Australian sleep experts are featured in a new documentary series, “Australia’s Sleep Revolution with Dr Michael Mosley,” showcasing their rapid development and execution of a sleep disorder treatment program. 

Over eight weeks, this program diagnosed and treated more than 30 volunteers, achieving a success rate greater than 80%. Lead researcher Danny Eckert, PhD, and the team from Flinders University employed technology and personalized clinical methods to conduct a clinical trial and treat sleep disorders through the science of sleep.

“It’s been a fantastic opportunity to help people and showcase some of the new methods we are researching to diagnose and treat people’s sleep disorders effectively and to also highlight nationally the range of issues poor sleep has on people’s lives.  We’re delighted that more than 80% of those who completed our novel treatment program had their sleep problems resolved,” says Eckert in a release.

The methods and findings are featured in SBS and SBS On Demand’s new documentary series “Australia’s Sleep Revolution with Dr Michael Mosley.” Thirty participants, including Dr Michael Mosley and politicians Barnaby Joyce and Jacqui Lambie, took part in the trial which focused on the most common sleep disorders: insomnia and sleep apnea—or a combination of both.

Eckert says having research findings aired in the documentary will strengthen public awareness and understanding of the importance of good quality sleep.

“We really wanted to unpack the science behind common sleep conditions like insomnia and sleep apnea. It also highlights the shocking short- and long-term health effects posed by bad sleep—ranging from high blood pressure to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, and chronic disease,” says Eckert in a release.

Mosley, a medical journalist who experiences chronic insomnia, took part in the trial himself. “I was very keen to work with the Flinders team, who are world-class, and to take part in this world-first clinical trial as an observer, but also a participant,” he says in a release. “It was a joyful experience, and I learnt a surprising amount, not only about the science of sleep but also the real causes of my own insomnia—a truly eye-opening series which I do hope will have a huge impact.”

Starting with a novel diagnostic approach that featured a range of state-of-the-art diagnostic and monitoring technology captured in the laboratory and home environment, each participant’s sleep was assessed.

What followed was weekly multidisciplinary team meetings combining sleep scientists, doctors, and psychologists to ensure that each person received the best tailored treatment solution according to their specific needs.

Eckert says scientific findings will shortly be published in detail in an international peer-reviewed journal.

“Australia’s Sleep Revolution with Dr Michael Mosley” premiered on March 6. The three-part series exposes the magnitude of Australia’s growing sleep crisis, with up to 40% of the population experiencing inadequate sleep, an estimated 15% experiencing from chronic insomnia, and approximately 20% of people fitting the diagnosis for sleep apnea.