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SLEEP CLINIC SYDNEY
Sleep Clinic Sydney is a convenient one-stop-centre for all sleep, insomnia & shift work-related issues. Arys Health offers Sleep Specialist Consultations, Teleconferences and diagnostic tests and a range of treatments for Sleep Disorders.
Are you suffering from a sleep disorder waking up and feeling tired all day? Find out if you have a sleep disorder by consulting our bulk billing sleep clinic sydney specialists. Book your consultation now!
Sleep Clinic Sydney
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is said to be present when you regularly find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep, generally longer than 30 minutes. It has several patterns:
- You may have trouble getting to sleep.
- Even if you can fall asleep, you might not be able to stay asleep for as long as you would.
- You may wake up during the night and be unable to go back to sleep for a long.
Many people have two of the above problems, or even all three. As a result, you might feel tired during the day.
Insomnia impacts on daily life causing:
- Lack of energy
- Poor performance at work
- Memory difficulties
- Concentration problems
Spending too much time in bed ‘trying to sleep’ will make your sleep worse.
What causes Insomnia?
Insomnia has many causes which can include:
- Some medicines and drugs, e.g. asthma or blood pressure medication, caffeine, alcohol or smoking.
- Chronic pain and other uncomfortable illnesses.
- Stress at work or in your personal life.
- A friend or loved one passing away.
- Anxiety and worrying, including worrying about not getting enough sleep.
- Another sleep problem.
Sometimes there is no clear cause for insomnia, in which case it is called primary insomnia.
How does it affect people?
You might feel that it’s harder to focus and remember things. Most people think their memory is worse than it really is. The same goes for concentration. Your risk of a traffic accident or other injury may be higher (see Drowsy Driving). Lack of sleep may cause you to be more emotional or experience depressed moods. Some people feel sleepy during the day, but this can be caused by many things (see Excessive Daytime Sleepiness).
How is is treated?
Treating insomnia reduces health risks and helps people feel better and more confident about their sleep.
Treatment depends on what is causing insomnia. For example:
- If poor sleep habits are the cause, then these need to be Your doctor or Sleep Coach can assist with improving your sleep habits.
- If your sleep habits seem to be okay but you are still having problems, then you may need more specialist help. A Sleep Coach and cognitive-behavioural therapy for insomnia has been shown to be more effective in the medium and long.
- Stress, depression and anxiety are best treated by specialists, but taking steps to improve your sleep can also help it.
- Sometimes sleep specialists will suggest a sleep study to be sure they understand what may be causing the poor sleep and to check for sleep apnooea.
What about sleeping pills?
If you only take them occasionally, sleeping pills can get you a good night’s sleep. However, if you take them often, you will get used to them and they will stop working as effectively. Also, they can be habit forming and it can then become difficult to stop taking them. Always speak to your doctor before starting or stopping medications.
Where and when should you seek help?
If you are having ongoing trouble sleeping, persistent problems with mood, restlessness in bed, severe snoring or wakening unrefreshed, make sure you see your doctor. Your GP can refer you to a sleep specialist or psychologist.
How can shift work affect my sleep?
If you work nightshift, it might not be easy to sleep enough or to sleep well during the day. If you start work early in the morning, it might be difficult to get enough sleep the night prior.
The average shift worker sleeps one hour a day less than someone who doesn’t work shifts. Some shift workers sleep up to four hours a day less than normal, but this is not common.
If I do shift work, Am I more likely to be tired while I am awake?
Shift workers often feel tired, both on and off the job. It may be harder to concentrate and be alert while at work. This means there is more danger of accidents at work and on the road, driving to and from work. Sleep loss impairs performance:
- 17 hours without sleep is as dangerous as having a blood alcohol content of 05%
- 24 hours without sleep is as dangerous as having a blood alcohol content of 08%
Why does this happen?
The human body is designed to be active during the day and rest at night. This rhythm is called the Circadian Rhythm. There are many body hormones that work to keep this in balance. It is not always easy to switch to being active at night and resting during the day.
What can I do about it?
Make time for enough sleep. Shift workers have to sleep when others are awake. Social and sporting events can sometimes be rearranged so that shift workers can still participate in these activities.
I am still having problems with my sleep, what should I do?
Contact your doctor at Arys Health who may refer you to a sleep specialist or a sleep coach.
Whatever your shift pattern, try to get enough sleep every day and keep a regular sleep routine.
