Talking Sleep – An AASM Podcast

The field of sleep medicine is always evolving. Listen to Talking Sleep, a podcast of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), to keep up on the latest developments in the practice of clinical sleep medicine. Season four is now playing, and you can listen to the archived episodes from past seasons.

We’d love to hear from you. Send your feedback and suggestions for Talking Sleep topics and guests to podcast@aasm.org.

Season Four

Episode 10:

The science of smart beds

In this episode, we’re visiting with Raj Mills, a medical device engineer at Sleep Number. She talks about the technology behind smart beds, what they measure, how they compare to polysomnography, and how they might alert a sleeper that they’re getting sick.  Listen now.

Episode 9:

NIH Sleep Research Plan

In this episode, we discuss the goals of the National Institutes of Health’s Sleep Research Plan with National Center on Sleep Disorders Research Director Dr. Marishka Brown. Learn more about how the plan is aimed at advancing sleep and circadian research to promote public health. Listen now.

Episode 8:

SLEEP meeting preview

Get a sneak peek of the sessions and events taking place at SLEEP 2022, the 36th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. Today’s guest is Dr. Shalini Paruthi, chair of the APSS Program Committee, and she’s excited to welcome everyone back to an in-person SLEEP meeting, June 4-8 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Register by Sunday, April 24 for early bird rates! Listen now.

Episode 7:

Sleep and cancer

Researchers continue to explore links between sleep and cancer. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Jaspal Singh, medical director of pulmonary oncology at Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina, to learn more about the role of sleep in cancer treatment and recovery. He describes associations between sleep and higher incidences of cancer in shift workers and flight personnel, and urges the sleep community to partner with their oncology colleagues to help cancer patients explore potential sleep problems. Listen now.

Episode 6:

Phenotyping in obstructive sleep apnea

Not all patients with obstructive sleep apnea experience daytime sleepiness. In this episode of Talking Sleep, we talk with researcher and clinician Dr. Allan Pack about phenotyping OSA patients to understand the differences in patient clusters based on physiology, symptoms, clinical presentations, and other factors. Phenotyping patients ultimately will allow clinicians to offer more personalized treatment. Listen now.

Episode 5:

The daylight saving time debate

As we prepare to “spring forward” an hour this Sunday, members of Congress are discussing the need to continue biannual time changes. In this episode of Talking Sleep, Dr. Erin Flynn-Evans, a circadian physiologist, explains why standard time puts our social, sun, and body clocks in the best alignment and supports overall health and safety. Listen now.

Episode 4:

Sleep, long COVID and critical illness

Patients recovering from COVID or other critical illnesses often face additional health challenges after their hospitalization. In this episode of Talking Sleep, we talk to Dr. Carla Sevin, director of the ICU Recovery Center at Vanderbilt University, about the physical, cognitive and psychological issues, including sleep disturbances, that can trouble patients long after their initial illness. Listen now.

Episode 3:

Sleep and Athletes

As the 2022 Winter Olympics take place, we wondered, how do these elite athletes manage their sleep and adjust to travel across multiple time zones? We asked Dr. Jeff Durmer, a neuroscientist and sleep specialist who serves as the sleep performance director for the U.S. Olympic weightlifting team. Learn how he educates athletes about the importance of sleep duration, timing, and quality to help them feel and perform their best. Listen now.

Episode 2:

Home Sleep Apnea Testing in Children

The pandemic has prompted many sleep physicians to consider alternate ways of testing for sleep apnea, and that’s led to greater use of home sleep apnea tests. But are HSATs effective in testing for children? In this episode, we talk with Dr. Shannon Sullivan, a pediatric sleep specialist, about developments in home sleep apnea testing for kids and adolescents. Listen now.

Episode 1:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Cardiovascular Disease

Welcome to Season Four of Talking Sleep! In this episode we talk with Dr. Susan Redline about the American Heart Association’s recent scientific statement on the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and heart disease and the need to collaborate with cardiologists to improve the diagnosis and treatment of OSA. Dr. Redline also gives a sneak peak of her SLEEP 2022 keynote address. Listen now.

