Experts Descend On Brisbane To Solve Australia's Sleeping Problem

Whether you’re catching up on sleep with an afternoon nap, or counting sheep after a big day at work, experts say Australians don’t take their sleep habits seriously.

Six hundred researchers have come to Brisbane for the annual Sleep DownUnder conference, bringing together experts from Australia and New Zealand.

Together they will work tirelessly to try and solve one of the greatest issues we’re facing.

Experts at the annual Sleep DownUnder conference.

According to Dr Maree Barnes from the Australasian Sleep Association, we should be getting between seven and nine hours sleep a night, but there is an easy way to work out what the magic number is for each individual.

“After a week or two on holidays, you’ve probably caught up on all the sleep debt you had, then think about how much sleep you have then,” Barnes says.

“That’s probably the right amount of sleep for you.”

RMIT researcher Melinda Jackson has been looking into how sleep apnoea can badly affect memory recall.

CPAP machines can help with long term mermory for sleep apneoa sufferers.

By using a CPAP machine for four and 12 months, participants in her study have seen huge improvements.

“Their memories had already been encoded and consolidated years ago, but now they are better able to retrieve them from their long term memory storage,” she said.

Each year, it’s estimated sleep deprivation costs the Australian economy $66 billion dollars in treatment, and ongoing health issues associated with it.

Can Too Much Sleep Be Bad For You?

When it comes to jet lag, the best way to combat it is to get on time with your destination.

Yu Sin Bin says you can even prepare days ahead by adjusting your body clock.

“You want to be exposing yourself to light when it’s daytime where you’re going, and you want to avoid light when it’s night time at your destination,” she said.

But if you need a bit of a perk up, experts say it’s okay to have up to five cups of coffee a day, but to avoid any caffeine two hours before bed time.

Feature Image: Getty Images