This Week in Sleep Medicine: March 13, 2018
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.
Ahead of World Sleep Day on March 16, Royal Philips …a global leader in health technology, has released the findings from its annual global survey in the report, 'Better Sleep, Better Health. A Global Look at Why We're Still Falling Short on Sleep,' which looked at what keeps people in 13 countries from getting their optimal night's rest.”
Takeaway: Some interesting insights into ways that people all around the globe help themselves fall asleep. Also, this is a good article to share with patients if you are working this Friday, which is World Sleep Day.
From the article: “A study conducted by New York Medical College finds that allergies are associated with abnormalities during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the restorative stage of sleep. The study is published in International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology. …The study by Shelley Rose Berson, MD, FACS, FAASM, FAAOA, the lead author and a clinical assistant professor of otolaryngology at New York Medical College, [found that] 67% of [Berson's] patients with allergies in the study were found to take longer to enter REM sleep, to have fewer dreams, and they often experience disrupted breathing upon entering the dream state.”
Takeaway: This recent research certainly makes one wonder about connections with upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS), which is a problematic diagnosis for many.
The Role of a Pharmacist in Managing Sleep Disorders
March 8, 2018
From the website: “This year's Sleep Awareness week's theme is 'Begin with sleep,' and pharmacists can play an important role in championing optimal sleep health. While many areas in the United States may lack specialized sleep disorder centers, most people have access to a pharmacy.”
Takeaway: Often, patients forget that a pharmacist can, without an appointment, help them identify any sleep problems that could be related to medication side effects or drug interactions.
Private insurance claims for sleep apnea rose steeply from 2014 to 2017
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE
March 10, 2018
From the article: “Private insurance claims with a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea grew 850 percent in the U.S. from 2014 to 2017, according to a press release from FAIR Health, a national, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing transparency to health care costs and health insurance information.”
Takeaway: Looks like the word is getting out to general practitioners, spouses and parents of patients and the patients themselves. Now if insurance payers could step out of the way and allow those with sleep apnea to get the best therapy for their condition without reimbursement restrictions, we'd be set.
Power your entire backcountry expedition with the Suaoki G500
March 5, 2018
From the blog: “All of these charging ports, coupled with the G500’s large battery, allow the power station to be used with a wide variety of devices. For instance, not only can it charge smartphones and tablets, it will also power laptops, recharge cameras and drones, and even a small refrigerator. Since the G500 uses a pure sine wave inverter system, it can also safely be used with more delicate items such as a CPAP machine or sensitive audio devices.”
Takeaway: While this product is still in prototype, it's encouraging to see more interest in developing battery backups at this level, given the need of many to travel with CPAP (for business, recreation, or evacuation) and the ongoing challenges of power outages as the result of natural disasters like hurricanes. Solar powered backup is an smart direction to take.
Is It Bad To Take Antihistamines To Help You Sleep Every Night?
March 5, 2018
From the article: “Antihistamines are not intended to treat sleep issues, and are really supposed to be used to relieve allergy symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic. The reason why they're so good at making you sleepy is because they block a neurotransmitter called "histamine," which helps your body stay awake. Now, some OTC sleep drugs (like Aleve PM or Unisom SleepTabs) do contain antihistamines, but they're not meant to be taken every single night, because there can be negative side effects.”
Takeaway: This is useful information to pass on to patients who report these kinds of efforts to find relief for insomnia.
HEALTH LITERACY WATCH
Police: Day care teachers gave kids gummies containing sleep aid
March 5, 2018
From the article: “Police said officers spoke with the facility's management and learned a teacher had been giving the laced gummies to a class of 2-year-olds. The use of the substance had not been authorized by the parents, police said. …According to police, three teachers admitted giving melatonin to the children. They all told officers they did not think it was inappropriate because it was an over-the-counter sleep aid, police said.”Takeaway: "The long-term safety profile for melatonin in otherwise healthy children has yet to be established" ("Sleep-related melatonin use in healthy children." Janjua I and Goldman RD Canadian Family Physician. 2016;62(4):315-316.) Melatonin is still an unregulated substance considered GRAS (generally recognized as safe), but only through research observing its use in adults. Meanwhile, because it's available over-the-counter—and in gummy form, no less—parents presume it's been proven safe for their children.
‘It’s almost nasty’: Dems seek crackdown on sleeping in the Capitol
March 6, 2018
Takeaway: No matter what political leaning we cleave to, it's probably safe to assume we all want our leaders to be well rested and healthy. The CBC makes some excellent points here, and if you apply the rules to ordinary citizens …well, very few people are allowed to sleep at work, though sleep pods and nap rooms are becoming the norm, but keep in mind, these are only for naps during the day.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.