Promoting better sleep to optimise health, safety, wellbeing, and performance for all Australians.
Improving people's lives through better sleep.
Strategic aims and objectives
The SHF undertakes a range of activities to further the understanding of the importance of sleep and how to improve it at an individual, community and work-place level. At the core of the Foundation is a deep understanding of the need to be guided by those with lived and living experience of inadequate sleep. Those people with sleep disorders and those working non-standard hours continue to provide insights and advice that shapes the strategic objectives of the SHF.
Our work broadly covers the following:
- Information, education and health promotion: Providing evidence-based community education tools and materials to promote sleep health.
- Political and community advocacy: Providing strong advocacy to help meet the sleep health needs of the community and people with sleep disorders.
- Setting standards and supporting the consumer: Encouraging evidence-based sleep health treatments and patient-focused services and outcomes.
- Research: Facilitating and disseminating sleep research to help inform better policy level outcomes and tips for individuals.
Information, Education and Health Promotion
Information and education are key to achieving better sleep and a healthier life. The first step for this objective is to improve the sleep health literacy of the nation. The SHF is working with health literacy experts to ensure our information is easily accessible and understood. The SHF's greatest resource is its expert community members who make up the Consumer Reference Council who provide guidance on the information resources produced.
Information and resources are provided via our website, via public-facing webinars and seminars, via social media, via traditional media and via our regular newsletters.
Our community reference council as well as our volunteer sleep experts (including doctors, psychologists, scientists and researchers) contribute to a catalogue of almost 100 free and public factsheets, covering topics from sleep disorders to menopause and sleep, to fatigue as an occupational hazard.
Our Speaker Program provides the opportunity for groups to book in-person and virtual presentations with these experts for workplaces, schools, or community organisations on specific and tailored topics.
The monthly Sleep Seminar Series was developed to be an easily accessible and free information resource for the general public. The monthly webinars cover new subjects each month, featuring guests with relevant experiences and/or expertise. The Sleep Seminar Series is available on our SHF YouTube channel, and live Zoom attendance is available via free registration.
For more information, see:
The Sleep Health Foundation aims to regularly engage with politicians, health leaders and policymakers and will continue to advocate for sleep to be recognised as a health and wellbeing, safety, health equity and economic issue and that more needs to be done to support those experiencing sleep disorders. The Foundation regularly seeks meetings with MPs, submits pre-budget submissions, submits applications for grants, contributes expertise to national inquiries and regularly speaks as a leading subject-matter expert voice to the media on a range of sleep-related topics. There have been over 10 years of activity, commissioning of large and impactful reports that collectively helped to mount the case that sleep disorders and sleep health needed more urgent attention. Based on our advocacy efforts, alongside the ASA, in 2018 a Parliamentary Inquiry into Sleep Health Awareness was established, with 11 recommendations and the official government response was given in August 2023. In this response the federal government agreed that sleep health should be a national priority for the Australian government alongside diet and fitness.
The Australian Health Policy Collaboration and the Mitchell Institute have worked with the SHF
Our vision is yet to be realised, but our determination does not wane. With aspirations for government funding and support, the Sleep Health Foundation hopes to grow and offer more information and solutions to affect large scale change, elevating the voice of those people living with sleep disorders, elevating the importance of sleep health and providing the tools to improve lives nationwide via better sleep.
For more detail on our advocacy activities, see:
- Parliamentary Inquiry into Sleep Health Awareness
- Government response to the Inquiry
- Special Sleep Reports
Setting standards and supporting the consumer
The Sleep Health Foundation aims to ensure high standards to protect consumers and patients in commercial and hospital settings, where there is often minimal education and support available. Two Codes of Practice have been developed, one is aimed at safe, ethical and optimal CPAP supply (Code of Practice for CPAP Suppliers) and one is aimed at improving sleep in hospitals (Sleep Care in Hospitals).
Our Code of Practice initiatives ensure that an individual’s health, comfort, and understanding are highest priority. Currently there are no formal government regulations for Suppliers of CPAP Therapies or Sleep Care in Hospitals. As such, the Sleep Health Foundation has formed working parties to implement measures that place the wellbeing, support and health of patients and consumers at the centre of practice. Each Code must be applied for and successfully evaluated yearly/second yearly to guarantee that standards are maintained.
The Code of Practice for CPAP Suppliers recognises high standards for retailers of sleep disorder therapies. Some of the principles this Code enshrines include opportunity for trial before sale, after sales support, range of devices, and development and training of staff.
The Code of Practice for Sleep Care in Hospitals was created to recognise hospitals that demonstrate excellence in the delivery of a sleep conducive environment to patients. While unwell or recovering, good quality sleep is essential. Hospitals that embody the principles of this Code are taking conscious, proactive measures to optimise conditions so that their patients may be less disrupted and better rested.