Episode 2: Narcolepsy Diagnosis and Treatment

narcolepsyDr Moira Junge (Health Psychologist) and Dr David Cunnington (Sleep Physician) host the monthly podcast, Sleep Talk, talking about all things sleep. In this episode, Moira and David discuss narcolepsy and are joined by Dr Simon Frenkel (Sleep Physician) and Jacqueline Tomlins (a person with narcolepsy). They discuss how narcolepsy is diagnosed and treated from a range of perspectives.

Audio Timeline:

  • 00:00 – 03:08 What’s in the news about sleep this month?
  • 03:08 –  15:15 Guest interview – Dr Simon Frenkel: Narcolepsy diagnosis and treatment
  • 15:15 – 31:40 Guest interview – Jacqui Tomlins: Personal experience with narcolepsy
  • 31:40 – 34:09 Clinical tip of the month – Role of psychological support in narcolepsy
  • 34:09 – 37:40 Pick of the month – Dreamland – Book / Light therapy vs fluoxetine for depression
  • 37:40 – 39:10 What to look out for in sleep over the next few months

Links mentioned in the podcast:


Guest interviews:

Dr Simon FrenkelDr Simon Frenkel is a Respiratory and Sleep Disorders Physician with more than 10 years experience. In addition to working at the Western Hospital in Melbourne, he is one of the Directors at Lung and Sleep Victoria where he consults in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine. His Sleep Medicine interests are diverse, with particular emphasis on non-respiratory sleep disorders and multidisciplinary models of care. He is actively involved in sleep education and is co-chair of the Sleep Physicians Council of the Australasian Sleep Association.


Jacqueline Tomlins Jacqui Tomlins was diagnosed with narcolepsy without cataplexy at the Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre two years ago. Prior to that she attended the clinic for management of Restless Legs Syndrome and Sleep Apnoea. Jacqui recently spoken at the Australasian Sleep Association annual scientific meeting where she shared her experience of living with narcolepsy with sleep specialists, scientists, psychologists and researchers. Jacqui feels that the challenges of living with narcolepsy are not helped by the lack of reliable and accurate information about the condition, or by the myths and misinformation that circulate in the general population. Jacqui is an author, freelance writer and trainer and has spoken publicly on a range of social issues. She lives with her partner and three children in Melbourne.

Regular hosts:

Dr Moira Junge

Dr Moira Junge is a health psychologist working in the sleep field, who has considerable experience working with people with sleeping difficulties in a multidisciplinary practice using a team-based approach. Moira has consulted at Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre since 2008, and is actively involved with the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA). She has presented numerous workshops for psychologists wanting to learn more about sleep disorders, and is involved with Monash University with teaching and supervision commitments, as well as clinical involvement with the Monash University Healthy Sleep Clinic. She is one of the clinic directors at Yarraville Health Group which was established in 1998. In addition to her expertise in sleep disorders, her other areas of interest and expertise include smoking cessation, psychological adjustment to chronic illness, and grief and loss issues.

Dr David CunningtonDr David Cunnington is a sleep physician and director of Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre, and co-founder and contributor to SleepHub. David trained in sleep medicine both in Australia and in the United States, at Harvard Medical School, and is certified as both an International Sleep Medicine Specialist and International Behavioural Sleep Medicine Specialist. David’s clinical practice covers all areas of sleep medicine and he is actively involved in training health professionals in sleep. David is a regular media commentator on sleep, both in traditional media and social media, and blogs for the Huffington Post on sleep. David’s recent research has been in the area of non-drug, psychologically-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness in managing insomnia, restless legs syndrome and other sleep disorders.

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