Do you feel tired a lot? Maybe you’re just working out a lot, or not getting your recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night. It could also be your diet, your sedentary lifestyle, your little bit of extra weight, stress, a medication you’re taking, or even a disease like diabetes. But if you’re running through the list of reasons for feeling tired and not getting a match, have you considered that you may be suffering from one of the most common sleep disorders?
What Is A Sleep Disorder?
Basically, a sleep disorder is any condition that specifically affects the quality of your sleep – especially if it’s interfering with your normal daily activities.
Your sleep disorder may:
- Make it harder to fall asleep
- Make you extremely tired during the day
- Affect your activities, energy, mood, focus, and physical & mental health.
If that sounds like you and you’re out of ideas as to the cause, it’s time to seek a diagnosis so that your sleep disorders treatment can begin straight away. Left undiagnosed and untreated, sleep disorders commonly lead to a new raft of adverse health and lifestyle consequences that affects your job, your relationship, your happiness, and the day-to-day ‘normal’ activities of your life.
What Are The Most Common Sleep Disorders?
It may surprise you to learn that there are in excess of 80 sleep disorders, affecting no fewer than 10-30 percent of the population, and up to 50 percent of the older adult population. Among the most common sleep conditions are:
Even if you’re determined to fall asleep, and feeling tired all day from the previous restless night, those with insomnia – up to a third of the adult population – struggle to fall or remain asleep at least three times every week. According to the Sleep Foundation 1 “There are many causes of insomnia including stress, an irregular sleep schedule, poor sleeping habits, mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, physical illnesses and pain, medications, and neurological problems”. For many people, a combination of these factors can initiate and exacerbate insomnia.
Typical treatments: Lifestyle & medication changes, cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation techniques.
2. Restless Legs Syndrome
Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, the ‘restless legs’ sleep disorder is exactly that – the unpleasant urge to move your legs, typically starting in the evening and most uncomfortable in bed. Restless legs can interfere with the quality of your sleep and leave you sleepy and tired during the day.
Typical treatments: Symptom relief, treatment of associated medical condition, lifestyle changes, supplements & medication.
This is a serious neurological disorder that affects the way your brain controls the waking-sleeping cycle. It can result in daytime tiredness and hallucinations, muscle weakness or cataplexy, inconsistent, interrupted or paralytic sleep, and even falling asleep during the day – even when eating, driving or even talking. For more information visit the Australasian Sleep Association.
Typical treatments: Lifestyle changes and medications, including nervous system stimulants, amphetamines and anti-depressants.
4. Snoring & Sleep Apnoea
Almost all of us snore now and then, but when it’s coupled with sleep apnoea – when breathing frequently stops during sleep, often resulting in sleep interruptions up to hundreds of times every night – it can be extremely detrimental and even life-threatening. To know if you have sleep apnoea, take this sleep apnoea test.
Typical treatments: Often, losing a little weight or reducing alcohol intake can help considerably with sleep apnoea. The traditional treatment is a CPAP mask, which keeps positive pressure in the airway to prevent the throat from collapsing while asleep.
However, CPAP doesn’t work for everyone – and some people are unable to adjust to or tolerate this invasive treatment. A recent study2 looked at 82 published papers and found that “The rate of CPAP adherence remains persistently low over twenty years’ worth of reported data.”
Fortunately, custom made oral appliances are now proven3 to be as effective as the CPAP machine, yet far more comfortable and easy to use. The latest advances in custom made oral appliance technologies are incredibly exciting for patients and practitioners.
Oral appliances, worn in the mouth at night to correctly position the jaw and keep those airways open whilst asleep, are custom-fitted by SleepWise Clinic’s highly experienced dentists and manufactured right here in Melbourne with state of the art 3D digital technology and the highest quality materials. The best news of all, however, is that studies and research4 have shown that custom oral appliances contribute greatly to reduced or eliminated snoring and the effective management of all forms of sleep apnoea, even if severe.
Our oral appliances are also good for:
- Those who travel or go camping
- Use in conjunction with CPAP therapy (ie. allowing lower pressure)
- Keeping sleep apnoea treatment costs down.
Did you know you don’t need a referral to explore your options for a custom oral appliance here at SleepWise Clinic? Whether you need an oral appliance for snoring or an oral appliance for sleep apnoea, we have the right one for you!
Our friendly team of experienced sleep practitioners and dentists are always standing by to help – we can’t wait for your call!
2 Rotenberg, B., Murariu, D. and Pang, K. (2016) “Trends in CPAP adherence over twenty years of data collection: a flattened curve”, Journal of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, 45(1). doi: 10.1186/s40463-016-0156-0.
3 Phillips, C. et al. (2013) “Health Outcomes of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure versus Oral Appliance Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea”, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 187(8), pp. 879-887. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201212-2223oc.
4 Trzepizur, W. et al. (2021) “Health outcomes of continuous positive airway pressure versus mandibular advancement device for the treatment of severe obstructive sleep apnea: an individual participant data meta-analysis”, Sleep, 44(7). doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsab015.