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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on June 12th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: June 12, 2018

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.


 

ADVOCATE WATCH

1 in 4 Americans Develop Insomnia Each Year
PERELMAN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
June 5, 2018 

From the press release: “About 25 percent of Americans experience acute insomnia each year, but about 75 percent of these individuals recover without developing persistent poor sleep or chronic insomnia, according to a study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania which will be presented Monday at SLEEP 2018, the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS)."

Takeaway: It's a good news, bad news situation. Good because more than 80 million of more than 326 million Americans are able to survive insomnia each  year, but bad because 20 million of Americans suffering from insomnia still do not recover. That's right: 20 MILLION. This is an area where sleep technologists with advanced credentials should be seeking training.  This is an opportunity to extend physician reach, providing CBTi and followup for these patients, who experience delays in treatment and care due to well-established provider shortages.

CULTURE WATCH

Researchers Investigate Link Between Sleep Apnea Treatment and Diabetes Management
WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
June 7, 2018 

From the research study: “Robert Stansbury, assistant professor in the WVU School of Medicine, is working as part of a multi-center project sponsored by the National Institutes of Health to assess what impact treating obstructive sleep apnea has on diabetes self-management.

Takeaway: It makes one wonder: how many endocrinologists are working with sleep specialists? How many people with diabetes have even discussed their sleep problems with their doctors? How many doctors with diabetic patients are even thinking about sleep health in this context? 

INDUSTRY WATCH

What to Look for in a Pediatric Sleep Center
ALASKA SLEEP EDUCATION CENTER
May 30, 2018

From the blog: “Children require special attention when undergoing sleep studies so be sure to choose a sleep center with specific pediatric expertise in childhood and adolescent sleep disorders. …Here are a few things parents should be aware of when finding a sleep center appropriate for their child.

Takeaway: Interesting insights into pediatric sleep medicine for those who are thinking about extending their lab's patient population to children. If you're already treating pediatric patients, inquiring minds want to know if this article missed anything feel free to share your insights in comments.

TREND WATCH

Come for a teeth cleaning, leave with a sleep apnea take home test
DELAWARE ONLINE
June 5, 2018

From the article: “In the past two years, Robinson’s practice has screened 500 patients for sleep apnea, he said. Of those patients, 40 percent are referred to a sleep physician or an ENT.”

Takeaway: Is dental sleep medicine a source of patient referrals for your lab? If not, maybe it should be. 

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

Oventus Medical Presents Data That Its Peak End Expiratory Pressure Valve Investigational CPAP Alternative Treats 75% of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients
SLEEP REVIEW
June 4, 2018

From the article: “Oventus’ founder and clinical director, Chris Hart, M.Phil, BSc, BDSc, says in a release. 'Previous results from Oventus-led clinical trials have shown that the existing O2Vent device successfully treats at least 53% of patients. If we combine our trial results, we can see that across our whole Oventus Sleep Treatment Platform of O2Vent devices and add on accessories, 78% of patients across the full spectrum from mild to severe OSA, may able to be treated using our devices without the need for CPAP.  Since we know that there are such problems with patients adhering to CPAP, we’ve been driven to offer an alternative, and these results point to the fact that our technology really can be game-changing for the treatment of sleep apnea. We plan to build upon these results with further clinical studies.'

Takeaway: Seems promising, though the patient population amounted to only 13 subjects in this study. 

PHARMA WATCH

Positive New Data on Investigational Lemborexant Compared to Zolpidem ER Presented at SLEEP 2018
SLEEP  REVIEW
June 6, 2018

From the article: “'Postural instability is thought to be the single best predictor of falls. Significant unmet need exists for a treatment that can help people awaken in the night or the next morning without this type of impairment,'says Lynn Kramer, MD, chief clinical officer and chief medical officer, neurology business group, Eisai, in a release. 'If approved, lemborexant, our investigational sleep/wake regulation agent, may have the potential to reduce the risk of postural instability.'” 

Takeaway: If you have patients (or elderly loved ones) who are taking Ambien but are also high risk candidates for falls in the middle of the night, this is encouraging research from a safety standpoint.

DREAM SCIENCE WATCH

Artificially Stimulating Dreams: The Unrecognized Dangers
PSYCHOLOGY TODAY
June 10, 2018

From the article:  “Stimulating dreams involves the use of various substances and procedures to intensify the dreaming process.  The goal is to push beyond the natural bounds of dream experience and, if possible, to elicit dreams with special qualities (e.g., pleasure, lucidity, self-discovery).” 

Takeaway: It's hard not to imagine this as the stuff of science fiction. 

REGULATORY WATCH

How Drivers and Autonomous Trucks Could Work Together to Move Freight
TRANSPORT TOPICS
June 8, 2018

From the article: “Any regulatory changes presumably would reflect the level of automation. A system where the driver still needs to monitor the vehicle’s progress, for example, would likely be treated differently from a system where the driver can climb into the sleeper berth.

Takeaway: We're still a long way off from highways filled with driverless trucks, but that doesn't mean problem solvers are asleep at the wheel on this common drowsy driving concern. (Bad pun intended.) 


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.