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Sleep Apnea Awareness Day – May 5, 2023

Sleep Apnoea Awareness Day is observed annually in Australia on May 5. This holiday, as its name reveals, is centered on creating awareness about sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder that affects a person’s breathing during sleep. This disorder was discovered fairly recently and is not well-known to many people. Many people suffering from sleep apnoea may not be aware that the condition exists. Therefore, Sleep Apnoea Awareness Day helps to create widespread awareness and provide useful information to people.

History of Sleep Apnea Awareness Day

Sleep apnoea is a disorder in which a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts while they are asleep. Symptoms of sleep apnoea include snoring, insomnia, fatigue, drowsiness, dry mouth, sore throat, crankiness, difficulty concentrating, gasping or choking after suddenly waking, headaches, depression, night sweats, and sexual dysfunction. Some of these symptoms may go unnoticed by the person suffering from sleep apnoea but might be noticed by the individual’s bed partner.

Three types of sleep apnoea have been identified by medical experts, which are obstructive sleep apnoea, central sleep apnoea, and complex sleep apnoea syndrome. Several factors may lead to sleep apnoea, which includes nasal congestion, lax muscles in the throat and mouth, or underlying neurological problems. These, in turn, may result from genetics, obesity, large or swollen tonsils, thyroid problems or colds, and allergies.

Though no cure has been found for sleep apnoea, the symptoms can be treated with various techniques, depending on the severity of the situation. For mild cases, small lifestyle adjustments may be enough. Doctors might merely recommend going on a weight loss program, improving one’s diet, or quitting smoking. For moderate to severe cases, instead, doctors may suggest using a continuous positive airway pressure (C.P.A.P.) machine. This machine, through the help of a nose mask, supplies constant and steady air pressure to aid breathing while asleep. Other solutions include surgery and the use of dental appliances. Because sleep apnoea is not well-known, Sleep Apnoea Awareness Day is a good opportunity to bring attention to and provide more information to the public.

Sleep Apnea Awareness Day timeline

1800s
Pickwickian Syndrome is Discovered

Sleep apnoea is discovered to be a similar disease to ‘Pickwickian Syndrome’ or Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome.

1965
The Cause of Sleep Apnoea is Found

Researchers pin down the cause of sleep apnoea.

1980
C.P.A.P. is Invented

The continuous airway pressure machine (C.P.A.P.) is invented by Colin Sullivan, an Australian physician.

2019
The First Observance

Sleep Apnoea Awareness Day is observed for the first time in Australia.

Sleep Apnea Awareness Day FAQs

How many hours of sleep is essential?

Adults require about seven to eight hours of sleep, teenagers need about nine hours and infants need about 16 hours of sleep.

What happens if one doesn’t get enough sleep?

In the short term, a person may experience moodiness and drowsiness, but in the long term, serious health complications could develop as a result of sleep deprivation.

How many times do people roll over in their sleep?

The average person may move up to 40 times per night.

How to Observe Sleep Apnea Awareness Day

  1. Educate others

    On this day, spread awareness about sleep apnoea by sharing your knowledge with someone around you. Tell them a little of what you know about the disorder and maybe they have some related experiences to share with you too.

  2. Donate

    Donate to a sleep apnoea awareness campaign and join others in fighting the good fight. Your donations will make a positive impact on their efforts.

  3. Use the hashtag

    We need to get this information to a wider audience. Share a post about sleep apnoea on social media and use the hashtag #sleepapnoeaawareness.

5 Important Facts About Sleep

  1. Older people dream differently

    Research proves that in comparison to young people, older people dream in black and white more often.

  2. Deaf people sign in their sleep

    Deaf people often use sign language in their sleep.

  3. Hypnic jerks are normal

    Involuntary muscle twitching is normal when falling and is referred to as ‘hypnic jerks.’

  4. Sleep is vital

    According to research, sleep is very important as a person is more likely to die from sleep deprivation than from food deprivation.

  5. Humans sleep a whole lot

    The average human spends about one-third of his/her life sleeping.

Why Sleep Apnea Awareness Day is Important

  1. Awareness is spread

    Sleep Apnoea Awareness Day provides useful information about a disorder that is rarely discussed. This may be because few people are even aware it exists. Thanks to this holiday, more people will continue to be knowledgeable.

  2. Lives could be improved

    Ignorance about a disorder often produces negative consequences. People cannot receive treatment until they realize that a problem exists. Sleep Apnoea Awareness Day is important for preventing one’s health from deteriorating.

  3. Awareness destroys misconceptions

    Having the right information about this illness helps to tear down fallacies leading to wrong diagnoses and treatment methods. Creating awareness is essential in providing people with correct, scientifically-proven information.

Sleep Apnea Awareness Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 5Friday
2024May 5Sunday
2025May 5Monday
2026May 5Tuesday
2027May 5Wednesday

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