Exciting News! Giving a TEDx Talk in San Diego

SO beyond excited to share this news: I’ll speak at TEDxSDSU on March 22, 2020 in San Diego, CA!

Giving a TEDx talk has been a major life goal for about 7 years now, when i put it in my art journal as one of my major aspirations. And I’ve applied to many over the years.

“Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.” —KT Witten

So securing this talk at San Diego State University was a huge surprise and surreal moment of pure joy — which definitely caused me to have cataplexy when i first opened the “congratulations” email.

You might’ve seen my somewhat secretive IG stories recently about working hard on a “important first draft.” This was for my TEDxSDSU talk.

Is my first draft perfect? NOPE.

But it WILL come together. It always does… even if the process is kind of intense and overwhelming to me, it will be worth it for the moment I walk onto that stage in two months.

As always, I hope to make you proud and to effectively share a message I believe in. Thank you for your incredible support — this community inspires me and gives me courage every single day!

I’ll share more details about the TEDxSDSU event as they become available and as tickets go on sale in February! For now, please send extra spoons and smart-thinking speech-revising vibes my way.

from Julie Flygare http://julieflygare.com/exciting-news-giving-a-tedx-talk-in-san-diego/…

4 Best Sleeping Positions to Improve Sleep Apnea

Pulmonologists speak to US News about the best sleeping positions to prevent sleep apnea.

“Sleep apnea is often worse in the supine (on your back) position because of gravity,” Tsai says. “The tongue falls back and blocks the airway,” so sleeping on your side “may improve sleep apnea and symptoms.” Fotinakes adds that sleeping on your side or in a prone (on your stomach) position “may lessen or even eliminate snoring and apnea in many cases.”

Sleeping on your stomach can be awkward, and some people who try it find they wake up with a stiff neck. Choosing a very thin pillow or a pillow made specifically for stomach sleepers may help reduce strain on the neck when lying face down.

When sleeping on your side, you’ll likely need a thicker pillow to support the head and neck. Some people prefer to cuddle up to a large body pillow to help keep them in the right position. There are lots of pillows that are marketed specifically for addressing sleep apnea concerns, so do a little research and try out a few to find one that feels right for you.

If you must sleep on your back – some people who have sleep apnea also have acid reflux, and sleeping on your back with your head elevated is often recommended to reduce symptoms of that condition – try elevating the head of the bed, Tsai says. “Sleeping with the head as elevated and upright as possible, such as with an adjustable bed or in a recliner, may be helpful in improving sleep apnea symptoms.” Wedge-shaped pillows made of foam (rather than a squishier material) can help you achieve the right position that keeps the airway more open. Some people even elevate the head of a conventional bed with bricks or a bed riser to get the necessary height to lessen symptoms of sleep apnea.

Get the full story at health.usnews.com.

from Sleep Review http://www.sleepreviewmag.com/2020/01/sleeping-positions-improve-sleep-apnea/…

We Know Losing Weight Lessens Sleep Apnea Severity. This New Study Helps Explain Why.

Losing weight is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but why exactly this is the case has remained unclear. Now researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that improvements in OSA symptoms appear to be linked to the reduction of fat in one unexpected body part—the tongue.

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure the effect of weight loss on the upper airway in obese patients, researchers found that reducing tongue fat is a primary factor in lessening the severity of OSA. The findings were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

“Most clinicians, and even experts in the sleep apnea world, have not typically focused on fat in the tongue for treating sleep apnea,” says Richard Schwab, MD, chief of Sleep Medicine, in a release. “Now that we know tongue fat is a risk factor and that sleep apnea improves when tongue fat is reduced, we have established a unique therapeutic target that we’ve never had before.”

A 2014 study led by Schwab compared obese patients with and without sleep apnea and found that the participants with the sleep disorder had significantly larger tongues and a higher percentage of tongue fat when compared to those without OSA. The researchers next step was to determine if reducing tongue fat would improve symptoms and to further examine cause and effect.

The new study included 67 participants with mild to severe obstructive sleep apnea who were obese—those with a body mass index greater than 30.0. Through diet or weight loss surgery, the patients lost nearly 10% of their body weight, on average, over six months. Overall, the participants’ sleep apnea scores improved by 31% after the weight loss intervention, as measured by a sleep study.

Before and after the weight loss intervention, the study participants underwent MRI scans to both their pharynx as well as their abdomens. Then, using a statistical analysis, the research team quantified changes between overall weight loss and reductions to the volumes of the upper airway structures to determine which structures led to the improvement

SomniFix Is a Finalist in P&G Ventures 2020 Innovation Challenge

Procter & Gamble Ventures, the early stage startup studio within P&G, announced the four finalists for the 2020 P&G Ventures Innovation Challenge. Finalists have been awarded an all-expense paid trip to pitch their products live at The International Consumer Electronics Show at 9:30 am PST on Wednesday, January 8.

The live pitch competition will take place at the P&G LifeLab Stage, Booth #42131, Sands Expo Convention Center, Las Vegas. Winners will be announced via Twitter at @PGVStudio.

