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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on January 16th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: January 16, 2018

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleeping comb rats 

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



Should medical school encourage political thought?
January 15, 2018

From the commentary: “[W]ithout making policy and public health a major component of medical education instead of a side interest to be pursued on students’ own time, medical schools will continue to churn out exceptionally talented physicians who are exceptionally ill-prepared to deal with the medical bureaucracy and byzantine health care policies that hit them the moment they begin to care for patients. Physicians are no longer just healers, but must also advocate for their patients against these bureaucracies and policies.

Takeaway:  As a sleep tech, what do you think? Should sociopolitical discussions be part of your training?


Sleep News Special Report || The sleep lives of African Americans
January 15, 2018 

From the blog:The following links connecting sleep health to and racism show that racial prejudice is an ongoing issue among our communities of color, presenting in a wide array of health problems.

Takeaway:  Sleep health among African Americans has grown as a subject for investigation in medical research and probably should continue to expand to ensure what we know and understand about their health problems is addressed when medical professionals—include sleep technologistsobserve and treat this group of patients.

Disclosure: The author of this blog is also the curator of SleepyHead CENTRAL.


ResMed to Unveil First Branded POC
January 15, 2018

From the website: “Mobi will be designed to balance oxygen delivery, weight and battery life to ensure patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory conditions can enjoy a better quality of life while continuing to get oxygen therapy, according to a statement from ResMed. To achieve that, the device will build on the company's work in portable sleep solutions, according to ResMed CEO Mick Farrell.

Takeaway: Let's hope this portable oxygen concentrator is easy to use and whisper silent to ensure our labs can maintain good quality sleep testing in a quiet environment.


Drivers must take sleep apnea test for licence (sic) in Dubai: Expert
January 16, 2018

From the article: Professional drivers, including taxi drivers and long-haul truck drivers, should undergo sleep apnea testing as a prerequisite for acquiring or renewing a driver's license, a Dubai-based medical expert said. …Speaking to Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the Dubai Health Forum on Monday, Dr. Fabrizio Facchini, consultant pulmonologist at Valiant Clinic, said that such measures should be taken to limit the risks of driving while sleepy.  Sleep apnea can cause severe daytime sleepiness, a contributing factor in many road accident incidents in Dubai, he noted.”

Takeaway:  It will be interesting to see if other countries follow suit. Certainly the concerns about drowsy driving in other countries like India and South Korea are rampant. 


Analysis Shows Lack of Evidence That Wearable Biosensors Improve Patient Outcomes
January 15, 2018

From the news release: Wearable biosensors have grown increasingly popular as many people use them in wristbands or watches to count steps or track sleep. But there is not enough proof that these devices are improving patient outcomes such as weight or blood pressure, according to a study by Cedars-Sinai investigators published in the new Nature Partner Journal, npj Digital Medicine. ''As of now, we don’t have enough evidence that they consistently change clinical outcomes in a meaningful way,' said senior author Brennan Spiegel, MD, director of Health Services Research at Cedars-Sinai. 'But that doesn’t mean they can’t.'”

Takeaway: If you have patients who insist the data from their wearables disagrees with what you uncover through an HST or NPSG, you can at least point to this article to help convince them of the validity of laboratory diagnostics.


Avadel Receives Orphan Drug Designation for Once Nightly Sodium Oxybate Narcolepsy Treatment
January 10, 2018

From the article: Mike Anderson, Avadel’s CEO, says in a release, 'Receipt of Orphan Drug Designation for FT 218 is meaningful for both Avadel and patients suffering from narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a debilitating and rare sleep disorder for which limited treatment options exist. We look forward to completing our REST-ON Phase III trial this year and are hopeful that FT 218 can provide meaningful benefit to patients and their quality of life over other standards of care.' …REST-ON is a double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled study of 264 patients to assess the efficacy and safety of a once nightly formulation of sodium oxybate for extended-release oral suspension for the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy in patients suffering from narcolepsy.

Takeaway: This is one of the more promising orphan drug research "liberations" to come out of the recent regulatory shifts.  


Can 'coffee naps' pay back your 'sleep debt'?
YAHOO! Cricket
January 12, 2018

From the article: “Dr. Sujay Kansagra, MD, director of Duke University’s Pediatrics Neurology Sleep Medicine Program and consultant for Mattress Firm, says that coffee naps are an effective solution because they combine two strategies for combating sleepiness: sleep and caffeine. 'Using both techniques together is likely superior to either independently, for short-term improvement in alertness,' he says.” 

Takeaway:  If you struggle with the drive home from the lab in the morning, you might consider doing this to help improve your chances for safely making the trip.


Federal officials to announce cause of fatal Hoboken train crash next month
January 11, 2018

From the article: One person was killed and more than 100 injured in the Sept. 29, 2016 Hoboken crash. More than 100 people were injured when the LIRR train hit the post at the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. …Both trains were traveling at twice the posted speed limit as they reached the stations and both engineers later were found to have untreated sleep apnea.”

Takeaway: The hunt for safer mass transit continues.

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.