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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on February 27th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: February 27, 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.


"Blood Cells Remember Your Mountain Vacation
February 23, 2017

From the website:Red blood cells retain a memory of high-altitude exposure, allowing for faster acclimation next time. But that memory fades within four months.

Takeaway: An interesting look into the mechanism's of the respiratory system's high altitude acclimation. Useful to know if you have respiratory patients who travel frequently to higher elevations or spend a lot of time in the mountains.


"Dietary supplement derived from tree bark shows promise for treating sleep apnea
February 23, 2017

From the website:MIT researchers have discovered that a dietary supplement called yohimbine reverses the root cause of obstructive sleep apnea in an animal model.

Takeaway: Researchers are still looking for alternatives to CPAP, based on user demands and problems with compliance for the gold-standard therapy. Not sure that a pharmaceutical (or nutriceutical, in this case) is the answer, but these MIT researchers aren't ruling out an ancient substance to do the job. 


"The Perks of Purchasing a Mini CPAP for On-the-Go
February 23, 2017

From the website:This device is ideal for both the business traveler who finds themselves doing short stints in hotels and airline lounges as well as those who want to travel for pleasure.

Takeaway: If you encounter patients who worry they will fail compliance measures, you can certainly recommend one of these. Also, there are television ads promoting portable CPAP now which patients may also be asking about. 


"3 reasons why health care IT will always be terrible
February 15, 2017

From the website:Information technology in its current format is the number one frustration for doctors and nurses across the United States. And it’s responsible for much misery on the front lines of medicine as an unacceptably large amount of time is spent navigating them.

Takeaway: If you've ever had to live through a platform migration between two electronic records platforms, then you probably already know far too well the challenges of working with EMR and the IT departments that manage these complex systems.


"'Things You Did on Ambien’ Is Peak Reddit
February 22, 2017

From the website: “This week’s find: a subreddit devoted to all the wonderfully deranged things people have done while under the influence of Ambien sleeping pills, or while experiencing a visit from the Ambien walrus, as redditors are known to call it.”

Takeaway: "Admittedly, it is a nice-looking cabinet." (Read the article to find the reference.)


"Two New Books Advocate For Healthy Airways
February 17, 2017

From the website: “Proper sleep and good health stems from healthy mouths, jaws, and throats, according to recent releases written by dentists.”

Takeaway: It's become more and more evident that craniofacial problems from childhood, when left uncorrected, can lead to sleep breathing disorders, and these books exist to educate people about this. Note: These books wouldn't be published were there not an increased awareness of the problem and a demand for more information, so this is a good sign that people are starting think with discernment about their sleep breathing.


"Man freed after appeal over fatal crash sentence
February 17, 2017

From the website: “A driver who fell asleep at the wheel causing the death of a young mother and seriously injuring her baby has been freed from jail... The Court of Appeal ruled the two-year sentence imposed on Anthony Handley was unduly harsh.”

Later in the article: "Handley had had four hours sleep the night before, but he said for him that was a normal night's rest... At the sentence hearing last year his lawyers had asked the court to consider a suspended sentence saying his sudden onset of sleep could not have been forseeable."

Takeaway: Hmmm, I'm not entirely sure about that last line, considering the science behind sleep deprivation, microsleeps, and drowsy driving . What do you think?

BIO:  Tamara Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the sleep health information clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health news headlines daily. She is also Web Consultant for the American Sleep Apnea Association, writes MS-related columns for two medical publishers, and contributes as a freelance writer to AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz, and other places.

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