Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Sleep apps, trackers – good or bad? 11 May public forum

Many children and teenagers use an iPhone sleep app or a wristband sleep tracker, but how effective are these devices at monitoring sleep and picking up abnormalities?

A free public lecture hosted by The Ritchie Centre - Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Monash University, will examine the role of these devices in children’s sleep.

The lecture, titled “Healthy Sleep in School Aged Children – the role of commercial sleep trackers: Good or Bad?” will take place at Monash Medical Centre on Wednesday, May 11.

Children’s sleep experts from The Ritchie Centre and the Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre, as well as top visiting US paediatric sleep expert, Hawley Montgomery-Downs, will present their research on the topic.

Children’s sleep researcher at the Ritchie Centre - Hudson Institute and Monash University, Professor Rosemary Horne, says the usefulness of sleep trackers in recording sleep patterns may vary.

“Many children and teenagers now sleep with a smartphone app ticking over under their pillow, or a movement tracker on their wrist, with the intention of getting a better night’s sleep,” Professor Horne said.

“However, not all commercial sleep trackers have been clinically proven to be effective in monitoring sleep patterns, or in detecting underlying sleep conditions.

“Disrupted or short sleep, due to an underlying condition like sleep disordered breathing or simply too busy life styles, can affect all aspects of a child’s day-to-day life, including their behaviour, school performance and psychological well-being.

“An accurate assessment of sleep, is the first step towards helping children and their parents seek appropriate treatment for sleep disorders,” she said. We need to understand how these new sleep trackers contribute to the assessment of children’s sleep.

The forum is open to all members of the public, in particular, parents of school-aged children and general practitioners.

The forum will take place on Wednesday, May 11, from 6pm – 7.30pm at the Monash Medical Centre, Lecture Theatre 1, Level 2 (main entry from 246 Clayton Road).

To register attendance, or for further information, please contact caroline.menara@hudson.org.au or call: (03) 8572 2877.

Kristy Sheridan
Communications Officer

Hudson Institute of Medical Research

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