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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on January 9th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: January 9, 2018

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

 sleeping chameleon

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




Will you sleep better in 30 days? Take the Sleep Challenge and see
January 5, 2018

From the article:The challenge begins with a survey about your sleep habits, followed by periodic tips and encouragement. At the end of 30 days, you can take the survey again to see if your sleep patterns have changed.

Takeaway:  This might be a sleep-awareness activity your lab could initiate in your town or region. While an early January launch for such a challenge makes sense because people are making resolutions, other times of year when this challenge could be useful include the times of the year when the clocks change. This year, March 11 starts Daylight Saving Time and November 4 returns to Standard Time. 


Nightmares in African Americans
January 7, 2018 

From the blog:African American individuals tend to report poorer sleep continuity and quality, excessively short duration, and greater risk of sleep apnea. These sleep problems persist even after controlling for several relevant confounders such as socioeconomic status, occupational factors, neighborhood context, and health comorbidities.

Takeaway:  People of color have distinctly different health concerns that aren't often (or ever) taken into account while doing research. What can we do with this knowledge as sleep technologists? Be more knowledgeable about the sleep problems that are unique to this group of patients so they receive the best quality of care.


Jurisdiction J transition to Palmetto GBA results in new sleep facility accreditation requirement
January 5, 2018

From the website: “Due to a recent transition in the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for Jurisdiction J, sleep facilities in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee need to ensure that they meet all coverage provisions outlined in Palmetto GBA LCD L36593: Polysomnography, including the accreditation requirement. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently selected Palmetto GBA to replace Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators, LLC as the MAC for Jurisdiction J.

Takeaway: Those facilities which remain unaccredited in Jurisdiction J have until February 26, 2018 to achieve accreditation and maintain their status with Medicare.  Accreditation applications can be expedited by contacting the AASM Accreditation Department immediately at 630-737-9700. 


Six Key Practice Trends to Watch in 2018
January 3, 2018

From the article: “Although the uncertainty over the ACA has not gone away, neither have the dynamism and innovation of the industry. In 2018, physicians and their practices should keep an eye on these trends.

Takeaway: Things like price transparency, patient service expectations, and continued development in research data and technology are likely to impact your clinic if they haven't already. Also, keep an eye out for hospital-based initiatives on burnout prevention among night workers. 


Vayyar can detect if someone in your home stops breathing
January 8, 2018

From the blog: Vayyar has found new uses for its 3D imaging technology, including detecting whether someone in your home has stopped breathing or is suffering from sleep apnea. It’s another interesting application for a technology that can see through walls like Superman’s X-ray vision.

Takeaway: But one has to wonder at its accuracy, all the same. Even if people can identify sleep apnea (after all, does the app know to differentiate sleep from wakefulness?), they still need to see a doctor for PAP (or other) therapy.


Does Magnesium Help You Sleep?
January 5, 2018

From the article: “Studies have found a link between low levels of magnesium, an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in a wide range of bodily processes, and sleep disorders. But if you are concerned you aren’t getting enough magnesium, changing your diet may be a better option than taking a supplement, as 'there is really sparse evidence that taking super-therapeutic doses of magnesium will give you a benefit,' said Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a professor of pulmonary and sleep medicine at the University of Southern California.

Takeaway: Also worth noting that, in larger quantities, magnesium supplements do have adverse side effects (stomach related). Sometimes patients will take large amounts thinking it will fix their sleep issues, not realizing they might be giving themselves unnecessary problems like nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.  


4 Things Every Parent Should Stop Doing Right Now
January 8, 2018

From the article: “1.  Not Prioritizing Sleep.   Far too often, parents minimize the importance of sleep.  Whether due to a lax attitude about bedtime or because of the demands of overscheduling, nothing should get in the way of a child getting enough rest. Getting by on a few hours of sleep won't 'toughen up' a child, nor is it an indicator of resilience. ” 

Takeaway:  Kudos to Psychology Today for making sleep #1 on their list! After all, the other three recommendations are also good, and could easily have taken that spot. 


Man sentenced to 365 days in jail over drowsy driving death
January 2, 2018

From the article: “'This isn’t a case of a person who was up and down with a sick child one night or who didn’t get a good night sleep … this man knew he was a risk but chose to get behind the wheel anyway,' said Cache County Victim Advocate Terryl Warner. 'Co-workers warned him but he didn’t listen, and as a result, a man died; a man who was a husband and a father of three kids. His family suffers every single day with their loss.'

Takeaway: The state of Utah continues to grow increasingly tough on drowsy driving and joins the state of New Jersey in pursuing it as a criminal offense.

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.