In the media

Improving Indigenous health with a good night’s sleep

20 March 2023

The University of Queensland and Beyond Blue have partnered to deliver culturally responsive sleep health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescents in Queensland.

Project lead Associate Professor Yaqoot Fatima from UQ’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescents experience disproportionately high rates of poor sleep – up to twice as high as other young people.

“Improving sleep among young people means they can become more engaged in school, sport, cultural and community activities,” Dr Fatima said. “Poor sleep can be caused by medical conditions like sleep apnoea, restless leg syndrome, home environments or behavioural issues such as an irregular bedtime. Our previous studies have shown that young Indigenous people sleep better when they feel connected to their culture which is why this program is important.”

The Sleep for Strong Souls project team. Image, UQ

A 10-week Sleep for Strong Souls program will connect with more than one hundred 12 to 18-year-olds through workshops in north and western Queensland communities. The UQ-led program promotes and reinforces healthy sleep behaviours by integrating traditional and western knowledges and was successfully piloted in Mt Isa last year.

Read more about this project in UQ News here.