Sleepyhead: The Neuroscience of a Good Night’s Rest

The onset of most sleep disorders is usually slow, so slow it can be difficult to notice what’s happening. Henry Nicholls was 21 when he experienced his first symptoms.

Always an early riser, Henry began to notice a change—within an hour of waking, he felt as if a smog was seeping into his brain and anesthetizing his faculties until he was left with no option but to sleep. He came up with tricks to hold off sleep briefly—pinching himself, running in place, shouting at the top of his lungs—but eventually had to confront the fact that he could no longer function in a meaningful way. Eighteen months later he got a diagnosis: he had narcolepsy, a disabling condition marked by uncontrollable lapses into sleep during the daytime, but also boasting a host of other symptoms that offer connections to other common sleep disorders.

In SLEEPYHEAD: The Neuroscience of a Good Night’s Rest (Basic Books, September 4, 2018), science writer Nicholls uses his own experience as a gateway to better understanding the mysterious and relatively uncharted world of sleep disorders. Narcolepsy affects some 130,000 Americans, and as Nicholls argues, it is the perfect vantage point from which to survey the neuroscience behind circadian sleep disorders, sleep apnea, parasomnias like sleep walking and sleep sex, chronic insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and sleep deprivation. Drawing on first-hand accounts, Nicholls affirms the importance of good sleep, and offers evidence-based advice on how to avoid

The Vicious Cycle of Childhood Obesity and Snoring

In a new longitudinal observational study, scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) looked at the relationships among maternal snoring, childhood snoring and children’s metabolic characteristics—including body mass index (BMI) and insulin resistance, which reflects future risk for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease—in approximately 1,100 children followed from gestation through early adolescence. Led by endocrinologist Christos S. Mantzoros, MD, DSc, the team demonstrates a bidirectional relationship between snoring and body weight in children. Their findings are published in the journal Metabolism.

“Excess body weight and child snoring were each predictive of the other among the children and adolescence in this cohort, creating a vicious metabolic cycle,” says Mantzoros, director of the Human Nutrition Unit in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at BIDMC, in a release. “Our findings confirm the existence of a physiologic loop between worsening obesity and worsening sleep apnea, which in turn leads to worsening obesity and higher risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life.”

Mantzoros and colleagues examined the relationships among maternal snoring, child snoring, and child metabolic outcomes in humans. Their findings build on animal data suggesting maternal sleep may affect metabolic outcomes in the next generation. In rodent studies, female rats were exposed to intermittent hypoxia late in pregnancy to mimic maternal sleep apnea. Their male offspring weighed more and ate more, and blood work revealed they had higher fasting levels of insulin, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels—the major metabolic

The Cheapest Anti-Snoring Pillow

Snoring is a major complaint in virtually every part of the world. All families have that one or more person who snore loudly at night and is the subject of family jokes. It was no big deal back then but it came to light that snoring is actually a deadly condition that not only prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep but also compromise your health and endanger your life. It is no joke losing sleep every night as it has a big impact on your focus, attention, and performance the following day. You also get more sickly if you always suffer from sleep deprivation.

The sleep industry has grown considerably in order to meet the demand for anti-snoring and sleep-related products. Whether it is a mouthpiece like SnoreRx ( or Good Morning Snore Solution ( that is used by millions from far and wide, there are many others that offer relief from snoring and promote restful sleep to people diagnosed with sleep apnea or those who have a hard time falling and staying asleep. One of the most popular items right now is snoring pillows. After all, it is what offers you comfort once your head hits the sack and enables you to drift off to sleep much easier.

If you’ve ever slept in the same bed as a snorer, you’ll know that it’s a truly harrowing experience. While they sink into a

More than 50 Million Households Interested in Buying a Sleep Tech Tracking Product

New sleep research from Parks Associates reveals nearly 29 million US broadband households currently own a product that helps them track their sleep quality, representing less than half of the nearly 60 million consumers who report having at least one sleep problem. Sleep & IoT: Behaviors, Awareness, and Opportunities reveals 51% of US broadband households are interested in buying a sleep tech device.

