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Essentials of Clinical Sleep Health and Education Online

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1. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports these estimated annual statistics for drowsy driving:

100,000 motor-vehicle crashes
More than 1,500 deaths
✔ $12.5 billion in costs

The NHTSA reports all of the above among the human and monetary toll associated with accidents related to drowsy driving. Untreated sleep disorders are a major cause of poor sleep, which can lead to severe daytime sleepiness. Sleep deprivation has significant effects on vigilance and reaction times, with researchers reporting that 2 hours of lost sleep is equivalent to having consumed 3 beers. Twenty or more hours awake is like being legally drunk.

2. Patients suffering from poor sleep and sleep disorders experience increased risk of:

Occupational accidents

Risk for all of these are increased by poor sleep and sleep deprivation. Risk is also increased for auto accidents, depression, heart attack and substance abuse.

3. Which of the following are sleep disorders?

Circadian rhythm disorders
Periodic limb movement disorder
X  Chronic fatigue syndrome

Only three of the above conditions are sleep disorders. However, experts name up to 80 sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, insomnia, hypersomnia (daytime sleepiness), parasomnias (sleep disturbances like nightmares or sleepwalking), REM sleep behavior disorder, non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder and shift work sleep disorder.

4. Which of the following may be components of effective sleep assessment?

Patient completing a sleep habits questionnaire
Patient keeping a sleep journal
Using an electronic sleep/fitness tracker
Overnight sleep study
Daytime sleep study

Each of the above components, separately or in combination, may be included in a medical sleep assessment depending upon the patient’s symptoms and concerns. Healthcare professionals with clinical sleep expertiese can help determine which methods are appropriate for a given patient.

5. Job opportunities for sleep health educators can be found in:

Occupational health
Mental health
Primary care
Dental offices
Home medical equipment companies
School nursing

All of the above are fields in which sleep educators may be employed. Clinical sleep expertise is needed in a wide array of healthcare-related environments, not just in sleep labs, pulmonary offices and neurology practices.

Interested in learning more about how you can assist in the management and treatment of your patients’ sleep health?


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