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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on June 26th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: June 26, 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.



CMS requests Stark Law input: Submit your comments
June 25, 2018 

From the blog post: “It is the position of the AASM that the Stark Law unnecessarily fragments sleep care by prohibiting sleep physicians from providing therapeutic durable medical equipment (DME) to Medicare patients for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This was a key message presented by AASM leaders during recent meetings on Capitol Hill.

Takeaway: If you're unsure what the Stark Law references, check out this link via the AASM. 


Study finds connection between race and sleep
June 19, 2018 

From the article: “Lauren Hale, professor of family, population and preventive medicine at Stony Brook University, calls the sleep gap 'a matter of social justice' and identifies two other significant predictors in addition to race: level of education (those without a high school diploma are more likely to have sleep disorders) and neighborhood context (city dwellers typically sleep less than those outside the urban core). Hale said of her findings in a 2013 TEDx Talk, 'If the very people who are the most socially disadvantaged and most need that extra boost to function better during their days wake up the least prepared, then they are at a disadvantage throughout every aspect of their day.'

Takeaway: During these challenging sociopolitical times, it's important to remember that our patients' sleep lives are shaped by more than just physiology.


FDA Authorizes FRESCA Medical To Market New Positive Airway Pressure Delivery System To Treat Sleep Apnea
June 25, 2018

From the press release: “The key to the system is FRESCA's novel, patented SmartValve™ technology which enables the system to treat OSA with far less airflow than conventional CPAP systems, and has the potential to solve many of the complaints that cause sleep apnea sufferers to abandon therapy or refuse to even try CPAP.

Takeaway: This could be great news for patients who have higher pressures or who prefer masks that don't perform as well at higher pressures. 


A Festival of Dreaming
June 21, 2018

From the article: “Several hundred people from all over the world just gathered in Scottsdale, Arizona to discuss the latest findings and methods in dream research. ”

Takeaway: With neuroscience uncovering so much we never previously knew about how the brain works, it's no wonder dream research is now back on the table, with scientific research to back new findings.


A Novel Artificial Neural Network Based Sleep-Disordered Breathing Screening Tool
June 25, 2018

From the research study: “The results of this study suggested that the ANN based SDB screening tool can be used to identify the presence or absence of SDB. Future validation should be performed in other populations to determine the practicability of this screening tool in sleep clinics and other at-risk populations.

Takeaway: This isn't the first time that researchers have applied artificial neural network models to patient data in a screening formula, but previous efforts focused on the use of ECG leads to validate predictions about sleep apnea. This one used a more reliable source for comparison: the pulse oximeter.


Aripiprazole-induced Sleep-related Eating Disorder
June 22, 2018

From the case study: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of sleep-related eating disorder induced by aripiprazole, and it indicates that this disorder should be considered a possible side effect of aripiprazole. ” 

Takeaway: This is a fascinating case study involving what researchers say is the first patient to experience night-related sleep-eating disorder (NSRED) as a side effect of this medication. 


Health misinformation in the news: Where does it start?
June 20, 2018

From the blog post:  “The researchers looked at the 50 'most-shared academic articles and media articles covering them' in 2015, according to data from the NewsWhip database. Seven of the 50 studies were randomized controlled trials, the gold standard for 'causal inference' in medicine (meaning, one can reasonably infer that an intervention caused an outcome, but not always). …They found a 'large disparity' between what was written in the news stories compared to what the research showed:

  • 44% of the media articles used causal language that was stronger than the academic articles” (and many of those studies were overstated to start with).
  • 58% of the media articles contained at least one substantial inaccuracy about the study.” 
Takeaway: Patients struggle to practice both health literacy and media literacy. But we, too, need to make sure we are reading and interpreting the studies we see with caution and discernment so we don't contribute to this ongoing problem. 


3 bicyclists hit by car during charity ride

June 23, 2018

From the article: “The driver had attempted to avoid the bicyclists, Hopper said, and was not cited at the scene. However, drowsy driving was suspected to be the cause of the crash as the driver was coming home from a late-night shift, Hopper said.

Takeaway: This could be any one of us. Please be careful on your way home from an overnight shift.

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.