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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on November 15th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: November 15, 2017

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.


Scientists Start To Tease Out The Subtler Ways Racism Hurts Health
November 11, 2017 

From the article:Other studies have found associations between racist experiences and things like sleep problems or even asthma. Researchers like [Amani] Nuru-Jeter hypothesize that the stress of repeatedly being singled out as the other can be biologically damaging and might be responsible, in part, for health disparities in America, like the gap in life expectancy between black and white Americans.

Takeaway:  More and more research is coming out on the links between racism and poor health, and especially how it can impact sleep (which, we know, is a critical link to chronic health problems like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease). 


Babe of the Week: Jorge!
CPAP Babes
November 10, 2017 

From the blog: “Don’t get discouraged about using your [CPAP], it took me about three months to start feeling the benefits!

Takeaway: If you ever get discouraged by the sheer numbers of patients who refuse to give CPAP a solid effort, just read through these testimonials. Sometimes we forget that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and that there are easily just as many people who thrive on CPAP as not. Also, you might find some talking points or tips for convincing new patients to keep trying. Or you might even refer them to this site if they're uncertain about using CPAP.


‘You can sleep when you’re dead’ is actually deadly advice, according to experts
November 11, 2017

From the blog: “Here are three of the key ways [author Matt] Walker says a lack of sleep can hurt your body and brain.

Takeaway: Finally, people are starting to pay attention to the message about sleep health for good health.


Evaluating a Potential New Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Continuous Negative External Pressure
November 9, 2017

From the article: “'The concept of negative external pressure for airway maintenance is actually fairly old, but its application to its possible use in sleep apnea was actually developed by Dr Richard Rose from Sommetrics in order to create this device,' says study lead author Jerrold Kram, MD. 'He had the vision to conceive of the fact that if we can prevent the airway from collapsing, it could be an additional option for treatment of sleep apnea.'” 

Takeaway: And now for something different! What do you think? Would patients be more successful with compliance using this device (assuming it's effective)?


Sleep Apnea at the Level of the Synapse
November 6, 2017

From the blog: Learning which neurons regulate arousal could allow scientists to develop drugs to treat obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. …'The long-term goal of this research is to come up with drugs that will affect specific pathways in the brain,' [senior author Clifford B. Saper, MD] said. 'The next step is to see if we can use drugs to prevent the wake-up response while augmenting the opening of the airway. That way, having an apnea won’t wake a person up.' 

Takeaway: What do you think? Will obstructive sleep apnea become another pharmaceutically treated sleep disorder, given these latest findings?


Sleeping judge no reason for mistrial, Illinois Court rules
November 13, 2017

From the blog: “…in a dissenting opinion Judge Mary O'Brien disagreed said, 'A judge cannot be actively present on the bench when he is asleep.' But sleeping judges is a fairly common occurrence, according to Indiana University Law School professor Charles Geyh, who says the impact depends on the case.

Takeaway: As someone who just sat on a jury in a criminal case, and who was instructed multiple times to pay attention and take notes because you only get to hear everything once, I find this atrocious. We have a lot of work to do to improve our community-wide sleep health literacy if judges are given carte blanche to snore through trial.


Sleepy Drivers Kill More Than Red Light Runners
November 14, 2017

From the article: “According to data released last month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers who failed to get enough sleep caused an average of 824 fatalities each year—2.5 percent of the nationwide road toll. By comparison, the latest NHTSA data show an average of 708 red light running fatalities annually.

Takeaway: Here's another way to frame the argument for getting more and better sleep.

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.