Sarah Blunden

Favourite Thing: Sleep !



St Peters Girls School Adelaide,


University of South Australia back in the 1990s I was a late starter because i had another career before this one

Work History:

Flinders University, Uni of South Australia, now Central Queensland University. Before that I worked in the theatre !!


Central Queensland University

Current Job:

Head researcher for children and adolescent sleep at CQU and but also a psychologist in private practice two days a week.

Me and my work

Sharing my knowledge of sleep – what it does, what it doesn’t do and what happens when you dont get enough of it – with everyone, particularly students.

Sleep seems to fascinate a lot of  people. Probably because it is central to our health. So, as a sleep sceintist and a sleep psychologist, I spend my days ( and sometimes my nights) either doing experiments about sleep at Central Queensland University and in the community (the researcher part of my job) or helping children and adolescents to sleep better (the psychologist part of my job).  I do interviews on the radio and TV, I write papers about sleep in international and national magazines and journals, and sometimes  I get to go to great places for conferences to talk about my research.

My main research studies at the moment are :

1. The connection between sleep and how you feel….does bad sleep make you feel more depressed or more anxious?

2. Doing a sleep education program in middle school – do sleep education classes help students to sleep better?

3. Helping new parents to help their new babies to get to sleep easier

My Typical Day

A mixture of writing, reading, talking to other sleep scientists and working out the results of my experiments

An example of my day:

1. Spent the first two hours writing a paper called: “How much sleep do we need?’

2. Started an application to my University for some research money to go interstate to do some research in adolescents

3. Wrote this profile

4. Had a meeting with some students who I am helping with their sleep projects

5. Gave a talk on sleep to about 50 parents of junior school children about sleep, at their school

6. Worked with my research assistant looking atthe results of a sleep study we are doing to try and understand what the results of my experiment means. That is a really fun part of sleep science

What I'd do with the money

I would give it as a prize in a competetion that I want to set up to get students to design a really cool new home page for Sleep Science at CQUniversity and for the existing

It is important that students know about sleep. Both at CQUniversity and on my website, we need to draw studnets to these sites so they can view the information about sleep and sleep science.

I think students know what students like, certainly better than me, so I think, with the money, I would like to run a competeion to get the best home page design for Studnets and Sleep

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

excitable, energetic, curious

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Lily Allen, Bruno Mars

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Made a record (before CDs werw around) uggh…that makes me very very old !

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

be healthy, live in an eco community, learn how to paint

What did you want to be after you left school?

A ballet dancer !

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Yes, for too much talking and wearing the wrong uniform

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Taught students about sleep when they didn’t know anything about it. That is really cool because they get really excited.

Tell us a joke.

Sports followed

Australian Rules Football

Favourite team

Adelaide Crows