Sleep Disorders Australia is excited to host Australia’s first ever Sleep Apnea Awareness Day (SAAD). There has been a SAAD in the US since 2013. It is held on April 18 to commemorate one of the milestones in sleep apnea. In June 1980 Australian doctor, Colin Sullivan first tested the idea that positive pressure, applied just through the nasal airway, could stop obstructive apnea. A year later on 18th April 1981 his paper “Reversal of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea by Continuous Positive Airway Pressure applied through the nares” was published in The Lancet. By 1985 the treatment of sleep apnea took a great leap forward with the development of CPAP for home use. There is however so much more to sleep apnea than the CPAP machine, indeed Dr Marshall, a clinical trials epidemiologist at the Woolcock Institute for Medical Research, University of Sydney has said that at least half of all patients seen in sleep clinics are unable to tolerate CPAP or an oral appliance. We want the Australian Sleep Apnea Awareness Day to be an inclusive event that everyone with sleep apnea can feel represents them.

The first annual Australian Sleep Apnea Awareness Day will be held on 5th May 2019. Please join us and help raise awareness of this potentially life threatening sleep disorder.

The theme for the 2019 SAAD is ‘Education’

It is our goal to raise awareness of all aspects of sleep apnea, including how it impacts a sufferer’s life. We also aim to dispel the myths associated with sleep apnea. It is estimated that as many as 26% of adults aged 30-70 years have obstructive sleep apnea. Contrary to popular belief, sleep apnea patients come in all shapes and sizes, not all sleep apnea sufferers snore, many are not obese or even overweight, and not all of them are male.

Stories by people with sleep apnea

Reading about similar experiences can be a tremendous encouragement to those who are wrestling with comparable issues. It’s proof that they are not alone. It also gives them hope. We would like to thank the people who have shared their stories with us. If you would like to add you story contact us at [email protected]

My CPAP and Sleep Apnoea Journey
"About four and a half years ago I went to my GP because I was feeling tired all the time and had no energy - this is where my saga began..." Karen's journey isn't your typical CPAP success story and it's not over yet... Read Karen's story here

CPAP was not the answer for me
"I was diagnosed with sleep apnea after a home study through my chemist. I saw the sleep specialist and the first thing he said was “right you won’t be able to drive and you will have to use a CPAP machine”. I know these doctors are not delivering news about a terminal illness but geez that’s a pretty big blow. Some compassion wouldn’t have gone astray..." Read Bob's story

My Journey
Whilst the CPAP machine was providing physical treatment – it kept my airways open so that I didn’t stop breathing while I slept, I started to realise some of my biggest challenges with sleep apnea was around my behaviour and habits and patterns I’d fallen into. As they say old habits die hard! I also knew that I needed to add in some new ones with regards to my treatment and lifestyle. Read Naomi's story here

Sleep Apnea Awareness Day – My Story

"A year ago my Cardiologist did a holter monitor screen to check my heart – I have a non-life threatening atrial arrhythmia. The results showed “something was going on” during my sleep, so he referred me for a sleep study. This was done at the amazing Sleep Clinic at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth. To my surprise I was diagnosed with moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)!! I had no idea... " Read Diana's story here

Posters to download and share:

Get involved!

What can you do to help raise awareness?
These are just some ideas:

• Share SAAD posts and pics on your social media with your family, friends and in your sleep apnea patient communities.

• Send out a group email to all your contacts including the SAAD media release or other information.

• Contact your local media, share the SAAD media release with them.

• Organise an event or activity in your area*.

• Hold a gold coin donation morning tea event at your place of work or with your community/social group* to raise awareness and funds to make the SAAD a bigger and better event next year!

*If you would like to hold and event/activity SDA can provide sleep apnea related brochures and our information booklets to you for free.

If you have an idea for the SAAD we would love to hear it. Contact us at [email protected]

If you would like to donate to the SAAD you can do so via this post. Click here

Do you have sleep apnea? Share your story

We would love to hear your story! It doesn’t matter how long ago you were diagnosed, what age or gender you are, or even if your sleep apnea is treated or not. It helps others to hear stories that they can relate to, it also helps us understand what issues people with sleep apnea face.

With approx half of all people diagnosed with sleep apnea struggling with CPAP and oral appliance therapy it is important to us that people realise that treatment for sleep apnea is not as hard as it may seem and that the benefits far outweigh the risks of untreated sleep apnea. One of the best ways we can do that is with the help of those that have found the right treatment for them and have come out the other side and are now living well and enjoying life.

Please consider sharing your story to encourage other sufferer on their journey and to help raise awareness. You can remain anonymous if you wish and if you need help putting your story together we are more than happy to assist. You can send your stories or drafts for us to edit/help write to [email protected]

If you are interested in being involved with the SAAD please contact us via [email protected] and let us know what skills you have and how you think you can help.

Download a copy of our Media Release
For more information and media inquiries contact Michelle Chadwick 0405 917 736 or [email protected]

Why not partner with us! Join us to help raise awareness of sleep apnea and in the process gain valuable exposure to your business.