Dr Sarah Blunden, psychologist (BA Psychology Honours, MSocSc, PhD, MAPS), is the founder and director the Australian Centre for Education in Sleep.
Dr Blunden has spent the past 10 years researching, treating and lecturing on children's sleep both nationally and internationally, as well as delivering education and information sessions to the community, educators and health care professionals. Dr Blunden is recognised as an authority on children's sleep and is widely published in the field. She is a member of:
- The Australian Psychological Society
- The Australasian Sleep Association
- Chair of sleep guidelines working party
- Chair of indigenous sleep health working party
- International Pediatric Sleep Association
- Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth (ARACY)
- Sleep Health Foundation
- The Australian Council for Children and the Media (ACCM)
Dr Blunden is passionate about communicating the importance of sleep to communities. This passion developed during her early years of sleep research and it became apparent that there was a need for sleep education in the community. The ACES programs for junior and high school students have been delivered and trialed in South Australian Schools. 100% of high school students who attended the sleep education sessions commented that the sleep program should be compulsory learning for all students.
She also directs the Paediatric Sleep Clinic based in Adelaide, South Australia (email contact: email@example.com) for diagnosing and managing sleep problems in children and young people.
Dr Blunden has an interest in all areas of child wellbeing and currently has current research in:
- How to assist infants and young children to self settle WITHOUT the need for controlled crying and/or leaving children crying unattended
- The effects of media on development and psychological wellbeing in general and media in the bedrooms in particular (with The Australian Council for Children and the Media - www.childrenandmedia.org.au)
- The effects of diet on sleep and performance (with CSIRO Children's Wellbeing Group)
- The effects of sleep loss on biological markers in adolescents (with School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia)
- Whether sleep education improves sleep and also wellbeing and quality of life (with SA Health)
- Whether sleep loss over the school term gets worse and if it impacts on depression
Brooke Michell (on maternity leave), began working at the Paediatric Sleep Clinic in 2011, under the guidance of Dr. Sarah Blunden. Brooke is a psychologist with the following qualifications:
- Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) from the University of South Australia (2004)
- Master of Psychology (Clinical) from the University of South Australia (2010)
Prior to registration as a psychologist Brooke observed Dr. Sarah Blunden in the delivery of both individual and group sleep programs from 2008-2011. During this time, Brooke was completing her Masters thesis project on sleep in preschoolers under the supervision of Dr. Blunden. Brooke currently works part time at the Paediatric Sleep Clinic. In her role as Psychologist at the clinic Brooke is involved in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders in children. Brooke runs group clinic programs in three locations across metropolitan Adelaide, along with working with clients individually at the clinic.
Brooke is passionate about assisting people to bring about positive change in the sleeping patterns of their children, and feels that these changes can be gradual and respectful to both the child and their parents.
Mary King is a Clinical Psychologist with the following qualifications:
- Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), University of South Australia (2005)
- Master of Psychology (Clinical), University of South Australia (2009)
Mary undertook her Honours thesis research project in the University of South Australia’s Centre for Sleep Research. Her research examined the effects of sleep deprivation on memory in children.
Mary is registered with the Psychology Board of Australia as a clinical psychology Supervisor.
Mary is passionate about improving the wellbeing of young children and families. She has worked for the last ten years supporting both adults and children to improve their mental health, relationships, and lifestyle factors that impact on wellbeing, including improving sleeping difficulties. Mary has worked across the private and public sector, including recently for the Child and Family Health Service (CAFHS).
Mary has a specific interest and expertise in working with babies, toddlers, and their parents. She understands the complexities and unique needs of very young children; the joys and challenges associated with parenting this age group; the needs of parents experiencing post-natal depression/anxiety; and the specific sleep requirements of children. Mary has been trained by and worked closely with Dr Sarah Blunden in her methods and techniques for improving children’s sleep.Mary’s approach respects the needs of each family and she works to enable parents to support their children’s sleep in a gentle and loving manner and Mary has been trained in the responsive methods used at the Paediatric Sleep Clinic. She is passionate about empowering families with the knowledge and confidence they need to make lasting changes to their children’s sleep.