This Week in Sleep Medicine: June 27, 2017
While You Were Sleeping: What Sleep Technologists Need to Know This Week
Your media watchdog for headlines and trends
relevant to sleep technology and patient education.
"The fallible Tiger Woods: Pain and sleep disorders led to drug-induced drowsy driving"
AMERICAN SLEEP APNEA ASSOCIATION
June 22, 2017
Takeaway: This article provides techs with an opportunity to extend relatable conversation to their patients about drug use, sleep health, pain management, and drowsy driving.
"Survey of nurses shows fatigue causing many to consider leaving current job"
SAFETY & HEALTH MAGAZINE
June 20, 2017
From the article: “Researchers surveyed 257 registered nurses who worked in hospitals. Results showed that 98 percent of nurses found their work physically and mentally demanding. The nurses cited excessive workloads as the top source of fatigue, at 60 percent. The inability to take lunch or dinner breaks during shifts (42 percent), the inability to take breaks during shifts (41 percent) and insufficient sleep between shifts (25 percent) followed.”
Takeaway: Do these complaints sound familiar?
From the report: “'We've got them with needles in their arms passed out, intersections, under stop lights, we've got them with babies in the car, with kids in the car,' said Paul Richwalsky of the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.”
Takeaway: Between Tiger Woods' recent DUI which has been determined to be drowsy driving caused by drug use and this trend, we've got plenty of work to do in the lab to educate patients about the safety of driving after using any kind of substance, legal or not.
From the article: “Wearable makers are exploring medical use-cases to make their devices useful for millions with chronic illnesses rather than just fitness lovers."
Takeaway: It makes sense to develop these technologies as they're already working in the home sleep apnea testing market, but what will it mean for sleep labs and techs?
"Is Indica or Sativa Better for Sleeping?"
June 21, 2017
From the website: “It doesn't matter if you suffer from the occasional wakeful night or chronic insomnia, marijuana is a natural sleep aid that nearly every cannabis user has turned to at one point or another. If you're considering using cannabis as a sleep aid, chances are one of your next questions is whether indica or sativa strains are better for sleeping. ”
Takeaway: Granted, this is a pro-marijuana position related to treatment for insomnia, but for those techs who work in states where recreational and/or medicinal use of cannabis is legal, this article offers some information to answer one of the more common questions.
Curator's note: I live in such a state and visited a local dispensary to get their answer to this question. While they mostly had the facts right on strains, they were still trained to promote all marijuana as a sleep aid and were not aware of scientific data that shows it can significantly disrupt a healthy person's sleep architecture. Final analysis: Sleep techs are in a much better position to have more objective answers to this question from patients than from a cannabis sales clerk with a commission-driven agenda, yes?
HEALTH LITERACY WATCH
"Major Heart Group Says Doctor-Patient Talks Are Key"
YOUR CARE EVERYWHERE
June 20, 2017
From the article: “'Patient education can't be one-size-fits-all. It needs to meet the patients where they are, so clinicians need to assess their patients' health literacy and cognitive skills, and include family and other caregivers when needed,' Barnason added in an AHA news release.”
Takeaway: How might sleep clinics and their entire staff (from the front desk to the technologists to the DME to the doctors themselves) learn from this effort by the American Heart Association? Seems like a good model to co-opt for our own interests.
"States Should Consider the Risk of Marijuana-Impaired Driving as New Research Links Legalization to Crash Increase"
GOVERNORS HIGHWAY SAFETY ASSOCIATION
June 22, 2017
From the report: "New research from the Highway Data Loss Institute (HLDI) reinforces the need for states to consider the risk of marijuana-impaired driving as they move toward liberalizing marijuana laws. HLDI insurance claims data links legalizing recreational marijuana to an increase in motor vehicle crashes. Specifically, the first three states to legalize recreational marijuana had a combined effect of 3% more collision claims than their neighboring states after introducing retail sales."
Takeaway: Nobody should be surprised by this new data, but everybody should be surprised that there's still very little clarity about laws focused on driving while drugged. Because of this murky territory, many people who drive while high may be taking advantage of legal loopholes to get out of traffic tickets or enjoy little to no repercussions for doing so, even when there are damages and injuries involved.
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.
The 2017 Fall Course, Current Technology Trends in Sleep Medicine, will be held at the Louisville Marriott East in Louisville, KY, from October 13 - 14, 2017. Will you be there?