Elly Mackay Blog

How to Sleep With Lower Back Pain 0

How to Sleep With Lower Back Pain

Let’s face it: a lot has changed in 2020–and for many Americans, that means working from home. A side effect? For many of us, it also may mean an increase in low back pain and sciatica, which impacts everything from our daily lives to how well we sleep at night.

As someone who has not only suffered personally from back pain, but also has a wife whose back pain used to keep her up at night, I know first hand what a big…well, pain, sciatica, back and even neck pain can be. While a healthy sleep environment can help, sometimes it’s just not enough. 

Justin Thottam, D.O. with the Spine Center at Miami Neuroscience Institute has seen a 30 percent increase in patients with back pain, and that’s made worse as people work in uncomfortable environments and put off seeing doctors. 

This week, I’m going to encourage you to stop ignoring your back pain and sciatica, tell you how back pain is killing your sleep, and offer my sleep hacks to sleep better. 

How common are back pain and

Itamar Medical on How The Pandemic Changed Sleep Medicine 0

Itamar Medical on How The Pandemic Changed Sleep Medicine

Itamar’s vice president of digital marketing writes for Forbes on the expanding access of home-based sleep medicine services.

While Covid-19 was the catalyst for the shift to remote monitoring and telemedicine, its importance will not fade even after the pandemic is finally over. Forecasters at Polaris Market Research project that the U.S. telemedicine market will surge in value, from $6.61 billion in 2019 to $17.14 billion in 2026, with that growth driven in large part by the recent expansion of telehealth services.

This February, the AASM issued a position paper endorsing home sleep apnea tests (HSATs), provided that “a technically adequate device can be used.” The AASM noted that polysomnography (PSG) is the gold standard for diagnosing OSA, an illness linked to conditions including diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease. 

As I stated in a previous article, “the problem was never a lack of technology, but a lack of understanding of market barriers to scale tech offering solutions.” Timing is everything, and with nearly three-quarters of sleep labs having halted in-lab studies during the pandemic and the AASM endorsement of

What is the Gut Microbiome’s Role in Sleep Regulation? 0

What is the Gut Microbiome’s Role in Sleep Regulation?

Evidence suggests sleep apnea can alter the gut microbiome and may promote associated co-morbidities, including diabetes, hypertension and cognitive problems. 

Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and MU Health Care have discovered how OSA-related sleep disturbances affect the gut microbiome in mice and how transplanting those gut bacteria into other mice can cause changes to sleep patterns in the recipient mice.

David Gozal, MD, the Marie M. and Harry L. Smith Endowed Chair of Child Health at the MU School of Medicine, said the study shows the gut microbiome plays a major role in sleep regulation. This ultimately could translate into treatments that target the gut microbiome in humans with OSA.

“By manipulating the gut microbiome, or the byproducts of the gut microbiota, we would be in a position to prevent or at least palliate some of the consequences of sleep apnea,” said Gozal, the lead author of the study. “For example, if we combine continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) with customized probiotics that change the patient’s gut microbiome, we might be able to eliminate some of

Nasal Stent Company Alaxo Names Sleep Specialist Its CMO 0

Nasal Stent Company Alaxo Names Sleep Specialist Its CMO

Alaxo Airway Stents has named board-certified otolaryngologist and sleep specialist Mark D’Agostino, MD, as its chief medical advisor, effective immediately.

“We are excited to welcome Dr D’Agostino as Alaxo’s new chief medical advisor,” says Terry Bayliss, CEO of Alaxo, in a release. As a founding member of the International Society of Sleep Surgeons and a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Dr D’Agostino brings a wealth and knowledge and experience to Alaxo.”

D’Agostino says in a release, “I am looking forward to working with Alaxo as chief medical advisor. Nasal obstruction can cause or contribute to snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, headaches, halitosis, poor dental health, and have ill effects on metabolism. Alaxo provides a simple non-surgical cure for nasal obstruction. A clear nasal airway leads to improved mental and physical health, athletic performance and better sleep.”

D’Agostino is originally from North Haven, CT. Since 1995, he is board certified from the American Board of Otolaryngology and from the American Board of Sleep Medicine since 2010. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery …

Botox for TMJ May Not Lead to Bone Loss in Short Term, But More Research Is Needed 0

Botox for TMJ May Not Lead to Bone Loss in Short Term, But More Research Is Needed

Botox injections to manage jaw and facial pain do not result in clinically significant changes in jaw bone when used short term and in low doses, according to researchers at NYU College of Dentistry. However, they found evidence of bone loss when higher doses were used.

The researchers, whose findings are published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, call for further clinical studies to track bone- and muscle-related changes with long-term use of Botox for TMJD, or temporomandibular muscle and joint disorders.

TMJDs are a group of common pain conditions that occur in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, with the most common type involving the muscles responsible for chewing. While many individuals manage their TMJD symptoms with conservative treatments such as jaw exercises, oral appliances, dietary changes, and pain medication, some do not respond to these treatments.

Botox (or botulinum toxin), an FDA-approved injectable drug known for its wrinkle-reducing capabilities, is approved to treat certain muscle and pain disorders, including migraines. It works in part by temporarily paralyzing or weakening muscles. In the United States, a Phase 3 …

Can CTE Cause REM Sleep Behavior Disorder? 0

Can CTE Cause REM Sleep Behavior Disorder?

