Elly Mackay Blog

Sleep Disorders & Neurodegeneration in Traumatic Brain Injury Patients: Could Sleep Care Mitigate Risks? 0

Sleep Disorders & Neurodegeneration in Traumatic Brain Injury Patients: Could Sleep Care Mitigate Risks?

New research shows a correlation between poor sleep in TBI patients and elevated markers of neuronal injury.

By Lisa Spear

Could treating sleep disorders in traumatic brain injury patients lead to fewer cases of neurodegenerative disease down the road in this population? 

The answer to this question has not yet been determined, but new research shows that this hypothesis is worth exploring further. A recent abstract reveals elevated markers of neuronal injury and cognitive deficits accompanying sleep complaints and obstructive sleep apnea risk in veterans with traumatic brain injury. According to the authors, this possibly identifies treatable pathophysiological mediators for traumatic neurodegenerative progression, but further research is needed to confirm this theory. 

“If sleep is related, certainly that would be a good target for intervention to prevent progression,” says author neurologist and neuroscientist Kent Werner, MD, PhD.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) honored Werner for his work with the 2020 Trainee Investigator Award, which recognizes exceptional scientific discovery in the field of sleep medicine. 

“I do want to thank the AASM. I think they deserve recognition for …

Remote CPAP Mask Fittings Are Easier Now, Due to the Launch of New Technologies 0

Remote CPAP Mask Fittings Are Easier Now, Due to the Launch of New Technologies

How do you select an appropriate interface for a patient during the pandemic? Several innovative software options are available.

By Lisa Spear

Under normal circumstances, fitting a patient for a CPAP mask calls for an in-person visit. Measurements of the craniofacial anatomy are taken. A sleep tech or respiratory therapist (RT) asks a few questions. The process involves an investment in staffing, time, and a brick-and-mortar building. During these visits, staying at least 6 feet apart to minimize the risk of coronavirus spread is not always possible.

As SARS-CoV-2 took root across the country this spring and cases in the United States eclipsed other nations, more Americans opted to cancel or postpone non-emergency medical care, including visits to select CPAP masks. Home medical equipment (HME) storefronts shuttered, and suppliers scrambled to figure out a solution to continue to reach patients.

In the midst of all the chaos, some sleep medicine software developers innovated their way out of the problem—by developing technology to remotely recommend CPAP masks, without the need for sleep tech or RT in-person assistance. Philips Respironics launched its …

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

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

As you shop for a new mattress, there are a number of factors to consider. For instance, which mattress type is right for you? Some prefer the firmer feel of an innerspring mattress, while others are better off with the cushioning, contouring feel of memory foam. Both options have their pros and cons, but thankfully, you don’t actually have to choose between them if you find the best hybrid mattress for your sleep needs.

Hybrid mattresses combine multiple mattress components, which might include innerspring coils, memory foam, latex, and more. Ideally, a hybrid mattress will offer you the best of all possible worlds. This approach to mattress design has really taken off in recent years, with many of the top mattress products embracing the hybrid ethos. There are so many hybrids out there, in fact, that it can prove difficult to determine which one is right for you. Luckily, the Sleep Doctor’s already done the hard part for you.

Michael Breus, Ph.D (aka, the Sleep Doctor) partnered with the team at Mattress Advisor to compile a list of the 10 …

Use the Wisdom of Ayurvedic Medicine to Improve Your Sleep Tonight 0

Use the Wisdom of Ayurvedic Medicine to Improve Your Sleep Tonight

You’ve heard me talk a lot about circadian bio rhythms, and how crucial they are to our sleep and our broader health. What if I told you there is a form of medicine that has advocated the importance of daily bio rhythms—the daily when—for thousands of years?

Ayurvedic medicine is probably the first adopter of bio time as a foundation of medicine and disease prevention. The earliest Ayurvedic practitioners understood that the when of daily life—of sleeping, eating, exercising, performing mental and physical tasks—has a huge impact on how we think, feel, and age, and how healthy we are.

That makes this traditional medicine inherently sleep supporting. There are other principles of Ayurveda that are tailor-made to support sleep, including:

  • A focus on balance, or homeostasis, in all aspects of life
  • Consistency in routines
  • A practice of letting go and calming the mind
  • Optimism and gratitude in mindset

Today I’ll talk about what Ayurveda tells us about sleep and how to sleep better.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda, or Ayurvedic medicine, originated in the Indian subcontinent as much as

ResMed’s New App Preps Sleep Apnea Patients—Before They Begin Therapy 0

ResMed’s New App Preps Sleep Apnea Patients—Before They Begin Therapy

HelloSleep is available for free for iOS users. It’s a complementary aid to physicians and HMEs by reinforcing information about sleep apnea and using CPAP.

Forty to 80% of medical information provided by healthcare practitioners is forgotten immediately, according to one study. Sleep physicians and home medical equipment (HMEs) providers now have a new virtual tool to let patients take home some educational information via their smartphones.

ResMed has released HelloSleep, a free app for patients just diagnosed with sleep apnea. The goal of the app is to increase the number of diagnosed patients who successfully transition onto CPAP treatment. A 37-person survey conducted by ResMed found that 83% of app users said the information was easy to understand, 73% had a better understanding of sleep apnea, and 73% found that the info on success with CPAP equipment was useful. HelloSleep is available in English for for iOS users.

