Episode 15: Sleep Trackers

Measuring sleep used to be the domain of the sleep laboratory, but new technologies allow sleep to be measured at home. How well do new devices work? What about consumer devices such as FitBit compared to actigraphy that has been used by sleep researchers for years? Should you be measuring your sleep? Does it help to improve sleep? With the help of James Slater from Sleep and Performance Analytics we discuss sleep measurement and the use of sleep trackers.

Dr Moira Junge (Health Psychologist) and Dr David Cunnington (Sleep Physician) host the monthly podcast, Sleep Talk, talking all things sleep.

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Audio Timeline:

  • 00:00 – 01:45 Introduction
  • 01:45 – 05:16 What’s news in sleep?
    • 01:45 –  02:45 Sleep technology
    • 02:45 –  03:38 Sleeping in the heat
    •  03:38 – 05:03 Research on parasomnias and sleep paralysis
  • 05:03 –  34:17 Theme – Sleep Trackers. Discussion with James Slater
    • 05:03 – 24:30 Discussion on sleep trackers and sleep measurement
    • 24:30 – 30:12 What are the psychological aspects of measuring sleep?
    • 30:12 – 31:35 The future of sleep trackers
    • 31:35 – 33:20 Clinical actigraphy service
    • 33:20 – 33:50 More information on sleep trackers
  • 33:50- 35:27 Clinical tip of the month – Self-monitoring and self-awareness is only part of behaviour change
  • 35:27 – 37:58 Pick of the month:
    • 35:27 – 36:28 David – Sleepingtime.org
    • 36:28 – 38:58 Moira – Clean sleeping: A trend for 2017?
    • 38:58 – 40:46 James – Time use and productivity
  • 40:46 – 41:32 Sign off

Next episode: March 6th 2017

Links mentioned in the podcast:


Guest interview:

James Slater is a lecturer and researcher at the Centre for Sleep Science at University of Western Australia, clinical scientist at Monash Health, and lecturer and research supervisor at School of Psychology at Monash University. James is sought out for his expertise on sleep assessment, a topic on which James has published journal articles, a textbook chapter, technical papers and given invited talks. He is co-chair of the Insomnia and Sleep Health council of the Australasian Sleep Association and one of the founders of Sleep and Performance Analytics.


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. Connect with David on Twitter or Facebook.

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