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Wake-up call for poor sleep

Kelly Snow is keen to check out the sleep disorder stall at the Tweed Seniors Expo.
Kelly Snow is keen to check out the sleep disorder stall at the Tweed Seniors Expo. Blainey Woodham

DO you ever find yourself still tired after a full night's sleep?

If so, you could be among the 24 per cent of Australians who suffer from sleep disorders.

Fortunately, Sleep Disorders Australia national chairman Joe Soda will be on hand this Thursday at the Tweed Seniors Expo to discuss problems and treatments.

The Expo will run from 9am to 3pm at the Seventh Day Adventist Centre on Racecourse Road, Murwil- lumbah.

Murwillumbah's Kelly Snow, who displays her hand-made dolls at the Expo each year, said she will definitely check out the sleep-disorder information booth.

“I find it hard to get a good night's sleep,” Mrs Snow said. “I look at the clock every hour.”

Mr Soda's Sleep Disorder and Sleep Hygiene presentation will be at 10am in room six.

“I will be talking about being aware of sleep disorders and what to do about them,” Mr Soda said.

“Specifically sleep apnoea and insomnia.”

Sleep apnoea - pauses in breathing during sleep - is a condition that affects five per cent of males,” Mr Soda said.

“Some people can stop breathing from sleep apnoea up to 100 times a night, for up to a minute.

“They wake up thinking they've had seven hours sleep and wonder why they're still tired.”

During these periods, Mr Soda said, oxygen levels drop to a very low and dangerous level, putting a lot more stress on the person's body.

“People with sleep apnoea have more chance of having a stroke, diabetes or a heart attack,” he said.

This is in line with new research released yesterday that discovered sleep apnoea sufferers who snore may be severely impairing their brain function

Researchers at the University of NSW Brain Sciences department have found the changes in brain biochem- istry linked to obstructive sleep apnoea are similar to changes evident in people who have “had a severe stroke or who are dying”.

Mr Soda said more people are now becoming aware of the condition, but he stressed people also need to know it's not just older people who suffer.

“Younger people and even children can have sleep apnoea,” Mr Soda said.

“The symptoms are snoring and stopping breathing during sleep.

“Of course the person themselves can't tell, but their partner can.”

There are a few different treatments, Mr Soda said, but the most common is using a sleep-apnoea machine.

“CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machines are fairly simple to use, and I will have a couple on display at the Tweed Seniors Expo.”

Mr Soda will also talk about maintaining good sleep hygiene, which includes having a good bed and quiet place to sleep and regu- larly cleaning sleep equipment, such as a CPAP machine.

Free shuttle buses will run between the expo and Sunnyside in Murwillumbah on Thursday. Bookings are essential for buses from Tweed, West Tweed, Bilambil, Terranora and the Tweed Coast. To book phone (02) 6670 2674.

For further information contact Kristen Forster on (02) 6670 2527 or email kforster@tweed.nsw.gov.au



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