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Researchers, scientists gather in Halifax for sleep forum


September 18, 2013
By Mari-Len De

Sept. 18, 2013 — The 6th Canadian Sleep Society (CSS) Meeting will be held in Halifax. This year's theme, "Make Time 4 Sleep," encompasses the importance of sleep in an always-on 24/7 Western society, the rich history of Halifax, which revolves largely around the town clock, and its world-renowned circadian rhythm researchers.

The CSS meeting will bring together over 500 national and
international delegates and sleep researchers to discuss and exchange
ideas on the very latest scientific results concerning healthy sleep and
sleep disorders across all age groups.

"I'll sleep when I'm
dead, is a quote so pervasive throughout Western societies that Bon Jovi
penned a song with this very title and Clive Owen acted in a 2003 film
by the very same name. However what the song, the film and the legions
of exhausted workers regurgitating this line have failed to recognize is
that without sleep one cannot live and this is precisely why making
time for sleep is so important, the CSS said.

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"The
most important thing I say to patients who are looking for help with
their sleep is, 'If you do not make time for sleep I won't be able to
help you,'" said Dr. Charles Samuels, vice-president, of clinical at the
Canadian Sleep Society.

"There are no medications, psychological
exercises or therapy or any other interventions to improve sleep if the
person doesn't make time in their day to rest, recover and sleep," he
added.

Without sleep, one's circadian controlled cells cannot
function properly. The higher risk of heart attack, stroke and high
blood pressure will put a strain on the cardiovascular system. Short
term memory quickly begins to slip away, the ability to learn new tasks
and focus on tasks that you do every day disrupt workers, cause stress
to employers and present as hyperactivity in young children.

It
is because of the research created in all of these areas by dedicated
doctors and scientists that this information is now available to general
practitioners and the general population. It is because of this
research that companies around the world, like the Huffington Post, have
nap rooms and provide time for their tired employees to rejuvenate
themselves, the organization said.

In the interest of furthering
the scientific understanding of why sleep is so integral to the body and
mind the CSS will have five internationally known keynote speakers,
nine symposiums, three oral sessions, two panel discussions and one
workshop available to doctors and delegates over three days at this
year's meeting, and for the first time ever, two lectures are available
to the public.

Topics as diverse as diagnosing obstructive sleep
apnea, sleep disturbances in infants and toddlers, the relationship of
sleep to ADHD and consequences of chronic sleep restriction will be part
of the agenda.

Dr. Joseph De Koninck will be speaking about the
"Origins, Functions and Consequences of Dreams," Friday Oct. 4 at 4 pm.
Dr. Jodi Mindell will be speaking about how to help children sleep
through the night on Saturday Oct. 5 at 1 pm.

This year's CSS Meeting will take place Oct. 4 to 6 at the Harbourfront Marriott in Halifax.


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