Thoracic and Sleep Group Queensland People caring for how you breathe and sleep

June 30, 2017

Insomnia treatment… A position statement from the ASA.

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , , — Phil Teuwen @ 4:35 am

Insomnia can be both chronic and acute. Insomnia is thought to be the most common sleep disorder, with most of us experiencing acute insomnia at some point in our lives (exams, crisis, jet lag etc). However for those of us with chronic insomnia, treatment options can vary widely. The Australasian Sleep Association (ASA) has published a position statement regarding the use of psychological/behavioural treatments to manage this chronic condition.


  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) as a first line treatment in the management of Insomnia.
  • there is emerging evidence for the use of Mindfulness Based Therapy for Insomnia when used in combination with behavioural techniques (MBT-I)
  • Medications should be limited to the lowest necessary dose and shortest necessary duration.

Original article can be found here:

June 20, 2017

June 19, 2017

Have you watched yourself snore?? It may help…

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — Phil Teuwen @ 7:40 am

Have you been told that you snore or stop breathing in your sleep? Have you been shown that you do this? If you have watched a video of yourself snoring or stopping breathing in your sleep, that video may actually be a helpful tool for you.

Aloia et al. from the National Jewish Heath in Denver recently released some preliminary findings at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. They are currently performing a randomised controlled trial. The trial consists of patients with an average age of 50 years old,  who have recently been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). These patients were split into three groups:

  • Those that watched a video of themselves snoring and gasping for air
  • Those that watched a video of others snoring and gasping for air
  • Those who watched no video

All patients received routine CPAP education.

What they found was that those that watched video of themselves used CPAP for a mean of 6.5hrs per night, those that watched someone else used it for 4.1hrs and those who didn’t watch anyone had 3.5 hrs of usage per night. This usage was measured over the first 90 days of therapy.

These findings are quite interesting, and in future (with more data) video may become an important tool in CPAP education.


View the original article here:

June 13, 2017

A road side test for a tired brain? Not yet…

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , , — Phil Teuwen @ 3:24 am

Measuring fatigue is an interesting topic, and an important one. With fatigue and drowsiness shown to reduce reflexes, our ability to concentrate and increases road accidents; it is no surprise that measuring this is of interest. This author recently wrote of a prototype road side fatigue test that involves a driving simulator and various sensors (measuring eye blinks, eye movements and ability to maintain concentration).

You can read that article here:

There are other methods currently being developed to assess sleepiness, and while not specifically for road side testing, perhaps this may one day be a possible application for these methods. Recently Jawinski et al. published a paper in the Journal of Sleep that looks to assess the relationship between VIGALL, a form of computerised brain wave (EEG) analysis and a common subjective sleepiness tool, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). What they found was that the VIGALL-ESS association approximates the ESS-MSLT results. The MSLT is an objective sleep study that measures the ability of a person to fall asleep throughout the day and is the gold standard assessment of sleepiness. The authors suggest VIGALL could be used to assess the daytime sleepiness of large populations but are not yet confident VIGALL can identify actual disorders of excessive sleepiness.

While we are a long way from road side brain activity testing, VIGALL is an interesting if not yet well proven system for objectively assessing sleepiness.

Original article can be found here:

June 7, 2017

Late nights; a slam dunk for poor basketball performance

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — Phil Teuwen @ 5:50 pm

Well it is NBA finals time, and while not all of Australia tune in for the NBA finals, those of us who do had better hope their favorite players put their phones on charge and went straight to bed!

Recently, Jones and Hale from the Stony Brook University looked at the twitter activity of 112 NBA players over the course of 7 seasons. They used twitter activity between 11pm and 7am as a proxy for being up late. What they found was that those players who were up tweeting to all hours of the morning had a poorer field goal percentage (1.7%) and played less time on the court.

Often in elite sports, it is the finest of margins that leads to victory or defeat… and for those up late tweeting, they should probably ask their followers: #wasitworthit


Original article found here:

June 2, 2017

Who are the most interesting people in sleep??

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — Phil Teuwen @ 2:27 am

Hint: it’s not the tooth fairy, Santa Claus or Freddy Kruger!

Van Winkles recently created a list of the most interesting people in sleep… and its not the lab coat wearing, number crunching, electrode wielding scientists. Rather, the list is made up of actually interesting people (no offence to my fellow electrode wielding scientists!).

Here is the list:

A full write up on each can be found here in the original article:

Name: Till Roenneberg
Title: Chronobiologist at the Institute of Medical Psychology at Ludwig-Maximilian University
Why they’re interesting: Revolutionized the study of biological rhythms and sleep-wake schedules

Name: Arianna Huffington
Title: CEO of Thrive Health and author of “The Sleep Revolution”
Why they’re interesting: Media-and-wellness mogul who turned sleep into a mainstream conversation

Name: Kelly Bulkeley
Title: Psychologist of religion specializing in dream research
Why they’re interesting: Data-banking dreams to understand the waking world

Name: James Hamblin
Title: Health Editor at The Atlantic and author of “If Our Bodies Could Talk”
Why they’re interesting: A doctor-turned-writer with a sleep obsession

Name: Baland Jalal
Title: Neuroscientist at The University of Cambridge
Why they’re interesting: Invented a simple method for escaping sleep paralysis

Name: Cheri Mah
Title: Research Fellow at the UCSF Human Performance Center and UCSF School of Medicine and NBA sleep consultant
Why they’re interesting: Pioneered the use of sleep optimization in pro sports

Name: Maria
Title: Youtube creator/ASMR-tist
Why they’re interesting: Making videos that lull people to sleep

Name: Roger Ekirch
Title: Historian at Virginia Tech University
Why they’re interesting: Reintroduced the long-lost practice of “segmented sleep” to the modern world

Name: Benjamin Reiss
Title: Professor and author of the book “Wild Nights: How taming sleep created our restless world.”
Why they’re interesting: A cultural historian exploring the past and present through a prism of sleep

Name: David Samson
Title: Evolutionary biologist at The University of Toronto
Why they’re interesting: Examining how human sleep has changed since Homo erectus dozed in trees

Name: Drew Ackerman
Title: Host of the podcast “Sleep with Me”
Why they’re interesting: Responsible for making “adult bedtime stories” a thing

Name: William “Scott” Killgore
Title: Director of the Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience Lab in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona
Why they’re interesting: Figuring out how skipping sleep changes your perceptions, thought processes and behaviour

Name: Wendy Troxel
Title: Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist, RAND Corporation
Why they’re interesting: Studying sleep in couples

Name: Michael Grandner
Title: Director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona
Why they’re interesting: Probing the relationship between sleep and socioeconomic inequality

Name: Michel A. Cramer Bornemann
Title: Lead investigator – Sleep Forensics Associates
Why they’re interesting: The world’s foremost expert on crimes committed during sleep

May 29, 2017

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