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By: Tamara Sellman on February 6th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: February 6, 2018

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

 sleeping calf

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



Fatal North Carolina Crash Caused by Fatigued Driver
February 2, 2018

From the website: “It is very clear that drowsy driving is deadly driving. The NHTSA reported in 2014 that 846 people were killed by fatigued drivers. These reported deaths in 2014 are consistent with statistics for the last 10 years. From 2005 to 2009, there were approximately 83,000 crashes caused by drowsy driving. Each year, there are approximately 886 deaths from such crashes and an estimated 37,000 injuries.”

Takeaway:  If your New Year's resolution for 2018 was to join a good cause, your credentials as a sleep technologist make you a prime spokesperson for advocacy promoting safe and wakeful driving.


Diuretic or Sodium-Restricted Diet for Obstructive Sleep Apnea – A Randomized Trial (abstract)
January 30, 2018 

From the study:Interventions to reduce bodily fluid content in men with severe OSA promoted a limited decrease of apnea frequency. This finding suggests that rostral fluid displacement affects only partially the OSA severity and/or that other factors prevail in determining pharyngeal collapsibility.

Takeaway:  This is useful to know and impart to patients who also have obesity or edema by any cause; this may be a bigger motivator for them to lose some weight, as fatty tissue retains more fluid than muscle tissue. 


Medical Specialist Shortage May Impact Access to Sleep Medicine Services
January 29, 2018

From the article: “There is a growing shortage of specialists and subspecialists in the United States, according to a recently released white paper from physician search and consulting firm Merritt Hawkins. According to the paper, the awareness of these shortages is often overshadowed by the ever-present primary care physician (PCP) shortage. However, it notes that there needs to be a sense of urgency around the national specialist shortage as it has just as much of an impact on the healthcare industry’s ability to provide patients with proper care in a timely fashion.

Takeaway: The specialties noted in the white paper include pulmonology, neurology, otolaryngology, and psychiatry: all which have a direct relationship with patients who have sleep disorders.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea Care Similar Among Providers
February 1, 2018

From the article: “Non-sleep specialists (NSSs) and sleep specialist physicians (SSPs) provide similar quality care with similar patient outcomes for adults with known or suspected obstructed sleep apnea (OSA), according to a review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Takeaway: The study was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development, Quality Enhancement Research Initiative.  That suggests that cost-cutting measures that circumvent the current model of care provided by sleep specialists are high on the list of budget priorities by the federal government. Will that affect us as sleep technologists, down the line? Maybe.


Thorne Launches Home Urine Test for Sleep That Measures Melatonin and Cortisol Levels
January 30, 2018

From the article: “The Sleep Test costs $250 and analyzes urine taken 4 times in 24 hours (nighttime, morning, daytime, and evening) for melatonin (specifically the melatonin metabolite 6-sulphatoxymelatonin) and cortisol.

Takeaway: Heard of precision medicine? This is one example of a product that hopes to achieve it through personalized tests that can inform treatment decisions.


Modvigil – Discover The Amazing Benefits of The Best Nootropic Of All Time
February 2, 2018

From the press release: “Modvigil 200 is a popular brand of the generic Modafinil. This is manufactured by the Hab Pharma in India. As an oral drug, it is commonly used by individuals who are suffering from excessive sleepiness and wants to improve wakefulness. This is one of the best smart drugs in the history of nootropics. It is well-known to improve alertness and mental energy and can also improve cognitive performance.

Takeaway: What is your reaction to this press release? Do we need more nootropic, or "performance" or "smart" drugs, or do we just need more sleep?


People Are Sleeping in 20-Minute Bursts To Boost Productivity. But Is It Safe?
January 30, 2018

From the article:  About a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep. But there’s a small group of people actively trying to spend less time in bed, not more: polyphasic sleepers. Part productivity hack, part science experiment, polyphasic sleep is rumored to have fueled great minds, including those of Leonardo da Vinci and Nikola Tesla. The odd sleeping habit has now caught on among Silicon Valley types eager to milk as many productive hours from the day as possible, and has spurred books, an active Reddit community and even a Polyphasic Sleep Society. … Here’s what to know about the unorthodox sleep practice.” 

Takeaway:  Sleep techs should have a mastery of this discussion and all of its arguments in the event patients with obvious circadian rhythm disorders insist they can practice polyphasic sleep and maintain good health and functionality.


Couple charged with illegally selling prescription medical devices
January 30, 2018

From the article: “Aderhold allegedly stole CPap and BiPap machines and portable oxygen concentrators from the inventory of the Advanced Home Care stores she managed. She and Ramey would advertise the stolen products for sale, primarily on Craigslist. Once a buyer responded to their advertisement, Ramey or Aderhold allegedly would meet with the buyer and sell the stolen medical equipment for cash only. The defendants did not ask the buyers to produce prescriptions for the devices. Ramey and Aderhold did not provide instructions to the buyers regarding the safe use of the stolen medical devices.

Takeaway: Of course, we wish all of our patients would buy through the DME, but if they can get a better deal from an online seller, they have a right to do so—they just need to know that the only legitimate sellers require a doctor's prescription.

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.