Saving all our sleep

St John of God Murdoch Hospital has joined forces with Sleep Studies Australia to tackle our increasingly common sleep issues, as well as those of our children.

Murdoch Sleep Unit

25 October 2018 

The expanded Sleep Unit for adults and the new children’s service officially opened at St John of God Murdoch Hospital this week to provide a full service for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.  

Sleep Physician Dr Scott Phung says most issues related to sleep are first managed by general practitioners but some people need further assistance to combat insomnia, snoring, sleep apnoea and other problems.

“When people find themselves battling to sleep for more than a month and it impairs their daytime function, it’s time to look into the causes of their night-time wakefulness,” Dr Phung says.

“Other people present with problems of daytime tiredness or sleepiness without any sleep disturbance other than snoring.”

Patients are monitored whilst sleeping overnight at the Sleep Unit, giving a clear picture of what is happening during the night.

Sleep studies experts use a polysomnogram to monitor breathing, heart rate, snoring, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, brainwaves, respiratory effort, body position and leg movements.

This data is collated to form an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan is then put into place. 

Improving quality of life

After their sleep issues are resolved, patients report a significant improvement in their quality of life.

“Getting a good night’s sleep, both in terms of quantity and quality of sleep, reduces health risks, helps you cope with the challenges of life and generally contributes to a much better quality of life,” Dr Phung says.

“Patients are delighted with how their lives are turned around – it’s very rewarding to see.”

Chief Executive Officer Ben Edwards said the hospital is looking forward to expanding the existing service for adults as well as being the only private paediatric sleep service south of the river.

“Sleep issues seem to be at the fore of everyone’s mind these days so we are very excited about providing the community with treatment options to help them get a better night’s sleep,” Mr Edwards says.

“When it comes to children, sleep studies can be very beneficial, enabling the identification of issues such as frequent night waking and difficulty getting to sleep.”

“When babies and children sleep well, usually it mean a good night’s sleep for the whole family.”

“With our outstanding sleep physicians, sleep technicians and facilities, we look forward to seeing the benefits of this service for both adults and children in our community.”

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