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Sleep problems are very common. In any one year, about one third of the Australian population have difficulty sleeping. Symptoms of insomnia and circadian rhythm (body clock) sleep disorders can be very distressing and sometimes disabling. These symptoms include difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, waking up feeling unrefreshed, and excessive sleepiness and/or fatigue during the daytime. There are, however, effective treatments available to help improve sleep.
The Monash University Healthy Sleep Clinic (Clinic) has been established by Monash University to specialise in insomnia and body clock disorders. The Clinic brings together the expertise of Monash University staff and external health professionals to provide an innovative multidisciplinary service involving sleep physicians, sleep psychologists, circadian rhythm experts and nurse practitioners. The Clinic provides evidence-based and cutting-edge treatments for insomnia and circadian (body clock) disorders to the broader community, while also serving as a platform to foster research excellence, professional training and education.
Everybody’s sleep problems are different. We offer comprehensive assessments and individualized treatments that are tailored to each client. Before commencing our program below, an initial consultation with a sleep physician will be arranged to determine whether our treatment program is right for you. If suitable, we will conduct a comprehensive assessment and then develop a multi-component program based on each client’s needs.
As part of the Clinic’s ongoing effort in education, training, and research, each client may be invited to participate in Monash University led research studies into sleep and realted disorders. A client may also be asked to allow a Monash University clinical trainee to participate in that client’s care.
Many factors can contribute to sleep problems. Our comprehensive sleep assessments may include at-home sleep study, actigraphy (a sleep monitoring wristband), circadian (body clock) assessments, sleep log, and questionnaires.
Although in some instances pharmacotherapy is necessary, our focus is on non-pharmacological treatments that are evidence-based and individually tailored. A personalized treatment plan may include any number of the following components:
- Healthy Sleep is an initial group-based sleep education program that introduces healthy sleep habits and life styles.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a core component of our treatment package. The approach significantly extends beyond relaxation or mindfulness techniques. CBT-I includes therapeutic sleep restriction, which in the right setting, is one of the most effective behavioural techniques for consolidating sleep and improving insomnia symptoms. This approach is rarely attempted outside specialist sleep centres, and is made more effective when combined with a range of cognitive retraining strategies. CBT-I is offered as one-on-one consultations with a sleep psychologist.
- Circadian adjustment will be provided for individuals with circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders. For example, light therapy is used to re-align circadian rhythms. Light is the main synchronizer for the body clock, and appropriately timed exposure to light is effective in the treatment of many circadian disorders.
- Pharmacological treatment is provided by our sleep physicians where necessary.
- For co-existing psychological conditions, for example depression, anxiety, or stress-related disorders, psychiatrists and clinical/health psychologists on our team will incorporate appropriate interventions to address both sleep and these co-existing conditions.
All patients of the Monash University Healthy Sleep Clinic are invited to take part in an ongoing research project on the nature and management of sleep disorders. This involves storage of de-identified clinical information into a comprehensive database for research and service evaluation purposes. You can find detailed information about this research by clicking here.
Regardless of whether or not patients agree to participate in this research, they will complete the same clinical evaluations. The only difference is: if they agree to participate, we will keep de-identified results of these evaluations in our research database. Regardless of whether or not participants consent being included in the research database, the same quality of care by our health professionals will be provided.
Consent to be included in the database is implied unless patients opt-out of this research in writing. Please click here if you wish to opt-out of being part our
Who can attend?
- Individuals having sleep difficulties.
- Individuals with circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, for example those with delayed sleep phase disorder, or shift-workers with sleep difficulties.
- Individuals with sleep difficulties as well as other co-existing mental and/or physical health conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress, chronic pain.
- We provide service to adults and adolescents aged 16 years and above.
- The initial consultation with the sleep physician is bulk billed.
- A small fee covers the comprehensive CBT-I package or circadian re-entraining. This includes visits with our sleep psychologists, which are rebatable through a care plan provided by your GP.
How to access our service?
Before you visit us, please visit your GP in order to obtain the following two referrals so you can receive Medicare rebates for your visits:
(1) a referral to a Sleep Physician for the initial consultation;
(2) a referral to see a psychologist under Medicare.
We recommend that you obtain both referrals during your visit to your GP, so you can receive the full benefits of our service without delay.