The app is intended as a complementary aid to physicians and HMEs by reinforcing key information about sleep apnea and using CPAP equipment.

Patients who know what to expect going …

How I Became a Sleep Navigator 0

How I Became a Sleep Navigator

Four patient navigators for sleep medicine explain their professional backgrounds, how they landed the (in most cases, newly created) role, and what they find rewarding in the position.

By Greg Thompson

Patient navigators are well-established in some medical fields, such as those who guide people through cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatments. In sleep medicine, navigators are new—and so are the career paths to the role. Denise Alexander, RRT; Leah Taylor; Carolyn Camerino, RRT-NPS; and Ken Hooks, RRT, RPSGT, share their stories.

Denise Alexander

The power of respiratory medicine revealed itself to Denise Alexander, RRT, in ways she did not expect. She left the corporate world to raise three sons, and all three had varying degrees of asthma, including one with comorbid obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Denise Alexander Sleep Navigator
Denise Alexander, RRT, is clinical sleep navigator, Northwestern Medicine McHenry and Huntley Hospital, Northwestern Medicine Sleep Services in Algonquin, Ill.

“My youngest son was hospitalized in the [pediatric intensive care unit] at three months with pertussis/whooping cough,” says Alexander, clinical sleep navigator, Northwestern Medicine McHenry and Huntley Hospital, Northwestern Medicine Sleep Services in Algonquin, …

How To Use Beauty Sleep to Look Younger 0

How To Use Beauty Sleep to Look Younger

I talk a lot about the benefits of sleep–from improved cardiovascular health to increased concentration, lower levels of depression and even benefits for your sex life. But one thing sleep experts tend to talk less about is the cosmetic side of sleep–the so called concept of beauty sleep.

You don’t have to know much about sleep to have heard the term, beauty sleep. Chances are you’ve come across the idea of beauty sleep more on the covers of magazines or scrolling through social media than in sleep research journals.

So the question is: is beauty sleep real?

I’ll tell you what you need to know about the advertising and claims behind beauty sleep, the sleep science behind sleep and appearance, and how you can optimize your sleep to look younger and more refreshed–no expensive lotions or creams required.

What is Beauty Sleep?

First, don’t confuse beauty sleep with the sleeping beauty diet and its dangers.

Beauty sleep doesn’t have a scientific definition, but the concept is simple: you need rest to look better. Look it up in the dictionary …

Sleep Apnea in Middle Age Doubles Risk For Alzheimer’s 0

Sleep Apnea in Middle Age Doubles Risk For Alzheimer’s

Middle-aged people who have sleep apnea or who get 9 or more hours of sleep at night have more than double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) within about 6 years, new research suggests.

A UK Biobank study of more than 500,000 individuals also showed that excessive daytime sleepiness was associated with increased risk for AD.

Get the full story at medpage.com.

from Sleep Review https://www.sleepreviewmag.com/sleep-health/sleep-whole-body/brain/sleep-apnea-middle-age-doubles-risk-alzheimers/…

Low Respiratory Arousal Threshold in African Americans with OSA Offers Clues to CPAP Nonadherence 0

Low Respiratory Arousal Threshold in African Americans with OSA Offers Clues to CPAP Nonadherence

New data shows that over 60% of African American patients evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea have a low respiratory arousal threshold, compared to 30% to 50% in other populations.

By Lisa Spear

Research shows that African Americans have an increased prevalence and severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and a low rate of CPAP adherence. This population is also more likely to be aroused from sleep by a respiratory disturbance, which may contribute to sleep fragmentation, but not enough is known about the reason for these sleep problems.

“It’s something that is actually quite prevalent,” says internal medicine physician and researcher Onydika Moghalu, MD.

Moghalu and colleagues from Howard University Hospital in Washington DC recently published a new abstract looking at data from African American patients evaluated for OSA. The abstract, published in Neurology, shows that over 60% of African American patients evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea have a low respiratory arousal threshold, compared to 30% to 50% in populations examined in other studies.

A low respiratory arousal threshold is defined as arousal from sleep with a small increase …

Sleep Supported with the 9 Best Firm Mattresses, According to the Sleep Doctor 0

Sleep Supported with the 9 Best Firm Mattresses, According to the Sleep Doctor

Let’s start with a simple acknowledgement: Firm mattresses are excellent for sleepers who are seeking relief from back and joint pain, or simply prefer a more supportive feel. While many top mattresses are categorized as medium-firm, a true firm mattress is especially important for back and stomach sleepers who require extra attention to their natural spine alignment.

But with so many great options on the market today, how should you decide which firm mattress will be right for you? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, Michael Breus, Ph.D, the Sleep Doctor, weighs in on the best mattress options that will address your specific sleep needs. With help from the team at Mattress Advisor, each of the mattresses selected in this article underwent hours of rigorous testing in their mattress lab based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Tests follow 14 criteria points that mattresses have to meet, and are rated on a scale of 1-10, with ten signifying a perfect score. Find out about the Sleep Doctor’s picks for the best firm mattress.

Each product we