For the 2020 Innovation Challenge, P&G Ventures leveraged the KITE SRM platform and operating system to identify, recruit, evaluate, and select this year’s finalists. More than 100 contestants across the United States participated in this year’s challenge, seeking cash prizes, expert guidance from industry leaders, and entry into industry leading accelerators as P&G seeks partners for new CPG product development in women’s health, chronic conditions, enhanced sleep, aging at home, personal performance, male wellness, and non-toxic home care.

The 2020 P&G Ventures Innovation Challenge finalists are:

  • Dr. Bryan Fuller, Founder and CEO of DermaMedics
  • Dr. Sanna Gaspard, Founder and CEO of Rubitection
  • Richard Hanbury, Founder of Sana
  • Nicholas Michalak, CEO of SomniFix

Bryan Fuller is the founder and CEO of DermaMedics, a skin care company that specializes in the discovery of anti-inflammatory and anti-aging technologies for the dermatology market.

Sanna Gaspard is the founder and CEO of Rubitection, a medical device startup that is empowering anyone to take the health of their skin into the palm of their hands with a skin wellness tool, the Rubitect Assessment System, that improves the detection, assessment, and care management of dermatological and vascular conditions.

Richard Hanbury is the founder of Sana, a neuromodulation wearable for the control of chronic pain, addiction, and anxiety.

And in the sleep space, Nicholas Michalak is the CEO of SomniFix, an over-the-counter solution to a complex issue: snoring and CPAP noncompliance. SomniFix Strips are noninvasive sleep aids that curb mouth breathing, which SomniFix says is a primary cause of snoring and CPAP noncompliance. By reducing the incidence of mouth breathing, SomniFix Strips ensure that users maintain optimal nasal breathing patterns to

At a California Hospital, Children Diagnosed via Home Sleep Tests Have Better Outcomes Than Those Who Wait for PSG Approval

UC Davis uses the Nox T3 to speed the route to sleep-disordered breathing therapy for children with complex medical issues.

When a baby came into the neonatal intensive care unit at UC Davis Medical Center with a plethora of complex medical issues, including severe snoring and trouble breathing throughout the night, the clinicians there knew they needed to conduct a sleep study.

To treat the child as fast as possible, physicians decided against prescribing a polysomnogram (PSG), often considered the gold standard in screening for sleep disorders, and opted for a home sleep study instead. By ordering the home sleep test, in this case the Nox T3 system (FDA approved for patients greater than 2-years-old), the providers were able to diagnose the baby with severe obstructive sleep apnea within 24 hours, instead of waiting potentially weeks to get the child’s health insurance company to approve a PSG.

“Sleep-disordered breathing can make underlying medical issues worse, so that explains the importance of diagnosing it early on in any children,” says Kiran Nandalike, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist at UC Davis Medical Center.

The patient was one of 51 hospitalized children, all under the age of 18, who have participated in an ongoing program in which the University of California hospital opted to use home sleep tests (HST) in pediatric patients with complex medical issues. Because the HST route facilitates patients being diagnosed and treated faster, over a few years, clinicians found that these less expensive tests contributed to faster recovery times and overall better outcomes in this patient population, says Nandalike, who spearheaded the program and trained the sleep lab technologists to work with pediatric patients.

“Now we have a system in place and after doing this for one to two years, we saw how it was making a good difference in these patients,” she says.

After seeing favorable results from their new screening protocol, one of the UC Davis medical fellows at the time, Gurinder Singh, MD, decided to take a look at the data. He and his colleagues compiled the results in a retrospective study, published in

You’re Invited! Join Me for Project Sleep’s New Year’s Celebration

Tune in this Saturday, Dec. 28th, 2019 at 12:00 noon ET for a very special  New Year’s Facebook LIVE—celebrating your amazing 2019 and looking ahead with a sneak peek of 2020! On behalf of Project Sleep’s leadership, I will broadcast live from Los Angeles to Project Sleep’s Facebook page this Saturday, Dec. 28th at 12noon ET.

You have accomplished SO much through Project Sleep’s awareness and advocacy programs this year. We can’t wait to share the story of your collective impact back to you because it’s a tremendous story of courage, hard work and making a difference!

To watch live, go to Project Sleep’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/ProjectSleepAwareness/) at 12:00 noon ET on Sat. 12/28. The live video will show up in our newsfeed shortly after 12noon ET.

Please spread the word to anyone interested. Happy Holidays, friends!

from Julie Flygare http://julieflygare.com/youre-invited-join-me-for-project-sleeps-new-years-celebration/…

Secondhand Smoke May Increase Risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children

Study results published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology show a connection between secondhand smoke and obstructive sleep apnea in children.

OSA has a relatively low prevalence in children (4%) compared with habitual snoring (10%). Few studies have assessed the role of SHS on OSA severity, and those that have demonstrate contradicting results.

The current retrospective, single-center, Institutional Review Board-approved study assessed the association between exposure to SHS and OSA severity in children between 3 and 18 years.

