TRU sleep conference promises to be an eye-opener

Poor sleep can lead to accidental injuries, and affect cardiovascular, immune and metabolic systems

Sylvie Paillard / Kamloops Daily News
February 13, 2013 01:00 AM

Everyone has experienced an occasional poor night's sleep, but for some it can become debilitating.

Those who sleep poorly show a higher rate of accidental injuries, and sleep loss can impact cardiovascular, immune and metabolic systems.

The reasons behind sleep disorders are myriad and it can take specialists from several different health sectors to address. For the last four years, those specialists have gathered at Thompson Rivers University for the Multidisciplinary Sleep Science Conference.

Next month's conference will address a wide spectrum of sleep disorders as well as the biology of sleep, sleep medicine and the management aspect of sleep.

Dr. Manisha Witmans lends her expertise on sleep disorders among children during a free presentation.

While the effect of sleep deprivation in adults is well documented, the impact in children has received less attention, according to Witmans.

"Disrupted or inadequate sleep impacts a child's health and well-being with respect to mood, academic and social performance, behaviour and quality of life," wrote Witmans in a posting to the medical website

The fourth annual conference happens March 8 to 10. During the lead up, organizers are reaching out to physicians from all medical specialties, dentists, respiratory therapists, polysomnographic technologists, nurses, psychologists and researchers as well as students and anyone else interested in the study of sleep disorders.

"As professionals, we can continue to grow our understanding of sleep with a goal to improve patient care and outcomes," said Les Matthews, conference co-ordinator.

Those interested in participating are asked to register online at

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