The Sleep Lab in 3… 2… 1… Action

Chloe Flinn

“The Wits Sleep Laboratory is part of the Brain Function Research Group in the School of Physiology and is the only dedicated sleep research unit in Southern Africa.”


An Honours student taking a selfie in the Wits Sleep Laboratory

When Marize de Klerk from read the statement, “The Wits Sleep Laboratory… is the only dedicated sleep research unit in Southern Africa.”, she knew she had a story to share with the world. This led to a very interesting day in the Wits Sleep Lab as the crew from came by to film us in action.

It all started off with a few awkward interviews. I’m sure most researchers can relate to the fact that we prefer to sit quietly in our labs conducting our research with no one to watch us as we do so. But Dr Karine Scheuermaier, head of the Wits Sleep Lab, started off wonderfully by introducing the type of research being conducted and the importance of researching sleep in relation to pain.


Dr Karine Scheuermaier being interviewed by the crew.

The film crew then turned their attention to my research. I am in the process of completing my Masters in sleep and pain physiology, but more specifically on the effect of sleep on pain in women. Therefore, we decided to demonstrate the workings of my study to best represent what it is we do. As with most sleep studies we make use of polysomnography, and with the help of one of my participants, Thobeka Ntuli, we were able to provide first-hand action of what goes down. But don’t let me keep going on about it, because why read about it when you can watch it? See the video clip here to get the full scoop.


The JoburgToday.TV crew filming in the Wits Sleep Laboratory.

Many people are not aware of the Wits Sleep Lab as it is tucked away in a quiet corner of the Medical School, where research subjects can get a good night’s rest right on campus. Hopefully the interest from will enlighten many as to what the Wits Sleep Lab is about.



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