Data were obtained by querying Electronic Medical Records (EMR). Investigators analyzed SHS as a binary variable and OSA as a continuous variable, measured using OAHI from polysomnography (PSG) in all children.

from Sleep Review http://www.sleepreviewmag.com/2019/12/secondhand-smoke-risk-obstructive-sleep-apnea-children/…

Sleep More Than 9 Hours? Your Stroke Risk May Be Higher

People who take long naps during the day or sleep 9 or more hours at night may have an increased risk of stroke. This is according to a study published in the December 11, 2019, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

People who took a regular midday nap lasting more than 90 minutes were 25% more likely to later have a stroke than people who took a regular nap lasting from 1 to 30 minutes. People who took no naps or took naps lasting from 31 minutes to one hour were no more likely to have a stroke than people who took naps lasting from one to 30 minutes.

“More research is needed to understand how taking long naps and sleeping longer hours at night may be tied to an increased risk of stroke, but previous studies have shown that long nappers and sleepers have unfavorable changes in their cholesterol levels and increased waist circumferences, both of which are risk factors for stroke,” says study author Xiaomin Zhang, MD, PhD, of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, in a release. “In addition, long napping and sleeping may suggest an overall inactive lifestyle, which is also related to increased risk of stroke.”

The study involved 31,750 people in China with an average age of 62. The people did not have any history of stroke or other major health problems at the start of the study. They were followed for an average of 6 years. During that time, there were 1,557 stroke cases.

The people were asked questions about their sleep and napping habits. Midday napping is common in China, Zhang says. Eight percent of the people took naps lasting more than 90 minutes. And 24% said they slept 9 or more hours per night.

The study found that people who sleep 9 or more hours per night are 23% more likely to later have a stroke than people who sleep seven to less than 8 hours per night. People who sleep less than 7 hours per night or between 8

“I will change how I treat my patients because of your talk.”

Last month, I gave one of my favorite presentations at the 10th Biennial Pediatric Sleep Medicine Conference hosted by my alma mater, Brown University.

My “TED-style talk” had two key messages:

  1. Prescribing social support to people with narcolepsy,
  2. Partnering with patients, patient leaders and organizations to develop patient-centered research toward recognizing and addressing stigma.

I’d spent months preparing for this speech. Having only 18 minutes, every second mattered. I practiced and revised and revised more. Arriving at the conference, the room was much bigger than I’d expected, between 200-300 pediatric sleep researchers, doctors and technicians in the audience. 

Once on stage, I didn’t get through my material perfectly, but I hit the emotional arch I wanted and I articulated my first key messages in new ways that I believe resonated strongly.

The response was tremendous, people stopped me all weekend to thank me, even as I loaded my suitcases into my lyft the next day, a doctor approached me to say that she is going to change how she treats her patients because of my talk. Wow!

Also kinda funny, I overheard two doctors talking about me in the hallway (really nice things), and I had to awkwardly be like “Oh, um hi! I’m right behind you.”

To me, speaking is an art form and I’ve fallen in love with it, and I can’t wait to continue developing this talk and sharing these messages in more places.

From there, I traveled to Washington, D.C. for Project Sleep’s Congressional Briefing and Hill Day co-hosted with the Sleep Research Society (SRS). I felt ready for this advocacy day and the activities went super well.  I believe we are doing unique and important work advocating specifically for sleep health and sleep disorders research and awareness. Read the full re-cap on Project Sleep’s blog.

While in DC, I got to meet some very special people, including Project Sleep’s newest Board Member, Anne Taylor and Project Sleep’s 2017 Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship recipient, Cassandra Stewart. I also had some important meetings that will likely mean exciting things for Project Sleep in the years to come. I can’t …

26th Annual Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Apnea and Snoring

This course has been coordinated through the University of California, San Francisco Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the Penn Center for Sleep Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania. The program is designed to provide a comprehensive review and update on recent advances in sleep apnea and snoring. New approaches and controversies in the management of patients with sleep disordered breathing will be highlighted. Leaders in the field from Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Pediatrics, Bariatric Surgery, Neurology and Obesity Research will share their medical and surgical expertise in didactic sessions, case presentations and workshops with the intent to close practice gaps in physician knowledge and competence for diagnosing and managing sleep disordered breathing and complications resulting thereof. Patients with sleep disordered breathing are highly prevalent in every physician’s practice, and complications related to the disease can manifest in a number of ways to the detriment of patient health and well-being. There will be ample opportunity for interaction with participating faculty. An electronic course syllabus, complete with program outline and up-to-date references, will be provided to each participant. Please bring your laptop or tablet if you would like to view the syllabus during the didactic sessions.

This continuing medical education activity is intended for the physician in Sleep Medicine, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Pulmonary Medicine, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Cardiology, Neurology, Psychiatry, Anesthesia, and Geriatrics. Dentists, sleep respiratory therapy technologists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are also invited to attend this program.

from Sleep Review http://www.sleepreviewmag.com/events/26th-annual-advances-diagnosis-treatment-sleep-apnea-snoring/…