Season Three

Join us for a conversation with Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine Editor-in-Chief Dr. Nancy Collop on the 15th anniversary of the journal. A special anniversary collection highlights some of the most significant original research articles published in JCSM along with new commentaries from today’s experts on the lasting impact of the research. Review the complete collection and listen as Drs. Collop and Khosla discuss some of the papers and how they have impacted the practice of sleep medicine.

Telemedicine is changing the way sleep medicine is taught and practiced. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Barry Fields, a sleep physician at the Atlanta VA Health System and member of the AASM Telemedicine Presidential Committee. He shares AASM telemedicine resources and offers guidance on how to make the most of telemedicine in the clinic and the classroom.

In this episode, we explore how sleep modulates the immune system, affecting our ability to ward off infections and develop antibodies. Our guest is Dr. Aric Prather, a clinical health psychologist and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, who has done extensive research on the relationship between sleep and immunity.

Cognitive behavioral therapy should be the first course of treatment in adults with chronic insomnia, according to a recently published AASM clinical practice guideline. This episode features Dr. Jennifer Martin, a clinical psychologist and co-author of the guideline, discussing the effectiveness of CBT-I, and why both physicians and patients should be aware that it’s an option. She also talks about the challenges of sleep during the pandemic, why melatonin isn’t the answer, and why consumer wearables may do more harm than good.

In this episode of Talking Sleep, we sit down with Loretta Colvin, APRN, to learn more about the role of advanced practice providers in the sleep medicine practice, how APPs collaborate with physicians to provide patient care, and how to incorporate these valuable team members into a practice to expand services and improve access to care.

Consumer-oriented sleep trackers are increasing in popularity and provide an opportunity to educate users about the importance of healthy sleep, says Dr. Logan Schneider, co-director of the Stanford/VA Alzheimer’s Research Center and a tech consultant. In this episode, Dr. Schneider discusses the benefits of sleep tech to consumers and clinicians and his involvement in developing Google’s new sleep tracking device.

From AI-assisted scoring to personalized sleep treatments, artificial intelligence has incredible potential in sleep medicine. In this episode, we talk to AASM AI committee members Dr. Anuja Bandyopadhyay and Sam Rusk to learn more about current and future applications of AI, the value to patients and plans for an AASM certification program to validate and standardize AI scoring software.

The apnea-hypopnea index is one of the most debated measures of the severity of obstructive sleep apnea. In this episode we talk with Drs. Daniel Gottlieb and Douglas Kirsch about a new research statement from the Sleep Research Society that explores the strengths and weaknesses of the AHI and considers other measures to determine OSA risk and treatment options.

Improving health outcomes and health systems requires new ways of thinking. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Azizi Seixas, an assistant professor in the Departments of Population Health and Psychiatry at NYU Langone and chair of the recent AASM Sleep Medicine Disruptors meeting, about leveraging disruption to be more efficient, develop new solutions and better engage with and care for people in our communities.

Obstructive sleep apnea affects 40-50% of children with Down syndrome; however, access to care, diagnosis, and treatment of OSA presents many challenges. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Ignacio Tapia, a pediatric sleep specialist whose research aims to increase access to sleep care for special needs’ patients, leverage home sleep apnea tests and improve PAP adherence through programs benefiting patients and their families.

In this episode, we review the CPAP technology assessment draft report released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the AASM-led response. Our guest Dr. Susheel Patil highlights key findings of the report, where the Academy and its partners think it falls short, and how it could ultimately move the field forward by setting the stage for future research priorities.

Sleep medicine is a diverse profession and the AASM strives to be representative and inclusive of all backgrounds and perspectives. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Andrew Spector, chair of the AASM’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, about the Academy’s efforts to identify and eliminate barriers to inclusion, support initiatives for better diversity, and work to reduce health care disparities.

