Sleep Disorders and Respiratory Failure

The St Vincent’s Hospital Sleep Disorders and Respiratory Failure service is an important part of the Heart and Lung Department providing care for those who suffer from sleeping problems and respiratory failure.

We assess and treat the following sleep disorders:

  • Obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Sleepwalking
  • Restless legs
  • Periodic limb movement
  • REM behaviour disorder

Our Respiratory Failure Unit consists of a ward based non-invasive ventilation service that treats acutely ill patients with respiratory failure. We also provide home ventilation for those who require assistance for ongoing chronic respiratory failure.

Our team commonly treats and looks after the following Respiratory Failure Disorders:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 
  • Obesity related respiratory failure
  • Neurological causes such as muscle weakness, motor neuron disease.

The Sleep Unit provides a comprehensive inpatient and outpatient diagnostic and treatment service for patients withsleep disorders including: snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea, central sleep apnoea, nocturnal hypoventilation, hypercapnic respiratory failure, periodic limb movement disorders, narcolepsy, parasomnias, insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Diagnostic Sleep Studies

An inpatient or outpatient portable diagnostic sleep study (overnight polysomnography) may be requested by a Sleep Specialist to document the existence of and quantify the severity of a range of sleep disorders. St Vincent’s Hospital has a 2-bed in-patient Sleep Unit performing close to 400 sleep studies per year. The Sleep Unit also offers daytime sleep tests for patients with a history suggestive of narcolepsy and/or idiopathic hypersomnolence:  Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) and Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT).

Treatment Sleep Studies

The Sleep Unit also provides comprehensive overnight treatment sleep studies (eg. CPAP or bilevel positive pressure titration studies) for patients diagnosed with sleep breathing disorders (e.g. obstructive sleep apnoea and nocturnal hypoventilation).


St Vincent’s Public Hospital Sleep Clinic
Xavier 4, Heart and Lung Program
New referral enquiries: 02 8382 2330
Fax: 02 8382 3084


Contact Heart Lung Clinic on 8382 3110 for an appointment. Please bring your referral letter to your first appointment, as well as your Medicare and any concession cards.

Helpful links

Australasian Sleep Association

Australasian Sleep Technologists Association

Sleep Disorders Australia