Dreaming of better care for sleep disorders

Posted 13 Jul 2022

A scholarship funded through the generosity of the community has contributed to leading sleep research at Flinders that has been published globally.

French-trained engineer Dr Bastien Lechat was one of two inaugural recipients of the Nick Antic Sleep Research PhD Scholarship in 2020.

Dr Lechat’s work was focused on finding ways to better diagnose sleep disorders and understanding the consequences of interrupted, or light sleep, on general health.

“We found that people who have lighter sleep, especially at certain times of the night, were more likely to experience cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and other negative health outcomes which was pretty interesting,” Dr Lechat said.

“We also looked at the impact of wind farm noise on sleep. We wanted to know if noise during sleep, even noise not loud enough to wake you, impacts the brain. We found that there was a brain signature of noise even without waking, so we could see it did have an effect on the brain.”

Dr Lechat completed a Bachelor of Acoustics and Mechanical Engineering in France before accepting an internship at Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute (FHMRI) Sleep Health (formerly known as the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health).

He received the Nick Antic Sleep Research PhD Scholarship in the second year of his PhD and says the scholarship made a significant difference to his research.

“When I received the Nick Antic Scholarship, I had so much more time to focus on my research. I’ve had several really good publications out of my PhD and that probably wouldn’t have been possible without the scholarship,” Dr Lechat said.

Recently, Dr Lechat co-authored a new study published in the European Respiratory Journal. His work has also been published in other respected journals such as SLEEP and the American Journal of Critical Care.

It’s a big achievement for a PhD student to be published because it means your work is good enough to be recognised globally and used as a reference for other people to build upon. 

Dr Bastien Lechat

Dr Lechat is currently completing a post-doctorate, focusing more on sleep apnea. His team are working with wearables companies to analyse data from smart devices and provide science-based feedback on the popular technology.

Your generous gift today can support new research to better understand and diagnose sleep disorders. Thank you.


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