Why is sleep important?
Difficulty sleeping or breathing can result in a poor quality of life, increased morbidity and even mortality. And many sleep disorders are connected to cardiovascular disease (CVD).
In 2010 an estimated 1.5 million Australians aged 20 or over had sleep disorders.
What are the common symptoms of sleep disorders?
We all lead busy lives these days so getting enough restful sleep is essential. Sleep disorders can limit the amount and quality of sleep you get.
If you have one or more of the following symptoms, it’s possible you may have a sleep disorder. Ask your GP for a referral to your GenesisCare sleep centre and ask about your symptoms.
Excessive daytime sleepiness despite a ‘good’ night’s sleep
Irritability or mood changes
Poor concentration or memory
Passing urine frequently during the night
Impotence / loss of libido
How can I improve my sleep environment?
- Go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning
- Refrain from taking naps during the day
- Go to bed only when you are drowsy
- Avoid caffeine within six hours of bedtime
- Avoid the use of nicotine close to bedtime or during the night
- Avoid alcohol within six hours of bedtime
- Obtain regular exercise, but avoid strenuous exercise four hours before bedtime
- Avoid eating a heavy meal late in the day
- Minimise light, noise and extreme temperatures in the bedroom
- Follow a routine to help you relax before sleep. Read a book, listen to music, or take a bath
- Avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep or sex
- Try making a to-do list before you go to bed. This will prevent “Worry Time”
- Avoid clock watching
- If you are unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, leave your bedroom and engage in a quiet activity elsewhere. Do not permit yourself to fall asleep outside the bedroom. Return to bed when – and only when – you are sleepy. Repeat this process as often as necessary throughout the night.