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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on May 22nd, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: May 22, 2017

Sleep Technologist Advice

While You Were Sleeping: What Sleep Technologists Need to Know This Week

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relevant to sleep technology and patient education.


"Night Shift"
May 21, 2017

From the article:After the sun goes down, these Pittsburghers are on the clock keeping the lights on, stocking the shelves, and cleaning offices and hospitals. But at 4 a.m., it can be a struggle to keep the economy rolling."

Takeaway: A great reminder of just how many Americans work the same shift as sleep technologists! That's a lot of people dealing with shift work disorder.


"Understanding Pediatric Sleep Disorders"
May 19, 2017 

From the website: When your child is struggling to sleep through the night, it not only has an effect on your little one’s health, but it also can be highly disruptive to your whole family.   A child who struggles to fall asleep or wakes frequently can cause parents to become chronically sleep deprived as they struggle to find sleep solutions.

Takeaway: While this blog post is targeted to parents, it has solid information for those sleep techs who don't work with pediatric patients and need a refresher, as well as for those who are new to pediatric sleep technology and want to master it at work.


"Essentia Outfits Atlanta Braves Performance Sleep Room!"
May 16, 2017

From the press release: “While sleep rooms have been a growing trend in several professional sports organizations, the Atlanta Braves organization did not feel it was enough to simply implement standard mattresses, but to source evidence-based sleep solutions that offered performance sleep and a true recovery advantage.

Takeaway: Granted, this post is just as much about selling mattresses as it is about sleep hygiene for optimal athletic performance, but it shows an ongoing movement toward using sleep as part of a performance strategy for professional sports players.


"Startup Showcase: She wants to open people’s eyes to the importance of sleep"
May 20, 2017

From the article:Sarah Moe, in her career as a sleep technician, saw this problem firsthand, and she came up with a solution: employer-sponsored sleep-health education. In 2015, she launched Sleep Health Specialists in order to address this need."

Takeaway: Who says sleep techs can't make a difference? 


"The Best Sleep Trackers in 2017: A guide to tracking your sleep"
May 20, 2017

From the website:The rise in sleep tracking stems from the phenomenon known as the ‘quantified self’—a term used to describe those who use technology to collect data about themselves for personal development and to increase self-knowledge."

Takeaway: Keep in mind that this website is pro-sleep tracker, and that they are mostly publishing this information in order to sell devices. However, the reviews and listings are fairly comprehensive, so it could be a good launch point if you are starting your own research on the latest entries in the personal sleep technology craze.


"Avoid this medication combo, warn researchers"
May 12, 2017

From the website: Now, a study published March 14, 2017, in The BMJ finds that opioid users who also take a benzodiazepine — such as alprazolam (Xanax) — for sleep or anxiety are more likely to end up in an emergency room.

Takeaway: As always, keep your eyes open for medication records that patients share which may include any combination of opioids and benzodiazepines... and if you suspect patients are using both but not reporting the use of at least one of them in their official record, make sure and include that concern in your tech notes.


"The Science of Sleeping in a Cool Room"
May 18, 2017

From the blog post:For optimal sleep, specialists recommend a room temperature of between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. During the onset of sleep, you become disengaged from your surroundings and your body temperature drops. Sleeping in a cool environment helps facilitate sleep at this stage. Turning the thermostat below 54 degrees or above 75 degrees can cause sleep disruptions.

Takeaway: Who hasn't had a patient who's wanted to bump up the room temperature, not realizing that there are specific reasons why a cooler sleep environment is preferable, both in lab and at home? Here are some facts you can print and share with patients.


"Eagle Mountain family feels underserved by Utah County, justice system, after daughter's death"
May 18, 2017

From the article: "Months of mourning passed until February when Evans, 21, was charged with two infractions: one of failing to stay in one lane, and the other for driving on the wrong side of the road. ...The relative lack of severity of the charges against Evans has dismayed the Godfrey family. To compare, speeding carries a harsher penalty, a class C misdemeanor.”

Takeaway: Though Utah roadways certainly see their fair share of drowsy driving accidents, the problem of recognizing drowsy driving as a public safety issue and regulating it appropriately—in the same penal code as drunk driving and distracted driving—has led to inequity in the legal system. As data continues to show increases in nationwide sleep deprivation and accidents caused by drivers asleep at the wheel, updates to local, state, and federal laws must be incorporated to reflect the stark reality of driving while drowsy. 

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.

Take advantage of the free downloads available on the AAST website!  Click here or on the image below to get a free copy of the updated AAST Terms and Definitions!


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