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Sydney Ideas - Sleep: the new health frontier

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Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium

The University of Sydney

Camperdown, NSW 2006

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Professor Allan Pack, the John L. Miclot Professor of Medicine and Director of Sleep Division, University of Pennsylvania

The 2017 Nicholas Catchlove Lecture*

Co-presented with the Charles Perkins Centre and part of the Sleep Theme Symposium: Precision Sleep Medicine hosted by the Charles Perkins Centre Sleep Research Theme


Sleep is ubiquitous throughout the animal kingdom, and this suggests that it evolved early in the course of evolution and that it serves a conserved function that is fundamental to life. The relatively young discipline of Sleep science has made tremendous strides in discovering what happens during sleep and what mechanisms in the body control the cycles of sleep and wakefulness that define aspects of our daily lives.

But why do we sleep? Why must we spend about a third of our lives asleep? Why does a lack of sleep impair our cognitive abilities, mood, and increase one's susceptibility to a variety of medical problems ranging from obesity to cardiometabolic diseases and infections?

While sleep research is yet to directly answer these questions, it has helped us to understand the health impacts of inadequate or disordered sleep. While diet and exercise have been a part of public health messaging for decades, health professionals are now beginning to highlight the importance of getting enough good quality sleep as a pathway for improved health and wellbeing. However, the competition against sleep has never been greater with our increasingly professional and digital lives.

A recent report by Deloitte Access Economics found that some 40% of Australians experience some form of inadequate sleep. Sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnoea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and shift work disorder, are also highly prevalent but are amenable to treatment. The flow on effects of inadequate or disordered sleep for the individual, society, and the economy are enormous. It is time for everyone to wake up to the importance of sleep.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Professor Allan Pack is the John L. Miclot Professor of Medicine, Chief, Division of Sleep Medicine and Director, Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology, at the University of Pennsylvania. His clinical expertise is in sleep disorders with a particular focus on diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnea. More information


* The Nicholas Catchlove Scholarship was established in 2010 on receipt of a generous donation by Dr Barry Catchlove AM (MBBS ’66 HonFellow ’08).


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Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium

The University of Sydney

Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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