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Tech and sleep aren’t necessarily always good bedfellows but in this case, they can be.

Sleep health is undergoing a digital and technological innovation transformation. Developments are set to revolutionise the way sleep disorders are diagnosed, monitored, and treated.

From the development of improved treatment identification platforms for doctors, to wearable devices that reliably track sleep patterns, new lighting systems that can shift body clock (circadian) patterns, the use of virtual reality and app based CBTi therapies for insomnia, technology is providing new tools and insights with the potential to help people improve their sleep and health.

Sleep disorders have a huge impact on the health, productivity and safety of people around the world. The two most common disorders (obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia) along with inadequate sleep cost Australia—by conservative estimates—over $60 billion per year.

“As submissions to the Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into Sleep showed, people have difficulty seeking effective diagnosis and treatments, with some frustratingly taking years. This has considerable consequence not only for a person’s health, their work and quality of life, but also their families.”

“We need Australia to wake up to these issues so FHMRI Sleep Health are taking on the bold goal of revolutionising sleep science to improve people’s lives.

Advancements in data analytics and artificial intelligence are enabling our researchers to better understand underlying causes of sleep disorders and identify new and effective treatments. These digital innovations are not only aiding work in sleep health, but they are also making it easier for people to access the care they need to achieve a good night’s sleep.

In Adelaide, led by Matthew Flinders Professor Danny Eckert, the multidisciplinary team at FHRMI Sleep Health is at the centre of these innovations.

FHMRI Sleep Health (formerly Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health) has its origins at the Repatriation Hospital where it was very clear to the team that patients across the country were having trouble accessing sleep health services.

Moving onto today, the need to help people with their sleep problems has only grown.

FHMRI Sleep Health, a dedicated research and clinic facility is made up of approximately 900sqm of cutting edge research, laboratory and clinic spaces including a fully configurable six-bedroom, acoustically treated laboratory equipped with the latest technology to measure respiratory and brain function.

We also have a state-of-the-art driver simulator room and virtual reality area providing the tech-driven spaces needed to test for the impacts of environmental noise on sleep, conduct live-in sleep deprivation and circadian experiments and drive improvements in treatments for respiratory and non-respiratory sleep disorders.

But perhaps the most significant advantage of our facility is its ability to facilitate trans-disciplinary scientific collaborations in translational sleep health research.

Our transdisciplinary group of more than 60 researchers, medical doctors, psychologists, epidemiologists and engineers are working with industry partners, national and International Universities and consumers to develop new, cutting-edge evidence-based technologies to better measure sleep, screen for and treat sleep disorders, and manage sleep health in the community and in health clinics – including our own Sleep Health Clinic, a forerunner in effective CBTi Insomnia treatment and precision medicine for sleep apnoea. This will be featured in an upcoming 3-part series to be aired on SBS titled Australia’s sleep revolution with Dr Michael Mosely.

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