Arresting sleep disorders

Sleep disorders are an increasingly prevalent health problem within contemporary society, with poor sleep contributing to a range of medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and episodes of mental illness, as well as increasing the risk of accidents at work and on the road.

Equipped with state-of-the art acquisition and analysis equipment, the Centre for Sleep Science, headed by Professor Eastwood, is at the forefront of sleep research and sleep education, both locally and internationally.

A focal point for the Centre’s current research is a collaboration with the Raine Study – a longitudinal birth cohort study that has followed the health and development of 2800 individuals from in utero and infancy to adolescence and now, at age 23, young adulthood.

With over 85,000 biological measurements and around 3 million genetic measurements recorded for each individual, the Raine Study represents a unique international resource for researchers, and the Centre for Sleep Science will capitalise on this resource by producing one of the world’s first comprehensive studies of sleep health in young adults.

One aspect of sleep health that Professor Eastwood expects to feature prominently in the study is the relationship between body weight and problems such as sleep apnoea. As Professor Eastwood suggests, “In middle aged adults there is a very strong relationship between obesity and sleep apnoea, but we don’t know whether such a relationship exists for young adults.” The rich longitudinal Raine Study dataset will allow the research team to study what aspects of body weight and fat composition can predict sleep apnoea best for future education and intervention.

The study also involves researchers from Curtin University, and clinicians from Sir Charles Gairdner and Princess Margaret Hospital. Other collaborators include:
Professor Richard Holloway, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, SA. Professor John Arkwright, CSIRO, NSW. Professor Jennifer Allison, Professor Christine Jenkins, University of Sydney, NSW. Dr Shona Halson, David Martin (AIS), Canberra Dr Philip Terrill, UQ Dr Jeff Armistead, ResMed, NSW.

Collaborator/s

  • Professor Alan Schwartz, Johns Hopkins
  • Associate Professor Eric Kezirian, University of California San Francisco
  • Professor Atul Malhotra, University of California San Diego
  • Professor Avi Sadeh, Tel-Aviv University
  • Professor Mathangi Chandrasekar, Chettinad University