Sleep Apnea Awareness Day

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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 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. It is therefore important that the Australian Sleep Apnea Awareness Day is an inclusive event that everyone with sleep apnea can feel represents them.

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, not just those who respond well to CPAP. 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. 

The first Australian Sleep Apnea Awareness Day (SAAD) was held on 5th May 2019. It is held annually on the 5th May.

Scroll down to find out how you can help raise awareness 

Posters to download and share.
Permission is given to print them and use them in your business so long as the SDA logo is not removed or obscured.

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Day night symptoms of sleep apnea
Sleep Apnea Consquences
Get involved! 

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 (contact us, we can send these to you).

  • Share our Sleep Apnea factsheets. Click here to go to our Factsheets page.

  • Add the SAAD Facebook Frame to your profile pic. Click here to find out how. 

  • Change your Facebook cover photo - download the image below. 

  • Follow our Facebook page and like, comment and share our posts/pics. This is the easiest way you can help raise awareness! Don’t forget to share them in your sleep apnea communities (eg: Facebook groups) too! This will help spread awareness of the SAAD.

  • If you are a sleep apnea related business you can print out our posters (see images above) and arrange a Sleep Apnea Awareness Day display - we can send you copies of our sleep apnea and related brochures free - contact us.

  • Share your story! Sharing your story is a powerful awareness raising tool. You can do that via your own social media, by contacting your local media, and by reaching out to online media and blogs. You can also share your story with us. We will add it to our website and share it on our social media. You can see examples of other stories below.

  • Send out a group email to all your contacts and attach some of our resources (factsheets, posters etc). Sleep apnea affects over 6 million Australians and many of them are undiagnosed so your email is sure to reach people who have sleep apnea and may not even know it.  

  • Contact your local media. Tell them about the SAAD and share our resources with them.

  • Organise an event or activity in your area* (see below).

  • 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 help us continue with the work that we do.

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*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 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

Facebook Cover Sleep Apnea Awareness Day
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

Do you have sleep apnea?

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


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.