Friday, July 20, 2007

AASM Site Visitor Opportunity

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is now accepting applications for an AASM Accreditation Site Visitor to perform accreditation duties as an independent contractor of the AASM. The Accreditation Site Visitor performs all professional aspects of the sleep center accreditation process, including review of applications, performance of site visits, writing of reports, and review of responses to provisos. The AASM Site Visitor will be expected to travel and conduct a minimum of 25 site visits per year. An applicant should be a board-certified sleep specialist and, currently or in the past, served as the Medical Director/Director of an AASM-accredited sleep center. Contact the Accreditation Department at (708) 273-9325 or with a letter of interest and CV.

I have been a site visitor for the last 4 months. It's a good opportunity to examine different polysomnographic systems and see how things are done in other parts of the country.
Elgible sleep specialists are encouraged to apply.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sleep Problems are Common in Primary Care Patients

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found that over one-third of adults who visit a primary care practice have sleep problems.
As summarized by the American College of Physicians:

34% woke up at least three times a night
14% had symptoms of sleep apnea
28% had symptoms of restless legs syndrome at least weekly
55% felt sleepy at least once a week during daily activities
37% dozed off at least once a week during daily activities
33% snored loudly at least once a week

Not all of the complaints could be attributed to specific sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. Pain was a common cause of sleep disturbance. However, it is often difficult to tell if pain alone is causing the sleep disturbance:

Chronic back pain, arthritis, and joint pain and stiffness were associated with all of the sleep complaints studied. This finding is consistent with clinical research indicating the connection between pain and sleep disturbance21; however, in these analyses, it is impossible to determine which preceded or caused the other.22 Our analyses also identified increased risk of OSAS in patients with musculoskeletal pain. The cause of this relationship is unclear, but it can be postulated that disability and medications (especially opioids) may contribute to sleep apnea. RLS symptoms were also significant in patients with pain, a finding that mirrors others in the literature.23 Thus, a plan that addresses the sleep complaints as well as the pain can optimize the treatment of pain and improve quality of life.

Sleep disturbance is common in primary care patients. In many cases, the primary care physican can evaluate and treat the problem. In difficult cases, or when sleep apnea is suspected, referral to a sleep specialist is indicated.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Narcoleptic dogs

Here is a nice video of cataplexy in dogs (via National Sleep Foundation/Dr. Mignot):

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that affects about 1 in 2,000 people in the U.S., but did you know that it also occurs in animals? Courtesy of the Center for Narcolepsy at Stanford School of Medicine, NSF has published footage on YouTube of narcoleptic episodes in dogs with a narration by Dr. Emmanuel Mignot. Watch it now!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Check out the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's website for patients,

Mississippi Sleep Society Meeting

You're invited

The Mississippi Sleep Society will be meeting for lunch at the Steam Room Grille
Interstate 55N Jackson, MS

Monday July 2, 2007
11:30- 1:00

This is a formative meeting for this new organization. All those involved in Sleep Medicine and especially sleep technicians are encouraged to attend.

Lunch is provided.