big Data holds a great deal of promise for future clinical research, but only if people participate.


Insomnia a Troubling Symptom of Prednisolone, Finds Study Analyzing Tweets
February 15, 2018 

From the report: “The researchers used a computer system to automatically identify tweets containing the drug name as well as identifying mentions of what looked like a likely drug side effect. It then converted lay terms like 'can’t sleep' to medical terms such as 'insomnia.'

Takeaway:  A snarky response to this might be, "Hmmm, all they had to do was ask sleep techs," but all the same, gotta give some credit: this is an intriguing and clever way to use social media to collect data on patient medication experiences which impact sleep. 


Prepare for April's New Medicare Card
Register now: Webinar slated for February 21, 2018 

From the announcement: “The AMA has arranged for a CMS briefing on the new Medicare card on February 21st from 3-4pm eastern time.€€ The new Medicare card is a result of MACRA’s requirement that CMS issue Medicare cards that do not display Social Security Numbers to address the risk of beneficiary identity theft.€€ New Medicare cards will be issued beginning in April 2018 and physician offices must be prepared to accept the new Medicare identification number at that time.€€ …As the new Medicare cards will significantly impact physician practices’ workflows, we strongly encourage state and specialty society staff, as well as physicians and their office staff, to attend this webinar.€€ It will include time for Q & A and will be recorded for those who are unable to attend.

Takeaway:  This may impact your patient intake protocols soon. If you can't make it, there will be a recording of the webinar you can download later if you register now. 


A fish that barely sleeps could help turn humans into all-night party animals
February 9, 2018

From the article: “There’s something about the blind Mexican cavefish that will make you quite jealous: To survive and thrive, they require two hours of sleep each night; no more, no less. Imagine everything you could do with those extra six hours.”

Takeaway: For all the sleep health awareness effort out there, some scientists seem hell-bent on trying to find ways to eliminate sleep altogether. 


Telemedicine Credentialing by Proxy: What Hospitals and Telehealth Companies Need to Know
February 19, 2018

From the article: “[I]n the Foley & Lardner 2017 Telemedicine & Digital Health Survey Report, only 33% of respondent hospitals or provider groups use telemedicine credentialing by proxy.  The traditional credentialing process is far more time-consuming and costly than credentialing by proxy, and hospitals (particularly originating site hospitals that receive/purchase telemedicine services) should consider  how to take advantage of the streamlined credentialing by proxy process offered by both CMS and the Joint Commission.

Takeaway: If your clinic/hospital system is using (or wants to use) telemedicine, this is useful advice for saving time and improving on efficiencies related to the continuum of care.


Trazodone Improves Some Measures of Sleep Quality
February 15, 2018

Dr. Xin-yu Zhou, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University: “Trazodone with 50-150 mg/day was effective in sleep maintenance by decreasing the number of early awakenings and it could significantly improve perceived sleep quality.” 

Takeaway: This research comes from a meta-analysis and a disclaimer that "high-quality" studies need to be developed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this sleep aid. 


Cleaning your mattress? Here are 4 things you should never do...
February 8, 2018

From the blog:  “These common mattress cleaning mistakes are causing people to suffer from a dirty mattress and a rough night’s sleep. When cleaning your mattress, make sure to avoid the following mistakes.” 

Takeaway:  If you have patients asking for tips, this might be a handy article to print out and share with them. 


Judge Transfers Lawsuits Alleging Prisoner Sleep Deprivation To Sacramento
February 12, 2018

From the article: “Two lawsuits that claim certain state prisoners suffered severe sleep deprivation during noisy suicide and welfare checks have been moved from federal court in San Francisco to Sacramento.

Takeaway: If we see prison as a way to rehabilitate people, then we need to see their sleep as vital to their self improvement, yes? 

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.