SDA Fact Sheets


Sleep Disorders Australia (SDA) Fact Sheets

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.

Here is a quick summary of each Fact Sheet.  Click here to visit the SDA website to download any of these fact sheets.

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, then CPAP is the most successful treatment.  Almost all sleep doctors will suggest you try CPAP before resorting to other treatments.

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.

Drowsy Driving   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!

Good Night's Sleep   The most common sleep complaints are not being able to get enough sleep (insomnia) and not getting refreshing or good quality sleep (a sleep disorder).  So how do you know if you have a problem?  What is normal?

Insomnia   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   Narcolepsy is an uncommon but very debilitating sleep disorder. Usually the most worrying aspect of narcolepsy for the sufferer is uncontrollable sleepiness during the day.

Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea    For patients with mild to moderate OSA who don't tolerate CPAP well, oral appliances offer an alternative.  Also called Mandibular Advancement Devices, these mouth guards reposition the jaw to enlarge the airway space during sleep.

Restless Legs and PLMS  If you suffer from unpleasant creeping sensations or your legs twitch during the night you may have Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) or Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep (PLMS). In PLMS the movements occur only during sleep whereas in RLS the sensations occur while you are awake.

Shift Work   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 (OSA) occurs when the airway collapses during sleep. The person with OSA may have hundreds of episodes during the night, disrupting their sleep and starving the body of vital oxygen.

Sleep Apnea - Central (CSA)   About 10% of patients with sleep apnea have central sleep apnea (CSA). When there is no airflow but there is effort to breathe, the apnea is called “Obstructive”. When there is no airflow but there is no respiratory effort the apnea is called “Central”.

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.

Sleep Hygiene   Sleep hygiene is a term used to describe good sleep habits, that is things you can do to give yourself the best chance of a good refreshing sleep. Here are some "Dos" and "Don'ts" that might help you to get a good night's sleep.

Sleep Study   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   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.

Travelling With CPAP   CPAP treatment relies on a power source.  This sheet has useful information for travelling with your equipment on a plane, or in foreign countries, and how to take your CPAP camping.


Important Note:

SDA Fact Sheets are copyright and may not be reproduced or used in any other way without the permission of Sleep Disorders Australia.


Sleep Disorders Australia (SDA)

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SDA is a voluntary group offering assistance and support to those persons and their families who are living with sleep disorders throughout Australia.

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Last updated 8th November 2018