- Try to sleep in peace! Others in the house need to respect the need to sleep. This may mean removing the telephone from the bedroom and having heavy carpet or curtains in the bedroom to help absorb any.
- Wearing ear plugs to bed and eye covers.
- A fan or “white noise” machine will help to muffle.
- Keep the bedroom cool and dark. Make sure there are no gaps in the sleep.
- Avoid caffeine, sleeping pills, alcohol or cigarettes few hours before going to bed.
- Take a nap before going to work.
- Some workers are allowed to take a break during their shift. This time can be used for a short nap.
What can my Employer do about it?
There are health and safety guidelines employers must adhere to. Also:
- Avoid back-to-back After working double or triple shifts, the problems only get worse and safety will be reduced. The rotating shifts where one delays the onset of start time, works better with the circadian rhythm. The body clock prefers the Earlies/Lates/Nights rotation over the advancing rotation, i.e.; Nights/ Lates/Earlies.
- Schedule the heaviest work that requires the most concentration during day
- Schedule breaks during night shifts. This allows tired workers to take a nap.
How long should a nap during a break be?
Fifteen minutes is best, avoid napping for any longer. When driving, pull over to a quiet spot and put the seat back. After the nap, walk around for five minutes to wake up properly before resuming other activities.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea(OSA)?
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a disorder where your breathing is interrupted during sleep. The reduced airflow limits oxygen supply to your body and disrupts your quality of sleep. Similar to snoring, OSA results from the relaxation of the muscles in the throat.
However, in OSA the collapse is complete and leads to additional health problems including higher blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.
Nearly 5% of the Australian adult population experiences symptoms of OSA.
TYPICAL SYMPTOMS OF OSA
- Loud snoring
- Waking up feeling un-refreshed
- A dry mouth, sore throat or headache in the morning
- Experience sleepiness and fatigue when awake
- Being overweight
Overnight symptoms are often more likely to be noticed by a partner. A person with OSA will snore and then there will be a pause in breathing which may last between 10 – 60 seconds, or longer. After each pause in breathing there will be a deep gasping or snoring noise which will be followed by a brief awakening as the person struggles to breathe. These awakenings are generally not remembered, but some people may remember waking with the sensation of choking. This cycle repeats itself, sometimes hundreds of times a night. Often the person with untreated OSA wakes up feeling like they are ‘hungover’. They may also feel sleepy during the day which can make it difficult to concentrate and function. Forgetfulness, irritability, anxiety, depression and other personality changes are all common conditions associated with OSA. Other symptoms may include impotence or reduced libido, excessive perspiration during sleep, and increased frequency of urination at night.
If I snore, Do I have OSA?
Snoring is a common sign of OSA, however it is important to remember that not everyone who snores has OSA. Only an overnight sleep test (polysomnography) can detect and confirm the presence of OSA. You should speak to your GP if you have any symptoms that bother you or your partner.
Who gets Obstructive Sleep Apnoea(OSA)?
OSA can occur in people of all ages but most commonly in middleaged males. It is strongly linked to being overweight, particularly in people with large necks and stomachs. In people who are not overweight, it is likely that they have been born with a narrow airway or facial structure which leads to a narrow airway.
In women, the incidence of OSA particularly increases after menopause. Daytime problems are typically tiredness rather than severe sleepiness.
In childhood, OSA most commonly occurs as a result of obesity, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, or from some facial bone abnormality.
In certain ethnic groups, such as people from Asian backgrounds, it is more linked to facial structure than obesity. Snoring and OSA is also strongly linked to family history – a snorer is likely to have parents who were snorers.
Why is it important to treat OSA?
OSA can have dangerous consequences because the person is fatigued during the daytime. It is easy to fall asleep or lose concentration while driving or using heavy machinery.
Research has shown that people with untreated OSA are two to five times more likely to have a motor vehicle accident than someone without OSA. OSA also reduces work productivity and can impair clear thinking and memory.
How do you treat OSA?
Once you have had an overnight sleep test and your sleep specialist confirms you have OSA, there are a variety of treatment options which may be used individually or in combination:
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy uses a mask worn during sleep which pumps air through the nose to keep the upper airway open
- Dental devices (Mandibular Advancement Splints) to hold the jaw forward
- Surgery to widen or stiffen the airway
- Lifestyle changes such as weight loss
How can we help you?
If you are concerned about your sleep, speak to your doctor who will be able to refer you to our expert clinicians. At ARYS HEALTH we can make an appointment for you to see a sleep specialist, have a sleep test or learn more about the best treatment to suit your needs.