In this episode, we review the recently released AASM clinical practice guideline for treatment of central disorders of hypersomnolence. We talk with Dr. Kiran Maski, chair of the AASM task force that developed the guideline, about the data-driven treatment recommendations as well as future research directions, the challenges of diagnosing hypersomnias, and the potential of sleep biomarkers.

With increased use of telemedicine, how reliable are video evaluations for obstructive sleep apnea? Today’s guest, Dr. Michael Yurcheshen, recently published a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine comparing telemedicine to in-person assessments for sleep-disordered breathing. He discusses his findings, shares tips on how to conduct the best video exam and explores how telemedicine can be leveraged in the future.

The AASM’s inaugural Change Agents competition brought together teams from all areas of sleep medicine to think about innovative and creative ways to reimagine the diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. In today’s episode, we talk to the leader of the winning team, Dr. Amy Bender, about the proposal, “Let’s Put the Sleep Back into Sleep Medicine,” which recommends measuring sleep depth to predict CPAP adherence and offer more personalized sleep apnea treatment.

A clinical sleep health educator can help bridge the gaps between patients and providers, leading to improved diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders and better coordination among the health care team. In today’s episode, we’ll learn about the Certification in Clinical Sleep Health credential with Andrea Ramberg, RPSGT, CCSH, president-elect of the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists.

In this episode, we talk with Dr. Scott Kutscher, sleep fellowship director at Stanford and a member of the AASM’s Sleep Medicine Fellowship Directors Council. He discusses the Choose Sleep initiative to increase the knowledge and awareness of a career in sleep medicine, how sleep fellowship programs have responded and adapted to the pandemic, and a move for sleep medicine’s Match Day.

Are you overwhelmed by the constantly changing landscape of sleep technologies? Having trouble keeping up with your patient’s latest sleep tracker? The AASM Emerging Technology Committee is here to help. In this episode, we talk with committee members Drs. Maryann Deak, Sharon Schutte-Rodin and Ambrose Chiang about AASM resources to evaluate sleep-related clinical and consumer devices to help further your understanding of #SleepTechnology.

A new clinical practice guideline from the AASM advises when surgical consultation may be appropriate for patients struggling to use CPAP to treat their obstructive sleep apnea. In this episode, we talk with two of the guideline authors, Drs. David Kent and Jeff Stanley, both otolaryngologists and sleep specialists, about the recommendations for surgical consultation and how they can empower patients to make the best decision for their care.

New evidence-based principles co-published by the AASM and SRS are designed to help employers take a holistic view of setting work shift durations to positively impact employee health, safety, and productivity by reducing mental and physical fatigue. Lead author Dr. Indira Gurubhagavatula joins us to explain the guiding principles and how they can be used to develop effective, customized solutions for shift duration.

We wrap up season 3 of Talking Sleep with a discussion of the economic impact of sleep disorders. In a study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Drs. Phil Huyett and Neil Bhattacharyya crunch the numbers to estimate the health care costs of diagnosing and treating sleep disorders and associated complications. We talk to them about their findings and the implications.

Season Two

In our season 2 debut, we talk with Dr. Nita Shattuck, professor at the Naval Postgraduate School and leader of the NPS Crew Endurance Team, which promotes sleep as a key element to naval readiness. Dr. Shattuck’s Virtual SLEEP 2020 presentation on sleep-related challenges in the military was one of the meeting’s most popular lectures. In this episode of Talking Sleep, Dr. Shattuck shares how evidence and data led to broad changes in naval policy.

Updated in early 2020, the AASM Manual for the Scoring of Sleep and Associated Events is the definitive resource for the evaluation of sleep tests. In this episode of Talking Sleep, our correspondent Dr. Robert Vorona talks with Drs. Richard Berry and Stuart Quan of the AASM Scoring Manual Committee for insight into some of the changes.

