Background Information

Good sleep is an integral component of a healthy and productive life. It is increasingly apparent that people living with quadriplegia have a higher prevalence of sleep disorders than the general population. These disorders significantly impair sleep, breathing, cognition and quality of life and are apparent within weeks of the initial injury.

The most common respiratory sleep disorders to affect those with quadriplegia are obstructive sleep apnoea and disturbed sleep patterns. The prevalence of sleep apnoea in chronic quadriplegia is 2 to 5 times higher than in the general population. Sleep apnoea has been shown to be a direct consequence of acute quadriplegia, occurring in up to 83% of people within weeks of injury.

The Sleep Health in Quadriplegia (SHiQ) program will investigate the key causes, develop novel treatments and translate that research into improved outcomes for the full range of sleep disorders experienced by those living with quadriplegia. SHiQ aims to improve the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of those with quadriplegia through a series of linked experimental and translational projects.