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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on November 7th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: November 7, 2017

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

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relevant to sleep technology and patient education.


Navy Orders New Training After Deadly Ship Collisions
November 2, 2017 

From the article:Navy officials have now ordered more sleep for crews and no more 100-hour workweeks for sailors. The new rules essentially will adopt studies by the Naval Postgraduate School to develop a shorter watch schedule to match circadian rhythms, which uses three hours of watch duty and nine hours off.

Takeaway:  Drowsy driving on the high seas. 


How to Think Outside the Lab and Reach More People with Home Sleep Testing
October 31, 2017 

From the blog: “The growth of home sleep testing (HST) for sleep apnea diagnosis poses unique opportunities and challenges. As more payors require increasing numbers of patients to utilize HST instead of in-lab polysomnography (PSG), savvy sleep labs and practices have responded by increasing their overall volume of sleep studies—which allows for financial success and for the personal satisfaction gained in helping more people identify and treat their obstructive sleep apnea.

Takeaway: This free 79-minute webinar with Q&A is available on demand, and worth taking a peek at. 


Year two of Seattle’s homelessness state of emergency marked by City Hall sleep-in, debate over ‘sweeps’
November 3, 2017

From the blog: Two years ago, Seattle declared a state of emergency for homelessness and plans to boost spending to address the issue by a few million dollars. To mark this declaration and stop homeless sweeps, activists slept overnight in Seattle City Hall and on the plaza after they gave over 100 testimonies against so-called “sweeps” before peacefully wrapping up their camps Thursday morning.

Takeaway: The right to sleep is becoming a civil rights issue, with scores of debates, confrontations, and policymaking directed at this complex issue across the US. 


Novel technology ties brain circuits to alertness
November 2, 2017

From the article: “The researchers employed a cutting-edge technology that allowed them to monitor vast numbers of nerve cells' activity in the brain simultaneously and, afterward, to characterize the cells of interest in molecular detail. This new method lets scientists record the activity of any cell type, without needing to produce special, genetically modified animals for each new experiment.

Takeaway: The more granular the research is getting, the better we'll all be at identifying and treating sleep problems. These are exciting times!


What are the facts about using marijuana as a sleep aid?
November 2, 2017

From the blog: “Should the medical community be open to the possibility of developing more drugs based on cannabis? Should research on their effect on sleep disorders continue and expand? Given that legal status of marijuana is still a topic of a rigorous debate, many healthcare researchers do not feel comfortable conducting studies related to cannabis.

Takeaway: The bulk of content on the web tends to be pro-cannabis for sleep, but the research is still in its infancy. Here are some good talking points to help frame any discussion you might have with someone who believes cannabis is the best, safest, most effective treatment for insomnia. 


You Don’t Have Sleep Apnea. But You Still Stop Breathing A Lot
October 26, 2017

From the blog: “Here’s a recent publication (by me and others) looking at drug induced sleep endoscopy (DISE) in patients with upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). By definition, these patients have an AHI level less than 5, but are still severely symptomatic. 

Takeaway: UARS is still a condition that even doctors can't agree on a definition (or treatment) for (and it gets even more challenging when it comes to insurance payers). Here's one MD who takes an unflinching and necessary view about UARS when nobody else will. 


TGIF: Waking up late to issues about daylight-saving
November 2, 2017

From the article: “Unless they live in the handful of states that exempted themselves, Americans have been forced to endure this 'spring forward, fall back' oscillation for more than 50 years. The exact dates have varied depending on energy-saving whims, and Congress experimented with year-round DST from 1974 to 1975 during the gas crisis. The annual time changes became so common that makers of electronic devices programmed clocks to adjust automatically.

Takeaway: Some interesting history on the time change. More and more states are entertaining legislation to exempt themselves from this disruptive twice-annual transition. 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.