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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on May 30th, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: May 30, 2018

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

sleepy elephant 

Your media watchdog for headlines and trends 
relevant to sleep technology and patient education.



A Journey Into the Exploitive, Bullshit-Heavy, Sanity-Saving Baby Sleep Advice Industry
May 18, 2018 

From the commentary: “I wanted sleep, now. (A few days before, I had been so fatigued that a slight trip on the sidewalk—the kind of thing that normally would have caused me to only stumble—managed to land me flat on the pavement.) But I also wanted to get it right. I had heard the many warnings—in the form of baby sleep advice blogs and first-person horror stories—about parents with babies needing pacifiers replaced all night long or sleepless grade-schoolers engaging in what can be best described as advanced torture techniques. The subtext often being: These parents—usually moms—had gotten it wrong. There but for the grace of the right e-book-peddling sleep expert go I."

Takeaway: It's refreshing to read realistic consumer experiences regarding these kinds of sleep training services, often offered for high fees by "experts" without an ounce of sleep medicine education. The reflection on parental leave in this piece is also illuminating.


Sleep Paralysis Treatment and Prevention
May 24, 2018 

From the website: “The first step in treating the condition is to identify any underlying cause that may be triggering the sleep paralysis. There could be a number of reasons for such an entity. Common reasons include insomnia or lack of sleep at night, narcolepsy or daytime sleepiness and loss of muscle control, family history of sleep paralysis in other relatives, sleeping on the back, disrupted sleep patterns due to work shifts or jet lag, sleep apnea, and other psychiatric mental disorders.

Takeaway: Also available from this source: Sleep Paralysis Diagnosis (March 12, 2018).


Health insurance said his CPAP was covered, then left him with the bill
May 24, 2018

From the article: “Edwards tried to purchase the machine in person at an Apria medical device store (Apria is part of his BCBS network). When he couldn’t find one in the store, he ordered it online at Apria Direct. …Online purchases have to be paid by customers upfront. Apria even warns online customers in a pop up box that if they expect to be reimbursed, they should check with their insurance prior to purchase. That’s exactly what Edwards had done, so he wasn’t worried.”

Takeaway: It's no wonder people have lost faith in the healthcare system when this happens, but what really stinks is that patients who don't understand the continuum of care will blame sleep clinics for this problem, which is steadfastly within the realm of insurance. 


A beginner’s guide to marijuana edibles in Massachusetts Cannabis-infused food is booming in other states. Here's what to expect when they hit stores here.
May 29, 2018

From the website: “For medical patients, there’s another benefit: The longer lasting effects mean longer and more reliable relief to their symptoms. Krane says this is particularly helpful for people taking them to deal with physical pain or sleep issues.”

Takeaway: If only the actual research on these applications of marijuana to treat insomnia were actually as unquestionably conclusive as what's being reported in the mainstream news.


ResMed QuietAir Diffuser Vent for CPAP Masks
May 11, 2018

From the blog: “ResMed introduces the QuietAir diffuser vent elbow, which, compared to ResMed’s previous design, reduces noise by 89% and produces a 70% gentler exhaled airflow.

Takeaway: Of interest: two patient comments asking where they can find this. It might be worth keeping these in stock at your lab or DME provider.


CBD Coffee Is the Wellness World's New Favorite Drink—But not all CBD is created equal... or legal.
May 28, 2018

From the article: “Although CBD—the non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound found in marijuana and hemp plants—won’t get you 'high,' it does promote relaxation. A 2016 pediatric study from researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine found that 'CBD oil can be an effective compound to reduce anxiety and insomnia.'” 

Takeaway: I'm willing to bet a decaf drip is better for you and cheaper by the cup.  


Is Addiction Lurking in Your Medicine Cabinet?
May 26, 2018

From the article:  “Also known as soporifics, these are used to treat sleeping problems such as insomnia.” 

Takeaway: Opioids aren't the only problem our country faces regarding prescription drug addiction. Benzodiazepines are still prescribed for sleep, after all.


Authority of Health Care Providers To Practice Telehealth
May 11, 2018

From the notice: “Most of the comments that were received on the proposed rule support 
the rule and are summarized as follows. …The commenters stated that the telehealth program would be successful in treating beneficiaries with a variety of conditions, including respiratory conditions, cardiovascular conditions, psychotherapy, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, vision loss, sleep disorders, and audiological conditions.

Takeaway: This is specifically referring to telehealth practices ordained by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and goes into effect June 11, 2018.  

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.