The AIRE program is a new approach to offering fellowships in sleep medicine using a competency-based curriculum and uniform evaluation tools. In this episode of Talking Sleep, we discuss the AIRE program with several guests, including program directors and fellows. Participants in the AIRE fellowship can complete their sleep training as part of a blended or part-time program, with the goal of increasing the number of sleep specialists.

Energy conservation and candy consumption are just two reasons the U.S. has implemented or extended daylight saving time. But evidence shows the twice-yearly time change has detrimental effects on our health and safety, especially when we “spring forward.” In this episode of Talking Sleep, we talk with Dr. M. Adeel Rishi, vice-chair of the AASM Public Safety Committee and lead author of the Academy’s position statement calling for the elimination of daylight saving time to learn why “falling back” to permanent standard time is best for optimal health.

Race and place have far-reaching consequences for sleep health. In this episode of Talking Sleep, Dr. Dayna Johnson, a sleep epidemiologist at Emory University, explains her research into the social and environmental factors that contribute to sleep health disparities as well as the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minorities. She also discusses how the sleep medicine community can take action to improve health equity, raise awareness of sleep benefits and improve access to care.

This episode of Talking Sleep features Dr. Rami Khayat, a leading research into central sleep apnea. Dr. Khayat discusses the challenges in scoring, diagnosing and treating CSA and why it’s important to test for it in heart failure patients. He also describes a current clinical trial studying the impact of low-flow oxygen on patients with CSA and heart failure.

In the year’s final episode of Talking Sleep, Dr. Asha Singh of the AASM Coding and Compliance Committee highlights changes to evaluation and management codes coming in 2021. Providers and office staff need to be aware of the updates, which include options to bill based on total time or medical decision-making. AASM members also can view this free E/M coding webinar for more information.

Season One

In the debut episode of Talking Sleep, we sit down with Dr. Chris Winter, a sleep physician in Charlottesville, Virginia, to discuss how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting his practice and what it could mean for the future of sleep medicine.

We’ll talk with Dr. John Winkelman, chief of the Sleep Disorders Clinical Research Program in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and an expert in the epidemiology, physiology, cardiovascular consequences and treatment of restless legs syndrome.

Dr. Lisa Wolfe, a nationally recognized authority in non-invasive mechanical ventilation discusses the pros and cons of empiric and in-lab bilevel titration therapy.

Is there evidence that medical marijuana is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea? Find out when we talk to Dr. Bhanu Kolla, an addiction psychiatrist and sleep physician who studies the interaction between sleep disturbances and addictive disorders.

In this episode of Talking Sleep we dig deep with Dr. Frances Chung, one of the authors of a landmark study examining the relationship between undiagnosed OSA and cardiovascular complications after non-cardiac surgery. Dr. Chung is a professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Toronto and developer of the STOP-BANG questionnaire.

The pandemic has disrupted sleep and school schedules for children. In this episode, we talk with pediatric sleep specialist Dr. Dominic Gault about managing kids and sleep in the current environment and preparing for the return to school, whether it’s in-person or remote learning.

We’re encountering many patients who are having trouble sleeping during the pandemic. In this episode of Talking Sleep, we discuss some of the causes and treatments for insomnia. Psychologist Dr. Barbara McCann uses a variety of techniques to help her patients address their restless nights.

Our Host

Seema Khosla, MD, is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, critical care medicine, and sleep medicine. She works in Fargo, North Dakota, where she is the medical director of the North Dakota Center for Sleep.

Dr. Khosla is chair of the AASM Public Awareness Advisory Committee. She previously served on the AASM Task Force on Sleep Telemedicine, which developed a position paper for the use of telemedicine for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, and chaired the AASM Consumer and Clinical Technology Committee, which developed a position statement on the use of consumer sleep technology in clinical practice. Dr. Khosla also was co-chair of the AASM Sleep Medicine Trends course.

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