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.