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The American Academy of Sleep Medicine released the top 10 noteworthy studies published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine throughout last year. The studies, ranked by combined page views and downloads, focused primarily on the impact of COVID-19 along with AASM clinical practice guidelines. These are the top 10.

1. Behavioral and psychological treatments for chronic insomnia disorder in adults: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine clinical practice guideline.

The recommendations in this article are created as a guide for clinicians. They come from an AASM task force established to make recommendations for the use of behavioral and psychological treatments for chronic insomnia disorder in adults. Each recommendation includes a weight, strong or conditional. Strong recommendations are those that clinicians should follow under most circumstances. Conditional requires the use of clinical knowledge combined with patient preference and values.

Strong clinician recommendations include:

  • Use multicomponent cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia for the treatment of chronic insomnia disorder in adults.

Conditional clinician suggestions include:

  • Use multicomponent brief therapies for insomnia for the treatment of chronic insomnia disorder in adults.
  • Use stimulus control as a single-component therapy for the treatment of chronic insomnia disorder in adults.
  • Use sleep restriction therapy as a single-component therapy for the treatment of chronic insomnia disorder in adults.
  • Use relaxation therapy as a single-component therapy for the treatment of chronic insomnia disorder in adults.
  • Do not use sleep hygiene as a single-component therapy for the treatment of chronic insomnia disorder in adults.

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2. Sleep problems during the COVID-19 pandemic by population: a systematic review and meta-analysis

This study assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the prevalence of sleep problems. A systematic review was conducted to examine the impact on the general population, health care workers, or patients with COVID-19.

The study concluded, “The prevalence of sleep problems during the COVID-19 pandemic is high and affects approximately 40% of people from the general and health care populations. Patients with active COVID-19 appeared to have higher prevalence rates of sleep problems.”

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3. Recommended protocols for the Multiple Sleep Latency Test and Maintenance of Wakefulness Test in adults: guidance from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

This article provides an update to AASM protocols for administering the MSLT and MWT. The task force didn’t make any evidence-based updates, however consensus based changes were issued. “These changes included guidance on patient preparation, medication and substance use, sleep before testing, test scheduling, optimum test conditions, and documentation,” according to the abstract.

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4. Escalation of sleep disturbances amid the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional international study

This study sought to identify populations with changes in sleep patterns imposed by stress from COVID-19 and social isolation. The study concludes that the pandemic has led to a surge in reported sleep problems. “The findings raise the need to screen for worsening sleep patterns and use of sleeping aids, especially in more susceptible populations, namely, women and people with insecure livelihoods subjected to social isolation,” the authors conclude.

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5. Treatment of central disorders of hypersomnolence: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine clinical practice guideline

An AASM-commissioned task force established recommendations for the treatment of central disorders of hypersomnolence in adults and children. A total of 22 recommendations were made: Seven for adult patients with narcolepsy, five for adult patients with idiopathic hypersonmia, one for patients with Kleine-Levin Syndrome, seven for adult patients with hypersomnia due to medical conditions, and two for pediatric patients with narcolepsy.

Read the recommendations in the full article.

6. The effects of COVID-19 stay-at-home order on sleep, health, and working patterns: a survey study of US health care workers

This study sought to explore the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. The authors examined changes in sleep, health, work, and mood. They found, “Health care workers’ mood worsened regardless of whether work was in person or remote, although total sleep time was shorter for those working in person.”

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7. Use of polysomnography and home sleep apnea tests for the longitudinal management of obstructive sleep apnea in adults: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine clinical guidance statement

A five-person task force consisting of sleep medicine experts was established by the AASM to give guidance on the use of PSG and HSATs after a diagnosis of OSA has been established and, in most cases, treatment implemented.

A total of 6 clinical guidance statements were issued:

  • “Follow-up PSG or HSAT is not recommended for routine reassessment of asymptomatic patients with obstructive sleep apnea on PAP therapy, however, follow-up PSG or HSAT can be used to reassess patients with recurrent or persistent symptoms, despite good PAP adherence.”
  • “Follow-up PSG or HSAT is recommended to assess response to treatment with non-PAP interventions.”
  • “Follow-up PSG or HSAT may be used if clinically significant weight gain or loss has occurred since diagnosis of OSA or initiation of its treatment.”

Read the complete list of statements in the full article.

8. COVID-19 pandemic impact on sleep habits, chronotype, and health-related quality of life among high school students: a longitudinal study

This study sought to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on high school students. The authors found, “High school students shifted their bed and wake-up times as well as their chronotype towards eveningness during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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9. Behavioral and psychological treatments for chronic insomnia disorder in adults: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine systematic review, meta-analysis, and GRADE assessment

The authors of the article provide a systematic review to provide evidence for guidelines on the use of psychological and behavioral treatments for chronic insomnia in adults. The authors identified 1,244 studies and used data from 89 of them for statistical analysis. The review includes evidence for interventions for cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia, brief therapies for insomnia, stimulus control, sleep restriction therapy, relaxation training, sleep hygiene, biofeedback, paradoxical intention, intensive sleep retraining, and mindfulness.

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10. Google Trends reveals increases in internet searches for insomnia during the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) global pandemic

This article analyzed Google search queries for the term “insomnia.” Results found, “The COVID-19 pandemic increased search queries for insomnia both worldwide and in the United States, with the number in the United States increasing by 58% during the first 5 months of 2020 compared with the same months from the previous 3 years.”

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Learn how sleep centers across the country have responded to COVID-19 by using Somnoware’s workflow tools to operationalize and rapidly scale home testing. The Somnoware platform includes a shipping module, device inventory manager, and one-click HST initialization. Patients can pick up their devices from a center or receive them via UPS/USPS. Learn more by requesting a demo of Somnoware here.

Franklin Holman is director of marketing at Somnoware. He can be reached at franklinh@somnoware.com.