Sleep disorders are common and are often unaddressed. They are associated with a wide range of symptoms, including snoring, breathing disturbances in sleep, recurrent wake periods overnight, difficulty falling asleep, unrefreshing sleep, daytime fatigue and sleepiness. Some sleep disorders are associated with significant long term health risks, e.g. obstructive sleep apnoea can cause hypertension; worsen diabetes control; impair weight loss; cause cardiac arrhythmias; and increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. There is a higher mortality with some sleep disorders.
Symptoms of sleep disorders can be non-specific and do not necessarily indicate particular sleep conditions. The third edition of the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD-3) includes seven major categories of sleep disorders (American Academy of Sleep Medicine).
● Sleep-related breathing disorders
● Other sleep disorders
Snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea are examples of “Sleep-related breathing disorders”. Narcolepsy is an example of a “Central disorder of hypersomnolence”. Sleep walking is a “parasomnia”. Restless legs syndrome is a “Sleep-related movement disorder”. All of these conditions present differently and can have big impacts on sleep and how people manage during the day.
An accurate diagnosis is very important when managing sleep disorders. This diagnosis takes in to account the sleep symptom history, a physical examination, often the results of investigations (such as a sleep study), and the patients other health issues (such as medications and cardiac conditions). Good management then involves an explanation of all these elements and understanding the patients’ needs to determine the most appropriate and best medical treatment for a patient. For example, there are a range of therapies for obstructive sleep apnoea, including weight loss, surgical treatments, oral appliances and CPAP therapy, not all of which are suitable for every patient.
Sydney Sleep Centre has Specialist Sleep Physicians that can expertly assess your symptoms, conduct a physical examination (which may include endoscopic assessment of the nasal airway and throat), order appropriate tests and then discuss the most suitable snoring treatments for any sleep disorder. Treatments can be provided on site in a convenient and co-ordinated manner by a range of experienced health providers (e.g. CPAP Therapists, Dentists, Psychologists).