North-East experts tackle sleep disorders in TV documentary

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health & Education Editor

A NORTH-EAST expert will be tackling the nation's sleep disorders in a new BBC documentary which starts next week.

Dr Jason Ellis, director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research, joins Dr Kirstie Anderson of Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary and presenter Sian Williams as they meet and cure some of the country's worst sleepers.

The problems faced by those taking part in the programme range from insomnia to snoring.

The documentary sees them filmed in a "Sleep House" where the experts use state-of-the-art equipment to monitor their habits before diagnosing and offering solutions.

Dr Ellis said: "I recently completed a study which showed that more than one third of people in the UK are likely to experience an episode of acute insomnia each year so I'm delighted sleep problems are being given such attention."

The Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research is fitted with closed-circuit television cameras that relay pictures to the control room next-door where Dr Ellis and his team of research students monitor the participants' sleep.

Blue-tooth-enabled sensors worn by the subjects send back wireless telemetry, allowing the real-time monitoring of physiological data.

Dr Ellis added: "We are beginning to understand how intimately sleep and health are related.

"We used to think that it was stress that led to sleep loss and illness; now we are beginning to see how the relationship might be the other way round and it is insomnia that creates the stress and illness in the first place.

Goodnight Britain is on BBC1 next Wednesday and Thursday (28 and 29 November) at 9pm.

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