Repetitive head impacts are associated with development chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Some individuals diagnosed with CTE, a neurodegenerative disease, after death were reported to experience sleep dysfunction, but the type of disorder and its cause has never been formally explored.

A team led by researchers at the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine analyzed the brains of 247 athletes donated to the Veteran’s Affairs-Boston University-Concussion Legacy Foundation (VA-BU-CLF) Brain Bank to explore the relationship between contact sports participation, multiple brain diseases, and symptoms characteristic of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD). REM sleep behavior disorder occurs when the paralysis that normally occurs during REM sleep is incomplete or absent, causing individuals to “act out” their dreams by talking, flailing their arms and legs, punching, kicking, grabbing, and more.

[RELATED: REM Sleep Behavior Disorder Gets a Textbook]

While an estimated 1% of the general population suffers from REM sleep behavior disorder, scientists found that 32% of the contact sport athletes with CTE experienced sleep symptoms characteristic of REM sleep behavior disorder. The study’s results are …

Pulling Back the Curtain on AI in Sleep Medicine 0

Pulling Back the Curtain on AI in Sleep Medicine

Watch an ~90-minute free recording of a Sleep Review-produced webinar that discusses research and clinical applications surrounding artificial intelligence.

Sleep specialists and a physicist-data scientist discuss:

  • artificial intelligence (AI), sleep, and brain health;
  • opportunities and risks of AI in sleep medicine;
  • and how AI may impact sleep medicine moving forward.

[RELATED: How Machine Learning Could Transform the Way We Diagnose Narcolepsy]

Presenters

The presenters are Nate Watson, MD, MSc; Jon Agustsson, PhD; and Emmanuel Mignot, MD, PhD.

Nate Watson, MD

Dr. Watson is Professor of Neurology, Co-director of the Sleep Center at the University of Washington, and Director of the Harborview Medical Center Sleep Clinic in Seattle, Washington. He is the former president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Board of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Watson has held multiple research grants to study sleep disturbances and has published extensively for medical and lay audiences. His current investigations include the relationship between sleep-disordered breathing and cancer risk and the impact of artificial intelligence and consumer sleep technology on human sleep and sleep medicine.

Jon Agustsson, PhD

Dr. …

What’s the Best Innerspring Mattress for You? Here’s the Sleep Doctor’s Take 0

What’s the Best Innerspring Mattress for You? Here’s the Sleep Doctor’s Take

Just a few years ago, if you were shopping for a new bed, you were probably deciding between the best innerspring mattresses. Today, there are a wealth of other options to consider, from memory foam to latex. But there’s a reason innerspring mattresses, made with systems of supportive coils, or “springs,” topped with a layer of padding, remain some of the best options on the market.

For starters, innerspring coils are a more durable material than foam, ensuring your mattress holds up over time. As far as the sleep surface goes, innerspring mattresses offer a “bouncy” feel that many sleepers love, and according to Michael Breus, Ph.D also known as the Sleep Doctor, spring mattresses allow for ease of movement during sleep. Finally, innerspring is traditionally a more affordable choice, especially compared to high-end hybrid mattress products and latex models.

As you consider your options in the innerspring mattress department, you’ll find that there are a number of bed-ina-box options to consider. This can make the mattress search rather daunting, but fear not–– the Sleep Doctor’s already done

What’s the Best Innerspring Mattress for You? Here’s the Sleep Doctor’s Take 0

What’s the Best Innerspring Mattress for You? Here’s the Sleep Doctor’s Take

Just a few years ago, if you were shopping for a new bed, you were probably deciding between the best innerspring mattresses. Today, there are a wealth of other options to consider, from memory foam to latex. But there’s a reason innerspring mattresses, made with systems of supportive coils, or “springs,” topped with a layer of padding, remain some of the best options on the market.

For starters, innerspring coils are a more durable material than foam, ensuring your mattress holds up over time. As far as the sleep surface goes, innerspring mattresses offer a “bouncy” feel that many sleepers love, and according to Michael Breus, Ph.D also known as the Sleep Doctor, spring mattresses allow for ease of movement during sleep. Finally, innerspring is traditionally a more affordable choice, especially compared to high-end hybrid mattress products and latex models.

As you consider your options in the innerspring mattress department, you’ll find that there are a number of bed-ina-box options to consider. This can make the mattress search rather daunting, but fear not–– the Sleep Doctor’s already done

What’s the Best Innerspring Mattress for You? Here’s the Sleep Doctor’s Take 0

What’s the Best Innerspring Mattress for You? Here’s the Sleep Doctor’s Take

Just a few years ago, if you were shopping for a new bed, you were probably deciding between the best innerspring mattresses. Today, there are a wealth of other options to consider, from memory foam to latex. But there’s a reason innerspring mattresses, made with systems of supportive coils, or “springs,” topped with a layer of padding, remain some of the best options on the market.

For starters, innerspring coils are a more durable material than foam, ensuring your mattress holds up over time. As far as the sleep surface goes, innerspring mattresses offer a “bouncy” feel that many sleepers love, and according to Michael Breus, Ph.D also known as the Sleep Doctor, spring mattresses allow for ease of movement during sleep. Finally, innerspring is traditionally a more affordable choice, especially compared to high-end hybrid mattress products and latex models.

As you consider your options in the innerspring mattress department, you’ll find that there are a number of bed-ina-box options to consider. This can make the mattress search rather daunting, but fear not–– the Sleep Doctor’s already done