Sue Dengate, Sleep Expert

by admin on January 5, 2010

Week 2 of Sleep With The Experts featured Sue Dengate. 

Fed Up With Sleep Disturbances?

Diet can help with sleeping issues, like difficulty falling asleep, frequent night waking, restless legs, ‘weird’ dreams, nightmares, night terrors, and sleep walking in children and adults.

The food chemicals that have been associated with insomnia include artificial colours, natural colour annatto, preservatives, synthetic antioxidants, flavour enhancers and naturally occurring chemicals called salicylates and amines.  Dairy foods and less commonly wheat or gluten can be a problem for some people but are less likely to be a problem than additives and salicylates.  Sleep disturbance can also be the unintended side effect of a medication.

Sue will help people find which foods affect them and their sleeping.


Sue Dengate, Sleep Expert

Sue Dengate founder of the Food Intolerance Network

Sue Dengate

Sue Dengate is a psychology graduate and former high school teacher who became interested in the effects of food additives after the birth of her first child 20 years ago.

She is author of the bestselling Fed Up series, published by Random House Australia.  Her groundbreaking study about the behavioural effects of a common bread preservative was published in a medical journal in 2002.  

Sue, helped by her husband Dr Howard Dengate, a food scientist, runs the Food Intolerance Network through the website  The Food Intolerance Network provides independent information about the effects of food on behaviour, health and learning ability in both children and adults, and support for families using a low-chemical elimination diet free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers (FAILSAFE).

Sue Dengate was nominated as Australian of the Year in 2005 and 2006.

What Week 2’s Webinar Covered:

  • The 50 + food additives, colourings and chemicals that effect sleep
  • ADHD and the incorrect diagnosis of ADHD without checking food intolerances first
  • The difference between allergy and food intolerance
  • How to recognise allergy and food intolerance
  • Food additives that effect anxiety, depression and panic attacks
  • The fresh fruit and vegetables and dried fruits that are not conducive to a good night’s sleep, and why
  • Sleep Walking, sleep talking,
  • Night terrors and weird dreams
  • The food additives associated with sleep apnea
  • How to reduce or stop snoring
  • How to recognise the multi-vitamins that are ruining your good night’s sleep
  • How to read labels – things are not what they seem
  • The 5% ruling on food labels.  How what’s contained in “that 5%” can be the barrier between you and your sleep
  • The food chemicals that are directly associated with restless legs syndrome
  • The good foods for sleep
  • VOCs that effect sleep (Volatile Organic Chemicals), smells, hairsprays, perfumes etc
  • The medications that people are using to help sleep, which actually contain additives and colourings that actually keep you awake!
  • The Low Chemical Elimination Diet, FAILSAFE (Free from Additives, Low in Salicylates, Amines and Flavour Enhancers)
  • Dairy foods, and how to select the best ones for sleep.  Milk – soymilk, A2 milk, rice milk – all discussed.
  • Symptoms of food intolerance
  • Behavioral problems in children, including oppositional defiance
  • Additives to avoid, and their number equivalent.  Includes tricky wording the manufacturers use, so you don’t know what a particular chemical/additive might be
  • Wakefulness and MSG (monosodium glutamate)
  • The natural colour that causes problems, not just the synthetic ones
  • Where to get bread that isn’t associated with depression and bad sleep patterns.  Specifically which brands.
  • Tips for breastfeeding, baby sleep, even bed-wetting
  • Synthetic antioxidants, sleepwalking etc
  • The myths of fruit
  • Potatoes, oranges, apples, mangoes, carrots, vinegar, sultanas, tomato juice, mint flavoured sweets, strawberries, where are each of these on the salicylates table?
  • What about meat and how it is vacuum packed, and distributed in supermarkets?
  • Salicylates can be inhaled as well, find out more
  • What are the good and bad alcohols for sleep?
  • Yes, female hormone tablets are strongly associated with food intolerance
  • Yes, sleep disorders can be seasonal.  Find out why.
  • And yes, water is fine!

Sue Dengate did a 15 country ’supermarket tour’ in 2001 to investigate additives around the world, and has had her research published in a UK medical journal so the conversation is not parochial.

We had registrations from health care professionals and insomnics from Dallas, New York, Minesota, Christchurch, Auckland, Mumbai, Canada, Tokyo, UK and well as our Aussi contingent.

If food additives or food intolerances are your sleeping problem, or your children’s problem, this week alone could provide sleep solutions to ensure better and lasting sleep.


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