Cumann Codhladh na hÉireann
British Sleep Society Hands on meeting 2016, Cardiff ‘The   British   Sleep   Society   (BSS)   is   a   professional   organisation   for   medical,   scientific   and   healthcare   workers   caring   for   and   studying sleep and its disorders. Our ultimate aim is to improve public health by promoting education and research into sleep and its disorders’ The   promise   from   the   BSS   did   not   disappoint.   Every   aspect   of   this   conference   was   superb.   It   was   well   thought   out   with   a   variety   of lecture   topics,   to   its   regimented   time   table   and   practical   based   workshops.   The   lecturers   were   given   allocated   time   slots,   none   of which went over time but were still informative and did not feel rushed. This   year   was   the   first   time   the   BSS   ‘hands   on’   meeting   and   the   international   sleep   medicine   conference   coincided   with   each   other. Introducing   the   two   meetings   allowed   for   a   wider   variety   of   health   care   professionals   to   attend,   ranging   from   physiologists,   doctors and   nurses.   This   was   a   great   opportunity   for   networking   and   allowed   for   a   good   insight   into   how   other   sleep   departments   are   run   in other   European   countries.   The   majority   of   talks   were   varied,   although   there   were   a   few   subjects   that   constantly   crept   into   different lectures.   The   main   sub-points   were   mostly   about   improving   diagnostic   testing   and   reducing   waiting   lists   by   introducing   new   diagnostic equipment. My   colleague   and   I   attended   the   hands   on   meeting   that   was   spread   over   a   two   day   period.   As   our   course   was   based   on   practical experiences,    there    were    beneficial    workshops    which    ran    in    the    afternoon,    for    example,    analysing    actigraphy    and    nocturnal polysomnography   (NP),   procedures   for   multiple   sleep   latency   testing   (MSLT)   and   maintenance   of   wakefulness   test   (MWT)   and identifying   the   difference   between   parasomnias   and   epilepsy.   The   morning   lectures   covered   some   very   interesting   topics.   These   varied from   paediatrics   disorders   to   difficultly   analysing   adolescence   sleep   studies   to   the   controversy   of   treating   patient   with   ‘end   of   life’ conditions. Below describes a lecture I found most interesting; ‘Lost in transition? Adolescent sleep’ I   found   this   talk   extremely   beneficial   as   they   discussed   the   issues   that   arise   when   scoring   adolescent   sleep   studies.   Our   lecturer   Lizzie Hill   is   a   registered   Polysomnographic   technologist   who   is   currently   completing   her   PhD   and   is   a   respected   member   of   the   BSS.   She highlighted   the   physiological   and   psychological   issues   that   interfere   with   interpreting   EEG   signals,   such   as   the   change   from   ‘early birds’   to   becoming   ‘night   owls’   that   follows   brain   maturation   or   social   pressures   that   highly   influence   teenagers   during   this   difficult transition   in   their   lives.   Lizzie   further   raised   the   issue   of   when   a   teenager   ceases   being   classified   under   a   child   and   fall   into   the   adult rules.   In   scoring   sleep   studies   she   mentioned   between   the   ages   of   12   until   18   there   is   a   grey   area   that   needs   to   be   further researched.   Lizzie   and   her   team   are   run   a   ‘sleep   counselling’   service   that   is   being   offered   to   teenagers   to   encourage   them   to   have better sleep hygiene and how to avoid the affects of ‘blue light’ stimulation with smart devices and coping techniques for anxiety.  Overall,   the   conference   was   very   informative,   and   my   colleague   and   I   would   highly   recommended   attending   future   conferences   held by   the   BSS.   Every   member   of   staff   regardless   of   level   within   their   department   would   benefit   from   the   variety   of   lectures   and interaction   with   fellow   delegates   within   the   discipline.   The   BSS   organised   two   social   events,   a   table   quiz   that   consisted   of   questions about Wales and a Gala dinner where it was delightful to see everyone’s dance moves.  Sleep safe.