The Fact Sheets listed below have been prepared to give you an overview of the symptoms, causes and treatments of a variety of sleep disorders.
Information in each Fact Sheet is general in content and should not be seen as a substitute for professional medical advice. Concerns over sleep or other medical conditions should be discussed with your family doctor. SDA Fact Sheets are copyright and may not be reproduced or used in any other way without the permission of Sleep Disorders Australia.
Click the title below to open the selected Fact Sheet in full.
Ageing and Sleep
As we grow older, sleep becomes lighter and more interrupted, and other factors may impact on our ability to get that "good" night's sleep. There are things you can do to improve this situation.
Childhood Snoring and Sleep Apnea
You don't often think of children snoring or suffering from sleep apnea, but surprisingly a number do. The condition can be serious and may lead to health problems such as failure to thrive, developmental delay or behavioural problems.
CPAP - Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
If you suffer from sleep apnea, if used regularly CPAP is the most successful treatment. Includes information about CPAP care and maintenance and travelling with your CPAP.
Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
People who suffer from this disorder are unable to get their sleep pattern into line with normal hours, and even if they do, they cannot maintain the pattern. This can be a significant problem to the person suffering from DSPS, often leading to insomnia and depression.
Have you ever been driving and suddenly found your eyelids droop, you can't stop yawning or you can't remember driving the last few kilometres? If so you have been a "drowsy driver" and you're not alone!
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness - Finding the Cause
Do you feel tired no matter how much sleep you get? Daytime sleepiness has a significant impact on quality of life. People with daytime sleepiness struggle with social, academic and work demands, they are at risk of motor vehicle and workplace accidents and generally have poorer health than comparable adults.
Sometimes referred to as Idiopathic Hypersomnolence (IH). This is a debilitating neurological sleep/wake disorder characterised by excessive sleep, chronic daytime sleepiness and cognitive dysfunction. There is no known cause the symptoms of IH. Information kindly provided by Hypersomnolence Australia - www.hypersomnolenceaustralia.org.au
Most people experience difficulty sleeping (insomnia) at some time. However chronic insomnia can have serious consequences. For both the community and the sufferer, it is an issue that should not be ignored.
Narcolepsy is a chronic and incurable neurological disorder that impairs the brain’s ability to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea
Oral appliances are indicated for those with mild and moderate obstructive sleep apnea OSA. They may be also used in people with severe OSA who are unable to tolerate a CPAP machine.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)
If your limbs move involuntarily during sleep (perhaps your bed partner complains of being kicked) you may have PLMD.
Restless Legs Syndrome
If you suffer from unpleasant creeping sensations that results in the compelling urge to move the affected limbs you may have Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).
Also, check out our "Resouces for RLS Sufferers".
The body has a natural rhythm which helps you sleep at night and stay alert during the day. When you work shift work you must struggle against this. Long shifts or insufficient daytime sleep lead to tiredness and accidents.
Sleep Apnea - Obstructive (OSA)
Apnea means absence of breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway collapses during sleep. Everyone experiences a small amount of disruption to breathing during sleep but someone with severe sleep apnea may have over 30-40 of these events per hour, disrupting their sleep and starving the body of vital oxygen.
Sleep Apnea - Central (CSA)
There is no obstruction in the airway in central sleep apnea. CSA is rare and results when the signals from the brain to regulate breathing are disrupted.
Sleep Disorders and Related Risks
Sleep deprivation, whether reduced quantity or disturbed quality, may be a contributing factor in other diseases, such as High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Obesity and Nocturia.
What is Sleep Hygiene and why does it matter? Sleep hygiene (also known as ‘healthy sleep practices’) describes a range of behaviours, lifestyle and environmental factors that can improve sleep. Sleep hygiene is useful in improving sleep quantity and quality for healthy individuals across all ages and can be used as part of management plans for some sleep disorders.
The best way to diagnose many sleep disorders is with a Sleep Study or Polysomnogram conducted at a specialist Sleep Disorders Laboratory. This fact sheet tells you what to expect from this study. About 65 000 sleep studies are conducted each year in Australia.
Snoring occurs when air does not flow smoothly through the air passages, or when the soft tissues in your throat vibrate during sleep. Snoring can occur in all age groups, but the largest affected group is the middle aged. Snoring may be associated with long term health problems such as an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
Sleep Disorders Australia's Information Booklet
SDA also produces A5 Information Booklets which are distributed free to new patients and the public at sleep clinics, sleep specialists' rooms, chemists, GP's and various community health centres. If you see patients and would like a supply of booklets sent to you free of charge please contact Michelle Chadwick