“The nature of sleep and the disorders that affect it are not well understood by our community. A large part of our lives is spent asleep. Until recent years, the importance of good sleep to our health and well-being has been underestimated.

Problems with sleep are very common. They may occur because of poor sleep habits and insufficient time in bed, or as the result of a specific sleep disorder such as snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea or insomnia. Addressing all of these issues is the key to improving the health, safety, productivity and quality of life of affected people.”

 The Sleep Health Foundation (sleephealthfoundation.org.au)

Julie Howes from the Epworth Sleep Centre visited BSSC last Tuesday to deliver a sleep education session to Unit 4 Psychology students.

Topics included the purpose of sleep, normal sleep patterns, identification of sleep stages and how these are interpreted using EEG, EOG and EMG. Students also looked at the effects of sleep deprivation and adolescent sleep patterns.

Harry Warren was the brave volunteer who was wired up for a sleep session so his brain waves, eye movements, and heart and muscle tone could be measured in real time. Jordan Wanefalea grabbed the opportunity to wire-up his classmate while also getting some hands-on sleep lab experience.

Because respiratory issues are linked to sleep problems, students also used breath-monitoring equipment to see how it reveals and records breathing patterns. Kaylah Rutter was the lucky volunteer whose breaths were transformed into a display of brightly-coloured graph lines.

BSSC acknowledges the funding provided for this program by La Trobe University’s Uni Bridges program.