Sleep Medicine Research

The Sydney Children’s Hospital (SCH) Department of Sleep Medicine began operations using full overnight polysomnography in 1995.  The invention of CPAP at Sydney University by Professor Sullivan not only changed the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea around the world, but served as the genesis for the new medical subspecialty of Sleep Medicine.

We have state of the art facilities dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders in infants and children. We receive extensive referrals from all subspecialties within a tertiary referral hospital. 

The Sydney Children's Hospital provides the infrastructure for the clinical evaluation of sleep disorders in a child-friendly, modern and service-oriented environment: 

  • 5-bed sleep laboratory
  • Equipment allows a further 2 ambulatory sleep studies per night if required
  • Over 800 sleep studies are done annually. In addition, actigraphy and oximetry are part of the service provided
  • There are around 200 infants and children on pressure support in the community
  • The Department has published nearly 100 peer-reviewed papers and text-book chapters across a board spectrum of high-impact journals.

All night-time sleep technologists and nurses have special training in paediatric care within the Hospital. They  have 24 hr unrestricted access to the sleep physician on call throughout the duration of sleep studies. as well as on site medical staff.

The SCH Department of Sleep Medicine incorporates continuous digital audio-video recording time-linked to physiological signals. The Australian-made modern recording equipment is matched by cutting edge treatment modalities including CPAP, bilevel pressure support (“VPAP” and “BiPAP” and “AVAPS”) and other forms of non-invasive ventilation, across the entire paediatric age range. 

The Sleep Medicine Department is proud to work with expert paediatric otorhinolaryngologists, psychologists, intensivists and neurologists nationally. We receive National Health and Medical Research Council funding for sleep research in children. 

The Department also trains the newest generation of scientists and physicians in this rapidly emerging area of paediatric medicine in Australia. We have also hosted trainees from around Australia and New Zealand as well as India, China, Britain, Brazil, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Switzerland, the Philippines and Canada. 

Selected publications

  • Howarth TP, Gentin N, Reyes-Chicuellar N, Jonas C, Williamson B, Blecher G, Widger J, Heraganahally SS. Sleep quality and obstructive sleep apnoea in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian children. Sleep Med. 2022 Oct;98:68-78. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2022.06.014. Epub 2022 Jun 23. PMID: 35785588.
  • Saddi V; Thambipillay G; Pimenta M; Martin B; Blecher G; Teng A, 2022, 'Three generations of a family diagnosed with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome: A case series', RESPIROLOGY CASE REPORTS, vol. 10,, ROS ID: 1887162
  • Menzies B; Teng A; Burns M; Lah S, 2022, 'Neurocognitive outcomes of children with sleep disordered breathing: A systematic review with meta-analysis', Sleep Medicine Reviews, vol. 63, pp. 101629,, ROS ID: 1846290
  • Saddi V; Thambipillay G; Martin B; Blecher G; Teng A, 2022, 'Pediatric Average Volume Assured Pressure Support', Frontiers in Pediatrics, vol. 10, pp. 868625,, ROS ID: 1857959
  • Lah S; Bogdanov S; Brookes N; Epps A; Teng A; Ocampo IMB; Naismith S, 2022, 'Convergent validity of the child behavior checklist sleep items in children with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury', Brain Injury, vol. 36, pp. 750 - 758,, ROS ID: 1873528
  • Makarious L; Teng A; Oei JL, 2022, 'SIDS is associated with prenatal drug use: a meta-analysis and systematic review of 4 238 685 infants', Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal and Neonatal Edition, ROS ID: 1842796
  • Chen KA; Widger J; Teng A; Fitzgerald DA; D'Silva A; Farrar M, 2021, 'Real-world respiratory and bulbar comorbidities of SMA type 1 children treated with nusinersen: 2-Year single centre Australian experience', Paediatric Respiratory Reviews, vol. 39, pp. 54 - 60,, ROS ID: 1561311
  • Saddi V; Thambipillay G; Pithers S; Moody M; Martin B; Blecher G; Teng A, 2021, 'Average volume-assured pressure support vs conventional bilevel pressure support in pediatric nocturnal hypoventilation: A case series', Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, vol. 17, pp. 925 - 930,, ROS ID: 1566785
  • Yeo V; Phillips NL; Bogdanov S; Brookes N; Epps A; Teng A; Naismith SL; Lah S, 2021, 'The persistence of sleep disturbance and its correlates in children with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury: A longitudinal study', Sleep Medicine, vol. 81, pp. 387 - 393,, ROS ID: 1579374
  • Bogdanov S; Brookes N; Epps A; Naismith SL; Teng A; Lah S, 2021, 'Fatigue in Children with Moderate or Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Compared with Children with Orthopedic Injury: Characteristics and Associated Factors', Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, vol. 36, pp. E108 - E117,, ROS ID: 1578094
  • Frost S; Saddi V; Teng A; Mallitt KA; Adams S; Williamson B; Wargon O, 2021, 'Propranolol's effects on the sleep of infants with hemangiomas: A prospective pilot study', Pediatric Dermatology, vol. 38, pp. 371 - 377,, ROS ID: 1565037
  • Lah S; Phillips NL; Palermo TM; Bartlett D; Epps A; Teng A; Brookes N; Parry L; Naismith SL, 2021, 'A feasibility and acceptability study of cognitive behavioural treatment for insomnia in adolescents with traumatic brain injury: A–B with follow up design, randomized baseline, and replication across participants', Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, vol. 31, pp. 345 - 368,, ROS ID: 1496887
  • Lah S; Bodanov S; Brookes N; Epps A; Phillips NL; Teng A; Naismith SL, 2021, 'Children who sustained traumatic brain injury take longer to fall asleep compared to children who sustained orthopedic injuries: actigraphy findings', Brain Injury, vol. 35, pp. 682 - 689,, ROS ID: 1576440
  • Phillips NL; Moore T; Teng A; Brookes N; Palermo TM; Lah S, 2020, 'Behavioral interventions for sleep disturbances in children with neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials', Sleep, vol. 43, pp. 1 - 18,, ROS ID: 1556584
  • Saddi V; Thambipillay G; Teng A, 2020, 'Non-invasive home ventilation using the average volume assured pressure support feature in an infant with severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia and chronic respiratory failure', Pediatric Investigation, vol. 4, pp. 222 - 224,, ROS ID: 1576441
  • Jonas C; Thavagnanam S; Blecher G; Thambipillay G; Teng AY, 2020, 'Comparison of nocturnal pulse oximetry with polysomnography in children with sleep disordered breathing', Sleep and Breathing, vol. 24, pp. 703 - 707,, ROS ID: 1455086
  • Fuzi J; Teng A; Saddi V; Soma M, 2020, 'Novel use of high-flow nasal cannula therapy in the management of pyriform aperture stenosis: Case report', Journal of Laryngology and Otology, vol. 134, pp. 558 - 561,, ROS ID: 1545850