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Sleep experts gather in Vancouver


Vancouver, BC – Can’t sleep? You’re not alone. Forty per cent of Canadians will suffer from a sleep disorder in their lifetime. Shift work, use of electronics, jet lag, noise, light, temperature and even bedding can impact sleep. 

Sleep experts from Vancouver will join colleagues from around the globe at World Sleep 2019 from September 20 – 25, 2019 in Vancouver. “Sleep affects every facet of our well-being,” says Doctor John Fleetham, co-director of the Leon Judah Blackmore Centre for Sleep Disorders at UBC Hospital. “Through research and gatherings like World Sleep 2019, we are better positioned to help those suffering from sleep disorders.” 

Doctor Fleetham and his colleagues will present their latest research on sleep-related topics including: 

What drugs should I use for sleep? 

Dr. Rob Randhawa looks at the bewildering world of pharmaceutical management of insomnia. With increasing concerns around dependence and a growing interest in alternative treatments such as cannabis, we must re-examine the safety and effectiveness of the medications we use. When should sleeping pills be used, and which ones are best?

The Impact of Healthcare Worker Fatigue on Patient and Occupational Safety

Dr. Najib Ayas crunches the numbers from studies involving airline accidents and medical mishaps and finds that eliminating extended shifts is associated with a reduction in serious medical errors. The study provides insight into how lack of sleep affects performance in the workplace.  

Impact of sleep-disordered breathing on babies 

Pregnant women often have trouble sleeping. Some will develop obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that occurs when the throat muscles relax and block the airway repetitively during sleep, causing people to start and stop breathing. The effects of obstructive sleep apnea on the fetus are unknown. Research suggests male offspring of mothers with obstructive sleep apnea could be at risk of developing metabolic conditions during adulthood. 

Sleep Expo 2019 

In conjunction with World Sleep 2019, the public is invited to a free lecture series to learn more about sleep and sleep disorders. Topics include:

  • Sleep, insomnia, and depression
  • Why do I keep falling asleep? 
  • Why am I sleepy during the day?
  • Sleep walking, night terrors and nightmares
Registration is required for the two-day series September 21st and 22nd. Register at

Vancouver Coastal Health is responsible for the delivery of $3.3 billion in community, hospital and residential care to more than one million people in communities including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola. VCH also provides specialized care and services for people throughout BC, and is the province’s hub of health-care education and research. 

To speak to sleep experts from the Leon Judah Blackmore Centre for Sleep Disorders at UBC Hospital contact: 

Carrie Stefanson
Public Affairs Leader
Vancouver Coastal Health
Office: 604.708.5340
Cell: 604.312.1148

World Sleep 2019 

Gina Dewink 
Communications Coordinator
World Sleep Society
Cell: 507.316.0084

SOURCE: Sleep experts gather in Vancouver ( )
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