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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on October 24th, 2016

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: October 24, 2016

Sleep Technologist Advice

sleepy black and white puppy
Your media watchdog for headlines and trends
relevant to sleep technology and patient education. 


For some, treatment doesn't clear the mental fog of sleep apnea
October 19, 2016

From the article: “Between 6 percent and 34 percent of patients continue to experience daytime sleepiness after treatment and experts don’t know why this occurs, [Dr. Ksdy] Werli [Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil] told Reuters Health. …

"To understand what other problems this might cause, the study team collected data on 15 patients, ranging in age from 35 to 60 years old, who had been treated with CPAP but still felt sleepy during the day. …

"The study team also recruited a comparison group of 15 people with sleep apnea using CPAP and reporting no lingering sleepiness…

"The research team tested participants to assess their brain function, including attention, memory and judgment. They also screened participants for depression symptoms because depression can negatively affect mental functions like memory and motivation.”

Takeaway: While the study is small, it sheds light on the possibility that some people may experience residual daytime sleepiness despite being fully treated. As to the cause of this residual EDS, sleep hygiene is a typical focal point, but more and larger studies may spin off this initial one as researchers seek to identify other previously unknown causes for daytime fatigue in the well-treated OSA patient using CPAP.  


ASV Use: The Providers’ Role [Free Sleep Review Webinar]
October 24, 2016

From the article: “In the world of PAP therapy for the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing, it can be difficult for a provider to know when and how to use ASV (auto servo-ventilation). In addition, troubleshooting and follow-up of ASV is not frequently discussed. The information in this discussion will be applicable to sleep technologists, managers, mid-level providers, and physicians.”

Takeaway: The webinar takes place THIS THURSDAY… it’s free! Sign up now to gain more insight into the specifics of working with ASV protocols, both at titration and beyond.



AASM members share expertise and insight with local and national news media
October 20, 2016

From the article: “Recent news coverage of sleep-related topics has included comments and remarks from AASM members who have helped raise awareness of the importance of healthy sleep.”

Takeaway: More sleep health professionals are taking their concerns about sleep health to the media.

These efforts are not and should not be limited to members of the AASM. The AAST embraces any efforts that sleep technologists may wish to take sleep health education to the mainstream.

This article focuses on the AASM’s recent efforts but also gives resources for you and your sleep center in the event your staff might be interested in taking your message about sleep concerns, like the consequences of drowsy driving, costs of sleep deprivation, school start times, or drugs and sleep (as examples) out into the community (the link requires someone to have an AASM membership to access).

Your work doesn’t need to begin and end in the lab, after all, and our communities want and need to hear from us.


The life-saving Vizhi is the Malaysian winner of the James Dyson award
October 23, 2016

From the article: “Vizhi is an anti-sleep device that would analyse a driver's eye movements and detect if he is feeling drowsy.”

Takeaway: These new inventions are good for sleep health awareness because they have the potential for reducing drowsy driving rates, but also because their existence places sleep deprivation squarely inside the mainstream zeitgeist. The more we talk about the cost of sleep deprivation, the more that ordinary people become aware and find motivation to do something about their sleep problems… which includes making a trip to the local sleep lab.


How medications can impact your body clock and sleep
October 11, 2016

From the article: “According to David Ray, Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology at the University of Manchester, there is still much for the experts to learn when it comes to the science of how medications interact with sleep.”

Takeaway: As sleep technologists, we stand to become better at our jobs if we have a broader knowledge of how common drugs impact sleep and circadian rhythms.


Let’s Teach Our Children About Sleep
October 20, 2016

From the article: “As we gain a better understanding of the importance of sleep, it makes sense for us to ensure that our children—who are likely to benefit the most—understand, prioritize, and get the sleep their minds and bodies need.”

Takeaway: First, congratulations to the American Sleep Association for working in tandem with Huffington Post to get the word out about sleep health!

Second, this deserves more consideration as a potential outreach effort sleep technologists could spearhead.

It may be that once we reach adulthood, it becomes very difficult to change poor sleep habits and conditioning from childhood sleep problems. In the sleep lab, we see the outcome of this all the time. Some patients succeed in overcoming their obstacles while others struggle the entire time and may even give up.

What if we could improve the chances that children could avoid the sleep lab in their adulthood by teaching them about sleep health and hygiene NOW?

Teaching awareness and prevention is always a good idea. Sleep technologists who are interested in moving the discussion out of the lab and into the community might focus on preventive medicine by approaching:

  • public or private schools from K-12
  • kids’ clubs (like the Boys & Girls Club or scouting organizations)
  • youth athletic teams (extracurricular, private clubs, school sponsored teams)

Reaching out to both children and their parents with sleep hygiene tips and education about the long-term outcomes of poor sleep, with solutions at hand, can turn sleep health into a way for families to empower themselves (parents and kids) to lead healthier lives.


Oklahoma sleep study hearing scheduled for Oct. 27
October 20, 2016

From the article: “The hearing, which is open to the public, will be held in the state capitol in Oklahoma City in room 206 from 9 a.m. to Noon. Since this is not an official committee meeting, an agenda will not be distributed and the session will not be streamed online. However, individuals are welcome to attend in person.”

Takeaway: Reminder: This is taking place in Oklahoma THIS WEDNESDAY. If you’re in OK and want to attend, see the article for more information. Your presence matters! Sleep technologists are in a great position to share insights into the value of overnight PSGs, something the legislature needs to hear from the folks in the trenches.

BIO:  Tamara Kaye Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the weekly sleep news 
clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health
headlines daily. She is also
Chief Content Officer for inboundMed and
contributes to
AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz, and other places.