Dr Shalini Paruthi Discusses Clinical Implications of Diagnosis, Evaluation for Common Sleep Disorders

Shalini Paruthi, MD, medical codirector, St. Luke’s Hospital, Sleep Medicine and Research Center, and cochair of SLEEP 2021, highlights discussion topics that will address best practices for evaluating, diagnosing, and treating common sleep disorders.

Beyond pharmaceutical approaches, speakers will discuss alternatives such as cognitive behavioral therapy and lifestyle strategies to addressing common sleep disorders, said Shalini Paruthi, MD, medical codirector, St. Luke’s Hospital Sleep Medicine and Research Center, and cochair of SLEEP 2021.

Paruthi will cochair a full-day course at SLEEP 2021 titled “2021 State of the Art for Clinical Practitioners.”


You will cochair a full-day course for evaluating, diagnosing, and treating common sleep disorders in clinical practice. Can you discuss potential strategies to be addressed?

The course this year that I'm cochairing is the State of the Art course, which is geared towards clinical professionals. And so we have selected a variety of speakers to kind of cover some of the most important and most common sleep disorders in terms of their diagnosis, in terms of evaluation, and the treatment options.

So, this year, we've got a great lineup, and we'll be hearing about obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and different treatment options. This year, we'll be hearing from Andrew Wellman, MD, PhD, and he'll be talking about even a medication combination that might improve muscle tone when we're sleeping—so, for our patients who have failed CPAP [continuous positive airway pressure] breathing machines, failed or are not able to obtain the oral appliances, as well as even may not be candidates for surgery, so kind of thinking forward, what else can we offer our patients, which I think is absolutely fantastic.

We'll also be hearing on insomnia, and what are some best practices to help our patients with the treatment of insomnia, not only from a medication perspective, but can we help them from that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia perspective?

So, working on their lifestyle changes, and also how we approach sleep and how we teach our patients to approach going to sleep, thinking about sleep, and feeling sleepy. So, I think that'll be a really fantastic lecture there.

We’ll also have just an absolutely wonderful lecture on the different abnormal behaviors that can occur during sleep. So, looking at sleep terrors, sleepwalking, and when people just act out their dreams and what that can mean, and what are some of the ways to treat that most appropriately.

Then, I'll also be speaking about pediatric sleep disorders in children with a focus on insomnia and OSA, as well as restless leg syndrome (RLS). RLS can affect children, it can affect adults, and so making sure that we're listening to our patients when they're telling us what's happening in the evening and why they're having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. I think that's probably one of the most important takeaways is that our patients can really provide us with those clues so we can help them best as well.