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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on November 28th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: November 28, 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.



A Closer Look at Sleep Disorders with Autism
November 27, 2017 

From the article:For many people with autism, it can be a challenge to get to sleep and stay asleep, which can have a negative impact on certain aspects of autism, such as repetitive behaviors, which can, in turn, lead to more sleep problems. If sleep issues are not properly addressed, the problem can become an endless cycle for many.”

Takeaway:  Great information about the challenges to sleep that autism creates.


Why You Have a ‘Foggy Brain’ If You Don’t Get Enough Sleep
November 26, 2017 

From the article: “According to researchers, sleep deprivation disrupts our brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other, leading to temporary mental lapses that affect memory and visual perception.

Takeaway: This is a good reminder that those who work the overnight shift  (ahem, including sleep techs!) need to make sure they're getting enough sleep so they can be at their best at work and at play.


ZEEQ, The Anti-snoring Smart Pillow That Streams Music and Tracks Your Sleep
November 26, 2017

From the blog: “After a few days of sleeping on ZEEQ, I most enjoyed the pillow’s ability to play my music while I snoozed. What my partner loved most about the ZEEQ smart pillow was its ability to monitor and react to my delicate snoring. Designed to not wake you up in the process, the EEQ Pillow’s snore alarm uses a built-in microphone with decibel sensitivity to hear snoring and responds by gently vibrating the pillow to encourage the user to change positions.

Takeaway: Sleep technology is moving from wearables like FitBit to functional bedding. Whether these smart pillows work is less clear, but it's probably safe to assume there will be a lot of these products purchased as holiday gifts over the next month.


Can wearable devices like the Apple Watch diagnose obstructive sleep apnea?
November 24, 2017

From the blog:  It is exciting to think that wearable devices could provide an accessible, low-cost approach to evaluating obstructive sleep apnea.  At the same time, it would be important to examine carefully the implications of this work.  Are wearable devices like the Apple Watch really usable as a test for obstructive sleep apnea?” 

Takeaway: It seems inevitable that wearables to track sleep are the wave of the future.


Drugs intended to calm people with Alzheimer’s may lead to early death
November 27, 2017

From the article: “Benzodiazepines, also known as benzos, are drugs sometimes prescribed to ease the agitation, anxiety and insomnia often experienced by people with Alzheimer’s disease. Might these powerful medications have an effect beyond their sleep-inducing or calming properties?

Takeaway: While this study does not prove that the drugs themselves caused early death, there's legitimate concern over the use of Z-class medications among those dealing with dementia.


Sleep and Weight, It’s a Symbiotic Relationship
November 21, 2017

From the article: “Just as sleep can have a major effect on mental function and energy levels, lack of it can have a big impact on your waistline. Not getting the necessary amount of uninterrupted sleep throws off your hormone balance, and you tend to eat more the next day. Plus, it’s all too easy to rely on sweets and high carbohydrates to stay awake, or just more calorie consumption in general during those extra waking hours.

Takeaway: Weight loss doesn't cure sleep disorders, but it sure helps prevent them from developing or getting worse. As sleep techs who work the third shift, weight gain and obesity are serious job hazards, as well. Mindful sleeping, diet and exercise are the keystones for ensuring sleep deprivation while on the job doesn't cost you your health.


Infant death and DCFS: Is unsafe sleep abusive?
November 22, 2017

From the editorial: “The question is, should child welfare officials start classifying co-sleeping, or putting a pillow in a crib or placing an infant near a comforter, as abuse or neglect?

Takeaway: What do you think?

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.