“Sleep tracking features of smart watches and fitness trackers are raising consumer awareness about lack of sleep—42% of consumers in US broadband households are concerned their health will worsen due to poor sleep quality,” says Jennifer Kent, director, research quality and product development, Parks Associates, in a release. “Still, once a consumer understands their sleep patterns, then the issue becomes, what to do about it? Most consumers have not brought up these concerns with their doctors, but many state they would be willing to see a doctor if sleep tech detected a problem with their sleep patterns.”

Sleep & IoT: Behaviors, Awareness, and Opportunities report 58% of U.S. broadband households rated as valuable a sensor, device, or app that can detect and track potential sleep apnea/respiratory issues, potential restless leg syndrome, or potential insomnia issues. Among them, 85% said they would be likely to see a doctor based on this information.

Parks Associates: Willingness to Buy Sleep Tech Products

Parks Associates: Willingness to Buy Sleep Tech Products

“The next phase of sleep tech will make greater strides in helping consumers actually improve sleep through integration

Biosensor Company Profusa Closes $45 Million Series C Financing

Profusa, a company dedicated to the development of tissue-integrating biosensors for continuous monitoring of body chemistries, has raised more than $45 million in a Series C financing. New investors, VMS Investment Group, Tasly Pharmaceutical Group and Maxim Integrated Ventures, joined existing investors, 3E Bioventures Capital and Atinum Investment, in this latest round of funding. Profusa plans to use the proceeds from this financing to advance the commercialization of its first product on the market—the Profusa Lumee Oxygen Platform for continuous, real-time monitor­ing of tissue oxygen—and to accelerate the development of its transformative glucose biosensor technology.

“With this financing, we continue to build the financial strength necessary to advance our innovative biosensor platform,” says Ben Hwang, PhD, chairman and CEO of Profusa, in a release. “We appreciate the support and confidence of our new and existing investors. Together, we are working to realize our vision of revolutionizing the management and utilization of personalized healthcare data.”

Profusa’s first clinical offering, the Profusa Lumee Oxygen Platform, is CE Marked for use in the European Union. Lumee is designed to report tissue oxygen levels at various regions of interest, both acutely and long-term. Potential applications include monitoring of compromised tissue, such as peripheral artery disease that results in narrowing of blood vessels and reduced blood flow to the lower limbs; chronic wounds, such as diabetic ulcers and pressure sores that do not heal properly; sleep apnea; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and reconstructive surgery.


Itamar Medical’s Total Sleep Solutions Sales Model Expected to Become Increasingly Important and More Predictable Revenue Stream

Itamar Medical Ltd on Monday reported financial results for the second quarter of 2018.

“Itamar Medical continues to demonstrate double-digit growth and we are pleased that cardiologists increasingly recognize the value that testing for sleep apnea followed by effective therapy can provide to their patients,” says Gilad Glick, Itamar Medical president and CEO, in a release. “The growing recognition of the importance of sleep apnea testing, coupled with our transition to a diagnostics sales model that does not require hospitals to make capital investments, positions Itamar Medical as a market leader. We believe that our investment in technology such as SleePath and our focus on the cardiology market will allow us to continue capturing a growing share of the US home sleep test market.”

Revenues for the second quarter of 2018 were $6.1 million, an increase of 20%, compared to $5.1 million in the same quarter last year. The increase was primarily the result of a 21% increase in sales of WatchPAT, the company’s flagship product. WatchPAT revenue in the U.S. grew by 24% to a record $4.2 million in the second quarter of 2018, compared with $3.4 million in the same quarter last year. The company recently renewed its agreement with a network of more than 340 hospitals and clinics serving 19 million patients in the United States. Increased revenue from recurring sales of WatchPAT tests in North America, which accounted for 67% of total revenue in the first

EarlySense Detects Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression

EarlySense’s contact-free under-the-mattress monitoring system has been found to detect and alert for respiratory depression with high positive predictive value. This is according to a clinical poster presented at the 2018 American Thoracic Society (ATS) Conference.

