Approximately 5 percent of adults report using sleeping pills to promote sleep with higher rates in the elderly. We are conducting several NHMRC-funded studies in healthy individuals and patients with sleep apnoea to examine the effects of common sleeping pills on the upper airway muscles and breathing during sleep. While some sleeping pills may make sleep apnoea worse, others may actually be beneficial for certain patients. We are undertaking mechanistic upper airway physiology and clinical studies to provide insight into these seemingly paradoxical effects.
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