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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on September 26th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: September 26, 2017

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

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CULTURE WATCH

"Tongue Ties: What Parents Need to Know"
ASK THE DENTIST
September 22, 2017 

From the blog: “For a long time, people just didn’t seem to know much about tongue ties. In the early years of my practice, few of my patients had ever heard of a tongue tie. When I pointed out that they or their children might be tongue tied, I was often the very first practitioner who’d mentioned it to them. …When I told them that a tongue tie might actually be the root cause of their oral myofunctional issues, or even their sleep apnea, I’m sure that some of them thought I was crazy.

Takeaway:  This may be something new to sleep techs working with pediatric patients as well. We have much to gain by learning about oral myofunctional health as it relates to sleep breathing disorders in children. 

INDUSTRY WATCH

"Dr. Barry Krakow’s Review of Totally CPAP"
DOCTOR STEVEN PARK
September 19, 2017 

From the blog: “Read what Dr. Barry Krakow, author of Sound Sleep, Sound Mind: 7 Keys to Sleeping through the Night, has to say about my new book, Totally CPAP.  This is Part I of a multi-part in-depth, critical review.

Takeaway: Should be some very interesting and insightful reading for sleep techs, coming from some of our most outspoken sleep medicine professionals.  

TREND WATCH

"Sleeping in the Aftermath: Tips for Disaster Survivors"
AMERICAN SLEEP APNEA ASSOCIATION
September 21, 2017

From the blog: “While the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) cannot ensure every person victimized by a natural disaster will find quality sleep in any reasonable quantity following a natural disaster, we can help you address current problems and show you the value of a good night’s rest even (and especially) in its aftermath.

Affiliation disclaimer: I am the author of this post and work for the American Sleep Apnea Association.

Takeaway: I hope the information in this blog post can help those who work in areas of the country affected by disaster. If you are one such sleep health professional, and you can add advice and tips coming from first-hand experience that I have overlooked, please do so in the comments at that blog post. Thanks!

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

"Technology Used to Track Players’ Steps Now Charts Their Sleep, Too"
THE NEW YORK TIMES
September 22, 2017

From the article: “[W]earable technology has burrowed into college football this season as never before. Sleep is tracked to understand how a player recovers—and to nudge him to recover more. Accelerometers tell coaches how quickly a defensive back gets to the line of scrimmage. Most top teams seem to be doing something, but the technology is no longer limited to power-school programs with the resources and staff members to make use of them; even Division II Grand Valley State of Allendale, Mich., became a Catapult client last year.”

Takeaway: It's heartening to see how much more seriously sleep is being taken among athletes. That's got to trickle down, at some point, to inspire ordinary people to strive for better sleep… right?

PHARMA WATCH

"Cannabis May Make Your Insomnia Worse, Not Better"
LIFEHACKER
September 18, 2017

From the article: “Research at the University of Michigan found that people who used marijuana every day were more likely to have insomnia. People who used it occasionally had a lower rate of insomnia, similar to people who did not use the drug at all.

Takeaway: Many patients believe cannabis is a wonder drug for sleeplessness, so this might give them pause. More recent is definitely needed. 

HEALTH LITERACY WATCH

"Worried about adjusting for the start of daylight saving time?"
SLEEP HUB
September 25, 2017

From the website: “People who have trouble with sleep can get anxious about changes to their sleep routine. They sometimes have very careful routines around sleep that they put in place to minimize the impact of day to day variations on sleep. When changes to these routines are forced upon them it can result in sleep-related anxiety.

Takeaway: PLEASE NOTE: This is in Australia, where the time change happens on a different weekend (their's is October 1, our's is November 15). In October, they start their daylight savings time, whereas in November, we end ours. 

Regardless, the advice for making the switch is useful (but remember, it is opposite what we need to do, as we "gain" an hour of sleep, and they lose one). We should start thinking about this not only as sleep professionals but as ordinary people (many who have shift work disorder, no doubt) who have a few weeks to make subtle adjustments to our schedules.

It's always better to plan ahead and make a conscious shift than it is to "power through" the week that follows. Why? That's when there's a peak in car accidents and other negative consequences of disrupted sleep, even when it's just one hour in difference.

LEGISLATION WATCH

"Check out these noteworthy sleep health news items"
AMERICAN SLEEP APNEA ASSOCIATION
SEPTEMBER 23, 2017

News headlines cited in the blog: 

  • California votes down decision for statewide rule over later school start times
  • NTSB investigates drowsy operators in 2 separate New York train crashes
  • Reality show star totals car in drowsy driving accident
  • US Navy issues orders to prevent future “sailor’s fatigue”

Affiliation disclaimer: I am the author of this post and work for the American Sleep Apnea Association.

Takeaway: So much legal consideration about sleep deprivation in the news these days. As sleep techs, we need to stay current on these developments, as they have an impact on our jobs (especially in the case of federal regulations regarding operator fatigue).


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.


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