Sleep Apnea Awareness Day
Sleep Disorders Australia are proud hosts of Australia’s Sleep Apnea Awareness Day (SAAD). There has been a SAAD in the US since 2013. It is held on April 18 to commemorate one of the milestones in sleep apnea. In June 1980 Australian doctor, Colin Sullivan first tested the idea that positive pressure, applied just through the nasal airway, could stop obstructive apnea. A year later on 18th April 1981 his paper “Reversal of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea by Continuous Positive Airway Pressure applied through the nares” was published in The Lancet. By 1985 the treatment of sleep apnea took a great leap forward with the development of CPAP for home use.
There is however so much more to sleep apnea than the CPAP machine, indeed Dr Marshall, a clinical trials epidemiologist at the Woolcock Institute for Medical Research, University of Sydney has said that at least half of all patients seen in sleep clinics are unable to tolerate CPAP or an oral appliance. We want the Australian Sleep Apnea Awareness Day to be an inclusive event that everyone with sleep apnea can feel represents them.
The first annual Australian Sleep Apnea Awareness Day (SAAD) was held on 5th May 2019. We will be celebrating the SAAD annually on the 5th May. Please join us and help raise awareness of this potentially life threatening sleep disorder.
The theme for the 2019 SAAD was ‘Education’. We will be continuing with this theme for 2020 as there is so much more the public needs to know about sleep apnea.
It is our goal to raise awareness of all aspects of sleep apnea, including how it impacts a sufferer’s life. We also aim to dispel the myths associated with sleep apnea. It is estimated that as many as 26% of adults aged 30-70 years have obstructive sleep apnea. Contrary to popular belief, sleep apnea patients come in all shapes and sizes, not all sleep apnea sufferers snore, many are not obese or even overweight, and not all of them are male. What many people with sleep apnea have in common however is the need for better and more affordable access to treatment including the accessories that go with CPAP machines. They need more research into better treatment methods for all sufferers. They also need better access to allied health services that provide support and assistance to new CPAP users and also to help manage the associated risks of sleep apnea eg; weight loss and ongoing weight maintenance.
Stories by people with sleep apnea
Reading about similar experiences can be a tremendous encouragement to those who are wrestling with comparable issues. It’s proof that they are not alone. It also gives them hope. We would like to thank the people who have shared their stories with us. If you would like to add you story contact us at
My CPAP and Sleep Apnoea Journey
"About four and a half years ago I went to my GP because I was feeling tired all the time and had no energy - this is where my saga began..." Karen's journey isn't your typical CPAP success story and it's not over yet..."
Click here to read more
What can you do to help raise awareness? These are just some ideas:
Help us spread the word! Visit your local doctor (GP or sleep specialist), CPAP supplier or chemist (if they have a sleep apnea section, many do now) and tell them about the sleep apnea awareness day. Leave them with a poster and some of our resources (we will send these to you)
Share online SAAD posts and pics on your social media with your family, friends and in your sleep apnea patient communities.
Send out a group email to all your contacts including the SAAD media release or other information.
Contact your local media, share the SAAD media release with them.
Organise an event or activity in your area*.
Hold a gold coin donation morning tea event at your place of work or with your community/social group* to raise awareness and funds to make the SAAD a bigger and better event next year!
*If you would like to hold an event/activity SDA can provide sleep apnea related brochures and our information booklets to you for free.
If you have an idea for the SAAD we would love to hear it. Contact us at
Are you a business that would like to get involved? We can send you posters and sleep apnea brochures FREE!
We also have sponsorship opportunities. Sleep apnea affects approx 6.25 MILLION people in Australia. Partner with us and help us reach them! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Download a copy of our Media Release
For more information and media inquiries contact Michelle Chadwick 0405 917 736 or
Do you have sleep apnea? Share your story
We would love to hear your story! It doesn’t matter how long ago you were diagnosed, what age or gender you are, or even if your sleep apnea is treated or not. It helps others to hear stories that they can relate to, it also helps us understand what issues people with sleep apnea face.
With approx half of all people diagnosed with sleep apnea struggling with CPAP and oral appliance therapy, it is important to us that people realise that treatment for sleep apnea is not as hard as it may seem and that the benefits far outweigh the risks of untreated sleep apnea. One of the best ways we can do that is with the help of those that have found the right treatment for them and have come out the other side and are now living well and enjoying life.
Please consider sharing your story to encourage other sufferers on their journey and to help raise awareness. You can remain anonymous if you wish and if you need help putting your story together we are more than happy to assist. You can send your stories or drafts for us to edit/help write to email@example.com
If you are interested in being involved with the SAAD please contact us via and let us know what skills you have and how you think you can help.