Assoc./ Professor Darren Mansfield
A/Prof Darren Mansfield is a sleep disorders and respiratory physician who practices in all aspects of sleep disorders. He is the Director of the Sleep Service in the Monash Lung and Sleep Department of Monash Health, the Director of the Epworth Sleep Centre in East Melbourne and an adjunct A/Professor in the School of Psychological sciences Monash University. He has 20 years of experience in sleep medicine, completing a PhD in the field and continues to research in a range of areas within sleep medicine. He is an exponent of the view that multidisciplinary care has the capacity to achieve superior outcomes to that of the lone clinician, hence the creation of this novel service in insomnia.
Professor Shantha Rajaratnam
Professor Shantha Rajaratnam is a Psychologist and internationally renowned expert in the diagnosis and treatment of circadian rhythm disorders and insomnia. He is Deputy Head of the Monash School of Psychological Sciences, Chair of the Monash Sleep Network and the Monash Sleep and Circadian Medicine Laboratory, Immediate Past President of the Australasian Sleep Association, and is a Program Leader in the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Alertness, Safety and Productivity.
Professor Sean P.A. Drummond
Professor Drummond holds an appointment at Monash University in the School of Psychological Sciences. Previously, he worked for 20 years in the USA at the University of California San Diego and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System. There, he ran the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, trained psychologists in sleep interventions, and ran a large sleep research laboratory. Prof Drummond is committed to evidence-based interventions, and is a leading researcher, clinician, and teacher in this area. Professor Drummond's clinical research focuses on treating insomnia and/or nightmares, especially in those with comorbid mental health conditions. He is also developing a new intervention to incorporate the bed partner into insomnia treatment.
Dr. Frank Cahill BA. Grad Dip Applied Psych, Dpsych, MAPS
Dr. Frank Cahill is a clinical and counselling psychologist based at the Epworth Sleep Centre and in private practice. He specialises in treating people suffering from insomnia. He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, the colleges of clinical and counselling psychologists, the Australasian Sleep Association and is a registered Medicare health provider. Dr. Cahill has had over 16 years’ experience working with individuals, couples and families. He has been trained as a Cognitive Behavioural, Schema and ACT therapist helping people overcome insomnia, parasomnias, anxiety, panic disorders, depression, phobias, PTSD, OCD and relationship issues.In treating insomnia Dr. Cahill uses both cognitive and behavioural strategies to support and help individuals rebuild their confidence in sleep.
Dr. Bei Bei, D.Psych(Clinical), Ph.D.
Dr. Bei Bei is a Clinical Psychologist and sleep researcher with a focus on sleep problems as well as co-existing mood, anxiety, and stress-related disorders. She is a Lecturer at the Monash School of Psychological Sciences, and co-chair of the Insomnia and Sleep Health Special Interest Group of the Australasian Sleep Association. Dr. Bei is experienced with adult, adolescent, and perinatal populations, and works collaboratively with clients in improving sleep and overall wellbeing. Her primary approaches include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (including CBT for Insomnia), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Schema Therapy.
Dr Moira Junge
Dr Junge is a registered psychologist, having completed a Doctorate in Health Psychology. She has twenty years experience in the healthcare sector and has worked in the sleep field since 1994. Moira uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques as well as drawing on hypnosis, mindfulness and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT) and well-developed counselling skills. She is committed to providing the highest standard of psychological care and is passionate about, and actively involved in, educating other psychologists about treating sleep disorders.
Dr Allie Peters
Dr Allie Peters is a registered psychologist with the Psychologist Registration Board of Australia and a member of the Australian Psychological Society and the Australasian Sleep Association and a speaker for the Sleep Health Foundation. She completed a PhD at RMIT University with a focus on mindfulness-based intervention as a treatment for insomnia. Allie possesses diverse skills in psychotherapy and has worked with a range of client groups. She also has a background as a Sleep Scientist, working at the Austin Hospital for 7 years. She uses an integrated approach, drawing from a range of therapeutic techniques such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Motivational Interviewing, Existential Psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Client Centered Therapy.
Dr Garun Hamilton
Dr Garun Hamilton is a sleep and respiratory disorders physician and has extensive clinical, research and teaching experience in all aspects of sleep disorders. His clinical practice encompasses patients with wide ranging and complex sleep problems. He completed a PhD on the cardiovascular consequences of obstructive sleep apnoea at Monash University in 2008. He is Director of Sleep Research at Monash Health, and holds an adjunct senior lecturer position at Monash University. He also works at the Epworth Sleep Centre in East Melbourne. Dr Hamilton is currently a Board member of the Australasian Sleep Association and is Chair of the Clinical Committee, which sets the clinical standards for the profession.