Sleep education for healthcare providers: Addressing deficient sleep in Australia and New Zealand

Hailey Meaklim, Melinda L. Jackson, Delwyn Bartlett, Bandana Saini, Karen Falloon, Moira Junge, James Slater, Imogen C. Rehm, Lisa J. Meltzer

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    46 Citations (Scopus)


    Deficient sleep has been recognized as a current health crisis in Australia and New Zealand, contributing to the increased prevalence and severity of chronic diseases and mental health issues. However, all healthcare disciplines currently receive limited training in addressing deficient sleep, which is contributing to the current health crisis. This narrative review considers the following: (1) the prevalence and burden of deficient sleep in Australia and New Zealand; (2) the limited sleep education in healthcare training programs; (3) healthcare providers' lack of knowledge and evidence-based clinical practice in sleep disorders; (4) sleep-focused education initiatives for healthcare providers; (5) an action agenda for improved sleep education for healthcare providers. Both domestic and international sleep initiatives are considered, as is the role of general practitioners (primary care physicians), pediatricians, psychologists, pharmacists, and nurses. Three key themes emerge and guide action: (1) relevant training for students from all healthcare disciplines; (2) continuing professional development for practicing healthcare providers; and (3) translation of evidence-driven best practice into clinical practice. To achieve this sleep education agenda, the sleep community must form and strengthen partnerships across professional associations, public health agencies, and education providers. By improving education and clinical practice in sleep, we will equip healthcare providers with the knowledge and skills needed to address deficient sleep in Australia and New Zealand.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)636-650
    Number of pages15
    JournalSleep Health
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


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