Episode 30: Traumatic Brain Injury

Sleep problems are very common in people with traumatic brain injury and not just after severe injuries. Recent research from Monash University has looked in to mechanisms via which sleep problems may occur after head injuries and strategies that can be used to improve symptoms. In this episode Moira and David talk with Dr Natalie Grima, Clinical Neuropsychologist, about her experience working with people with traumatic brain injury and sleep problems.

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 – 01:03 Introduction
  • 01:03 – 04:19 What’s news in sleep?
    • Sleep Down Under planning
    • Golden Door – Guest speaker program on sleep
  • 04:19 -33:07 Theme – Sleep in Traumatic Brain Injury
    • 04:19 – 06:41 Introduction
    • 06:41 -27:43 Interview – Dr Natalie Grima
    • 27:43 – 28:02 More information in sleep in traumatic brain injury
  • 28:02 – 29:19 Clinical tip: Working with people with traumatic brain injury
  • 29:19 -39:20 Pick of the month:
    • 29:19 – 31:10 David – Evening types, SSRIs and light sensitivity
    • 31:10- 33:20 Moira – Sleep schedules and school performance in indigenous children
    • 33:20 – 36:16 Natalie – Beta-amyloid accumulation in the brain after sleep deprivation
  • 36:16 – 37:42 What’s coming up in sleep?

Next episode: Sleep 2018 meeting

Links mentioned in the podcast: 


Guest interviews:

Natalie GrimaDr. Natalie Grima is a registered Clinical Neuropsychologist, having completed her Doctorate at Monash University.  After completing her doctorate, she completed a two-year world renowned post-doctoral fellowship in Neuropsychology at Harvard Medical School. Since returning from the U.S., Dr. Grima continues to practice as a neuropsychologist within public hospitals in Melbourne. Her research interests span from investigating the impact of diet on cognition to identifying and elucidating the pathophysiological changes in sleep following traumatic brain injury. She is interested in developing evidence-based practices to assist with cognitive and sleep difficulties following acquired brain injuries and in individuals with neurodegenerativeconditions.

Regular hosts:

Dr Moira JungeDr 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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Check our resources or take our Sleep Wellness Quiz for a free assessment of elements that may be keeping you from a good night’s sleep.



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