Dr John Malouf is warning of the dangers of lack of sleep ahead of Sleep Awareness Week.
Dr John Malouf is warning of the dangers of lack of sleep ahead of Sleep Awareness Week. Daniel McKenzie

Wake up: GP says don’t sleep on signs

A LOCAL general practitioner is tackling snoring ahead of Sleep Awareness Week by encouraging people to wake up to the dangers of a lack of sleep and snoring.

Sleep Awareness Week, which runs from July 4-10 is an initiative by the Sleep Health Foundation to raise awareness of the common sleep disorder, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) and the importance of seeking treatment.

SleepGP founder and Coolangatta Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon Dr John Malouf said Sleep Awareness Week was vital in educating the community on the signs and dangers of the sleep disorder.

“We sleep on average two hours less a night than our grandparents did and the quality of our sleep is often poor,” he said.

“OSA is a dangerous disorder that can have adverse effects if it is not managed successfully.

“It does not just effect your quality of sleep and day-to-day life, but increases the risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.”

While OSA is more common with middle-aged and older people and the obese, Dr Malouf said men, women and children of all ages were at risk and warning signs can vary.

“OSA doesn’t discriminate against any one type of person and sufferers come from all walks of life,” he said.

“Sufferers need to look out for other warning signs, which include choking during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, insomnia, fatigue and depression.

“In females, symptoms are not necessarily snoring, and the three main symptoms may be insomnia, daytime fatigue and depression.

“It’s also important for men to realise that being tired throughout the day is not normal and that one night’s sleep should be sufficient for one day’s wakefulness.”

Dr Malouf said it was important to acknowledge warning signs and get checked out immediately.

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