By Sree Roy
Based mostly on sleepreviewmag.com’s analytics, plus a few of my own insights, the following 5 topics were of the greatest interest to sleep specialists between January and December 2020. (If you missed any of the stories mentioned here, visit sleepreviewmag.com/sleep-health/popular-topics-2020 for direct links, or simply use the search bar on the top right corner of our website.)
1. How Sleep Can Help Fight COVID.
Sleep specialists have long known that sleep and immunity are intimately connected. The coronavirus pandemic meant that the general public became much more receptive to this message.
Popular Articles: “Sleep Won’t Cure the Coronavirus But It Can Help Our Bodies Fight It,” “A Healthy Circadian Rhythm May Increase Resilience to Fight COVID-19,” “Melatonin Is Possible COVID-19 Treatment, Say Cleveland Clinic Researchers”
2. Ways to Improve Oral Appliance Outcomes.
Obstructive sleep apnea patients are becoming more aware of oral appliances as a treatment option, but professionals are still challenged by how to customize the devices optimally for specific patients. New research paves a way forward.
Popular Articles: “The Best Test for Oral Appliance Protrusive Distance May Be Drug-Induced Sleep Endoscopy, Suggests AADSM Award-Winning Abstract,” “Consider an Oral Appliance’s Vertical Dimension of Occlusion to Improve Outcomes, Finds AADSM Award-Winning Abstract,” “How to Make Drug-Induced Sleep Endoscopy More Predictive for Oral Appliance Candidates: AADSM-Award Winning Abstract Investigates”
3. Why Early Intervention Can Make an Outsize Difference.
Identifying and treating (in some cases, curing) sleep and/or airway problems during childhood may mean not only fewer sleep problems down the line but also fewer comorbidities.
4. What Is Sleep’s Role in Memory?
Mysteries are slowly unraveling surrounding what sleep does for our brains. As researchers make breakthroughs in understanding sleep’s function in what we retain, everything from optimal test-taking to PTSD-avoidance may be within our reach.
Popular Articles: “New Sleep Method Strengthens Brain’s Ability to Retain Memories,” “Researchers Get NIH Grant to Study the Role of Sleep in Reorganizing Information in the Brain,” “Traumatic Brain Injury Impairs Hormone Production, Disrupting Sleep, Cognition, Memory”
5. Emerging Categories of Treatments.
New products and services in existing categories (such as CPAPs or insomnia drugs) are consistently popular news items. But of even greater interest are the possibilities of entirely new categories of treatments. What categories might be added to the Buyer’s Guide in 5 years? Perhaps “Movement Therapies for Insomnia” or “Sleep Apnea Prescription Drugs.”
Sree Roy is editor of Sleep Review.