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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on June 5th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: June 5, 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.



Physicians Unaware of Neurologic Effects Related to Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Finds Jazz Pharmaceuticals Survey
May 31, 2018 

From the report: “A new survey, created and sponsored by Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc, finds that the vast majority (97.6%) of responding physicians are aware of the negative effects that excessive sleepiness (ES) can have on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients’ quality of life, while less than a third (29%) of physicians are very aware of emerging scientific research linking OSA to serious brain alterations that affect wakefulness."

Takeaway: It's studies like these that are inspiring the AASM to demand sleep medicine be taken more seriously in general medicine. Nurses, too, are some of the most active proponents of sleep health management. However, this could also be easily (and organically) the realm of the CCSH.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Community Members Exposed to World Trade Center Dust and Fumes
May 15, 2018 

From the research study: “A relationship between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and exposure to the World Trade Center (WTC) dust and fumes has been suggested in responders but little is known about a possible relationship in community members. We characterized sleep studies performed in community members with WTC dust exposure to improve our understanding of the relationship between the diagnosis and severity of OSA and WTC dust exposure in this population.

Takeaway: Environmental influences on sleep breathing may be a solid approach for integrating discussions about sleep medicine in real-world healthcare discussions that might otherwise leave out concerns about sleep.


CMS to overhaul the EHR Incentive Programs
May 23, 2018

From the announcement: “CMS will be hosting a webinar to discuss the Promoting Interoperability performance category requirements in 2018:

Title: Promoting Interoperability Performance Category Webinar
Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Registration: https://engage.vevent.com/index.jsp?eid=3536&seid=1111

Takeaway: Registration is free; this could be very useful if EHR concerns are an ongoing problem in your clinic. 


How Sleep Became the Ultimate Luxury
May 31, 2018

From the magazine: “'If a quarter of our lives is spent lying down on a bed, why aren’t we devoting more time and resources to getting that part right?' That’s the rhetorical question posed by Alistair Hughes, managing director of the U.K.-based luxury mattress firm Savoir Beds. 'People often look to pills before they even consider their setup at home,' Hughes adds. …Hughes’s company, whose mattresses are made by skilled craftsmen and -women from premium materials like horsetail hair, and retail from $10,500 to $125,000 each, began making beds for the high-profile clientele of the Savoy hotel in London in 1905. (The highly customized beds went on to win over Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Madonna, and Emma Thompson.)”

Takeaway: So that $125,000 mattress is going to fix sleep apnea or REM behavior disorder or PLMD?


New ResMed-sponsored Study Shows Switching to Bilevel PAP Saves 56% of Patients from Therapy Termination
June 4, 2018

From the press release: “A new study reveals that shifting patients who are struggling with adherence to positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy to a more advanced bilevel device in the first 90 days of treatment is an effective tool for achieving adherence in well more than half of such cases.

Takeaway: But will insurance payors recognize this?


New algorithm determines ideal caffeine dosage and timing for alertness
June 4, 2018

From the article: “Caffeine is the most widely consumed stimulant to counter the effects of sleep loss on neurobehavioral performance. However, to be safe and most effective, it must be consumed at the right time and in the right amount. This study proposed an automated optimization algorithm to identify safe and effective caffeine-dosing strategies that maximize alertness under any sleep-loss condition.” 

Takeaway: Research we can use as sleep techs and as shift workers!


Drowsy Worms Offer New Insights into the Neuroscience of Sleep
June 1, 2018

From the article:  “Through a series of experiments in the roundworm C. elegans, the researchers show that glial cells play an unexpected role in ensuring that worms don't suddenly succumb to sleep-associated immobility. It's the latest in a growing list of functions ascribed to glial cells, which were once thought to function solely as scaffolding for neurons, but are turning out to be sophisticated biological actors in their own right.” 

Takeaway: Neuroscience has done a great job of advancing sleep medicine. Fascinating stuff!


The Surprising Truth About Sleep Forensics
June 2, 2018

From the article: “Experts who work in the field of sleep forensic medicine make contributions to investigations and legal cases in a number of different ways. They perform medical examinations and sleep studies, and make diagnoses for sleep and sleep-related disorders. They work with law enforcement and legal professionals on cases where sleep may be a factor. They provide expert testimony for criminal and civil trials. They also research and study the latest in sleep science, and other physical and psychological conditions that might contribute to violent and dangerous behavior.

Takeaway: Recent court cases (murder by sleep disorder) and fingerpointing by popular culture icons (blaming sleep medications for unsavory behavior) confirm an important role for sleep forensics and sleep health education both inside and outside the court system.

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.