President's Blog - February 2017

Insufficient Sleep in Teens

Dr. Judith OwensInsufficient sleep in teens has evolved as a global epidemic that poses multiple risks to the health, safety and well-being of adolescents, and has been recognized as a serious public health issue by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The term “deficient sleep” has been used to characterize unhealthy sleep in teens as including both daily sleep amounts insufficient to meet developmentally-appropriate sleep needs and/or sleep timing which conflicts with normal changes in adolescent circadian rhythms.

Consequences range from inattentiveness, reduction in executive functioning and poor academic performance to increased risk of obesity and cardio-metabolic dysfunction, mood disturbances which include increased suicidal ideation, a higher risk of engaging in health risk behaviors such as alcohol and substance use, and increased rates of car crashes, occupational injuries and sports-related injuries.

Early school start times for both middle and high school students have been identified as one of the most pervasive and important contributors to deficient sleep in teens. Due to circadian-based developmental changes in sleep timing, the average adolescent has difficulty falling asleep much before 11pm. Wake times required by early start times not only do not allow teens to obtain the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep “to promote optimal health” (American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2016), but also result in misalignment with circadian rhythms: imagine having to wake up and function at 3am every day! In addition, early forced wake times selectively rob teens of REM sleep, critical to memory consolidation and learning of new information. Despite this, in 2011-12, less than 1 in 5 middle and high schools in the US started at the time recommended in the 2014 AAP policy statement of 8:30am or later.

There has been a growing movement over the past decade to change this situation, often spearheaded by grassroots community advocates, parents and school administrators who recognize that the evidence supporting later school start times is extensive and compelling. Healthy start times are associated with more sleep, less daytime sleepiness, better school performance and attendance, less depression symptoms, fewer visits to school health centers and lower rates of car crashes in teens, among other benefits. While recognizing that there are many practical and logistical challenges that communities face in changing school start times (child care for younger siblings, parent work schedules, after-school employment, traffic flow, sports schedules and costs related to busing), an increasing number of schools in rural, suburban, large metropolitan and inner city areas have successfully surmounted these barriers, and almost none of the well over 1000 schools and districts that have made the change have gone back to the original bell times.

It is our responsibility as sleep medicine professionals to get involved and to encourage and assist our local school schools and school districts. Educating yourself and then your community about the consequences of deficient sleep in adolescents and the benefits of healthy school start times is the first step in moving the issue forward.

Resources:

Courtesy: 

Dr. Judith Owens

President's Blog - January 2017

SBSM Promotion of Member Professional Activities

As a part of its mission, the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (SBSM) seeks to support the professional growth and activity of its members. To that end, the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors have established the following guidelines for SBSM promotion of member professional activities and training.

Guidelines:

At the request of members, the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine will post information regarding member professional announcements, activities, and events. All requests are subject to review and approval by the SBSM Executive Committee. The following activities are eligible for submission:

1. Training, faculty and clinical positions;
2. BSM clinical supervision and consultation opportunities;
3. Educational classes, seminars and workshops offering review of research, training in evidence-based practice, and symposia, discussion groups or other activities that seek to advance the field;
4. Publication of BSM scientific or clinical books and manuals.

Activities within these categories upon review will be placed on the SBSM website, noted in the SBSM newsletter, posted on Facebook and/or announced via email to our network of communities. The SBSM typically will announce or post items with a header, brief description and a link provided by the member for more detailed information. The SBSM does not release or distribute its mailing lists to members or third parties. Members may elect to opt out the receipt of these promotions by contacting the SBSM at membership@behavioralsleep.org.

If a member wishes to have the SBSM post information about a position, professional activity or event, please contact the SBSM Executive Director, Kathryn Hansen at kathryn@behavioralsleep.org. Please provide a detailed summary of position postings or clinical/educational offering. All position postings must include an application deadline.

President's Blog - December 2016

Greetings to all SBSM members

This year has been marked by tremendous change and transition for our small young society whose great strength is its members. In nearly six months as your president I have seen among you a great passion for our field, a drive for innovation and excellence, and a strong desire for greater professional community and connection. In the coming year and beyond we will need to continue to engage that energy as we create a strategic plan to define who we are as a society chart a course with goals for the next five years.

For this year, we’ve focused on the fundamentals – ensuring financial stability as we transitioned away from our administrative relationship with the AASM, improving communication and engagement with members, and supporting our committees around efforts members have said are a value to them – certification, education, practice resources, and a website that is more useful and user-friendly.

Here’s a few exciting highlights that reflect a focus on some of these fundamentals.

  • Stable and growing membership – With one month left in 2016 we have already seen an 8% growth in membership this year over 2015 (currently 257 members)
  • High level of direct involvement - 54 of our members actively involved in our board, committees and task forces with numerous others volunteering their time in a consulting role to support the growth of our society.
  • Launch of a media strategy workgroup, facebook page, blog, and newsletter soon to come. Click here to Like us on Facebook 
  • Support for your career with online practice tools, resources and new guidelines to promote member professional activities. Click here for News and Resources
  • As we plan for an expanded BSM course in 2017, the launch of online BSM learning modules. Click here to check out courses available for purchase online
  • Lastly, the work of our BSM Certification Task Force is well underway. In a forthcoming direct communication to members I will discuss the substantial opportunities, challenges and progress surrounding this endeavor and elicit your feedback as we chart our course.

As always, please offer your feedback, comments and suggestions to membership@behavioralsleep.org or visit the suggestion box in the member's portal to submit your feedback 

Best regards,

Mike

SBSM Launches BSM Blog and Rollout of Media Strategy

I am excited to welcome you to the launch of the BSM Blog. This is one of many efforts underway and under construction for SBSM members to connect with each other and the public. I want to give a shout out to our Web and Communication Committee and our administrative team for their efforts. The blog will feature regular posts providing updates on SBSM news, events, information and BSM topics of interest to our members.

With the help of Kelly Baron and Michael Grandner, the SBSM has also begun to roll out a media strategy in the past few months, including setting up a speakers bureau, developing press releases and social media. We are pleased to announce the SBSM Facebook page is up and active. We are excited to be able to use the page to share research and clinical topics when they are hot off the press, highlight the great work of our members, and interact in real time.

Facebook - Like Us TodayHere's a few ways you can help grow our SBSM social media presence:

  • Like our Facebook page!
  • Encourage your friends and colleagues interested in sleep to like our page
  • Share our articles on your own page and comment on articles posted on our page
  • If you or a SBSM member is quoted in the press, post the article to the page and tag them 

I believe these tools are an essential part of increasing dialogue within our society. They also serve to amplifying the voice of the SBSM within sleep medicine and the general public about the value of your work.

The annual BSM course recently held in Minneapolis was a great success. We had 100 participants nearly tripling last year’s attendance. We are eager to hear from you about topics you would like the course to address in 2017.

The 2015 BSM course presentations will soon be available as webinars on our website followed shortly by 2016 course offerings.

Looking to SLEEP 2017 in Boston, planning is already underway for the SBSM reception with expanded opportunities to learn, dialogue and socialize together as colleagues.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions for the blog please let us know at membership@behavioralsleep.org

Let's stay connected!

Mike Schmitz
SBSM President