Sleep disorders affect an estimated 5% or 1.2 million Australians with around one in four men over 30 affected. Most are affected by Sleep Apnoea, a condition whose effects are largely preventable. It does not only affect the people with the condition but also their family and the community at large. Considering the number of people undiagnosed and untreated, its effect on the nation’s road toll could be really significant.
What is Sleep Apnoea?
Sleep Apnoea happens when the walls of the throat shut during sleep. Breathing stops for a few seconds and up to a minute until the brain senses the lack of breathing from the reduction in oxygen levels. The brain then sends a signal to rouse slightly, just enough to open the upper airway, typically with snorts and gasps, and then goes back to sleep.
In most instances, a person with sleep apnoea doesn’t even realise they had fragmented sleep. The person eventually wakes up unrefreshed, lethargic and goes through the day sleepy.
What are the symptoms?
Tiredness, lethargy, fatigue
Irritability and fowl mood
Impotence and reduced sex drive
Frequent trips to the toilet at night
What happens if it remains undiagnosed or untreated?
The lethargy caused by interrupted sleep patterns can mimic symptoms of depression. As a matter of fact, people with untreated sleep apnoea is five times more likely to develop depression. Aside from this, daytime fatigue leads to microsleeps, which are short periods lasting a few seconds where the brain simply goes to sleep. During this period, the body’s ability to react to change is disabled, thus, is a work safety and driving hazard.
The drops in oxygen levels during sleep can lead the brain to send signals to the heart to increase heart rate in an effort to increase oxygen in the brain. This leads to increase in blood pressure and disordered heart rhythms. The risk of fatal and non-fatal stroke in people with untreated sleep apnoea is around 3 to 10 fold.
Apart from hypertension and heart disease, health problems linked to sleep apnoea are: Type 2 diabetes, weight gain, memory problems and car accidents.
Take the Sleep test now. Click here.
How do I book a home sleep study?
You do not need a referral from your doctor. The test costs $150 and involves using a Stardust® II Sleep Recorder which you will set up before going to bed. The device is very small and more importantly, you are not tethered to the bed. It is very easy to set up and we will show you how to record your sleep overnight in the comfort of your own bed. We will then download the information recorded overnight and send it to a sleep doctor for diagnosis. Your nominated GP will be provided with the result of the test in one week.
What are the other sleep services we provide?
Apart from testing, we also hire out CPAP machines to try for a month. We also sell CPAP machines, humidifiers, masks, and spare parts. Check out our online catalogue here. We do not sell online as patient support is critical particularly during the early phase of CPAP initiation.
If you or someone you know needs help, fill the form below and we will be in touch shortly:
[gravityform id=”4″ name=”Sleep Services” title=”false” description=”false”]