The study highlights the use of EarlySense’s continuous monitoring platform to effectively monitor respiratory rate of patients on opioids.

“One of the key complications resulting from opioid use in hospitalized patients is respiratory distress that can lead to ICU [intensive care unit] transfers and sadly, even death. Moreover, respiratory depression is a key risk factor across the healthcare continuum, from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities,” says Michael Wong, JD, executive director of The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS), in a release. “For this reason, all patients receiving opioids should be continuously electronically monitored, to help provide early detection of the risk of respiratory depression and enable timely intervention.”

The study analyzed 6,590 hospitalization days—more than 160,000 hours of monitoring via the EarlySense system—and detected 91 events of respiratory depression. The positive predictive value of 70% of events detected by the EarlySense system were classified as respiratory depression or sleep apnea related. The study indicated a false alarm rate of less than one in 5,000 hours of monitoring, translating to one false alarm every seven months. The study also covered a range of care units and highlighted the variance in incidence rate. Long-term care units had the lowest incidence rate of respiratory depression,

New Study Investigates Utility of Pulse Oximetry to Screen Children with Down Syndrome for Risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Prior to Diagnostic Multichannel Sleep Studies

A recently published study investigated whether home pulse oximetry monitoring might be a useful initial screening method of determining which children with Down syndrome—who are at high risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)—be recommended to undergo multichannel sleep studies to diagnose the condition. The study is published in Archives of Disease in Childhood. The home monitoring was conducted using Masimo SET Measure-through Motion and Low Perfusion pulse oximetry.

Noting that OSA “can only be reliably diagnosed using multichannel sleep studies, which are expensive, demanding for families and only available in specialist centres,” Catherine M. Hill, BM, MSc, PhD, MRCP, FRCPCH, ES, and colleagues at the University of Southampton and Southampton Children’s Hospital sought to determine whether home pulse oximetry monitoring could identify children at high risk of OSA, and in particular which parameters could most sensitively detect this risk, as an initial screening step. To that end, they studied 161 children with Down syndrome, aged 0.5 to 6 years, of whom 25 were separately diagnosed with OSA. The patients were monitored overnight using Masimo Radical-7 Pulse CO-Oximeters (pictured), with pulse oximetry sensors placed on the big toe. Recorded measurements included: total artifact-free time analyzed, mean oxygen saturation (SpO2), minimum SpO2, 3% oxyhemoglobin desaturation index (ODI), delta 12s index (the absolute difference between successive 12 second interval recordings, a measure of baseline SpO2 variability) and the number of minutes per hour that SpO2 was

Sleep Apnea: A Ticking Time Bomb In Your Sleep

The public is very much aware of snoring but rarely do their associate it with sleep apnea. For many, it is just a nasty habit that has plagued millions (especially men) from then until now that we all just have to learn to live with. Even if you snore and have trouble sleeping each night, not many will seek professional treatment because it is expensive and time-consuming. These are just some of the reasons why a lot of sleep apnea cases remain undiagnosed. The majority do not see it is as a major threat to their health and life, so they just learn to accept this bothersome symptom and go on with their lives.

Patients who snore and have sleep apnea but haven’t gotten treatment yet often lack focus and feel overly sleepy during the day. It’s because they weren’t able to get a decent amount of sleep at night. But more than the chronic sleeplessness, sleep apnea in itself is a deadly condition. Think about yourself not breathing for several seconds multiple times throughout your slumber. That’s what happens when you have sleep apnea. These periods of breathing gaps are critical because your brain is trying to decipher whether it should focus on breathing or sleeping instead. It is even more alarming to find out that almost a billion people all over the world have sleep apnea, who are silently battling in their sleep every single day of …