Sleep for clinicians

Sleep is an important biological function, essential for good health and wellbeing. During sleep the brain and body rest and recover.

Without sufficient sleep we are more likely to have problems with thinking, concentration, memory, mood and reaction times all of which impact on ability to perform daily tasks and increases risks of mistakes and accidents. Sleep problems due to sleep disordered breathing such as; Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), Insomnia, shift work or modern lifestyles are known to be associated with increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes and kidney disease. The relationship between sleep and health problems is often bi-directional.

Asking about sleep should be a key part of any health assessment.

Understanding sleep and sleep-related health problems

  • Australasian Sleep Association
  • Sleep Health Foundation
  • Harvard University Sleep & Health
  • Sleep Disorders: a practical guide for Australian health care practitioners. (ed: Mansfield D.R. and McEvoy R.D.) 2013. MJA: 199 (8) Supplement.
  • The Relationship between Functional Health Literacy and Obstructive Sleep Apnea and its Related Risk Factors and Comorbidities in a Population Cohort of Men. Li J.J., Appleton S.L., Wittert G.A., Vakulin A., McEvoy R.D., Antic N.A., Adams R.J. (2014).Sleep: 37 (3): 571-8.
  • Impact of Five Nights of Sleep Restriction on Glucose Metabolism, Leptin and Testosterone in Young Adult Men.Reynolds A.C., Dorrian J., Liu P.Y., Van Dongen H.P.A., Wittert G.A., Harmer L.J. Banks S. PLoS ONE (2012) 7 (7): e41218.
  • An Official American Thoracic Society Statement: The Importance of Healthy Sleep Recommendations and Future Priorities.Mukherjee S., Patel S.R., Kales S.N., Ayas N.T., Strohl K.P., Gozal D., Malhotra A. on behalf of the American Thoracic Society ad hoc Committee on Healthy Sleep.American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 191 (12): 1450-9.

Assessing sleep and diagnosing sleep problems

Treatment and management of sleep problems 

Sleep clinics

This information has been developed by SA Health and The University of Adelaide

Sleep problems and disorders