sleep apnoea?

It is estimated that up to 30% of adults regularly snore, with 1 in 10 females
and 1 in 4 males actually having sleep apnoea.*

Do you have these symptoms?


Snoring is a common symptom reported by partners, but it can seriously affect your quality of life in many surprising ways. Snoring can be the first sign of Sleep Apnoea and when combined with pauses in breathing, the result can be dropping oxygen levels in your sleep. Just because you snore does not mean you have Sleep Apnoea, but combined with other symptoms and risk factors it can be worth looking into further.

Breathing Difficulty

Pauses in Breathing, Gasping and/or Choking: Witnessed pauses in breathing is the other tell tail sign of Sleep Apnoea that a partner may inform you of. This is caused by the upper airway around your throat either narrowing or closing completely when you lie down. This obviously will change your sleep dramatically, as each time this happens your body will take you out of deeper levels of sleep.

Frequent Bathroom Visits

When Sleep Apnoea is keeping you in lighter levels of sleep, people often find themselves needing to go to the toilet multiple times each night. Someone who does not have Sleep Apnoea is often in deeper levels of sleep during the night and will not feel the need to go until the morning.

Morning Headaches

Many Sleep Apnoea patients experience morning headaches regularly before they are diagnosed and treated. The headaches are thought to be related to the dropping oxygen levels throughout the night which can increase the chance of headaches.

Daytime Sleepiness

By now I’m sure you can imagine that if you are not breathing and sleeping properly at night resulting in restless sleep, you may be tired during the day. Many undiagnosed Sleep Apnoea patients are drowsy during the day and find themselves needing afternoon naps or falling asleep during regular activities like work, meetings and in the car.

Other Related Health Conditions

Sleep apnoea is associated with other health conditions including high blood pressure, obesity and type-2 diabetes.

What is Sleep Apnoea?

Sleep apnoea, or Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), happens when a person’s throat is partly or completely blocked while they are asleep. Normally, the muscles that control the upper airway relax during sleep. If they relax too much, the upper airway becomes narrow and people begin to snore. If the airways become too narrow, this may cause breathing difficulties. Sometimes the airway becomes completely blocked and the person stops breathing, this can last for 10 seconds or more. This is an apnoea.

The sufferer is often unaware of it happening, but will wake feeling tired. When your body senses that you’ve stopped breathing, a control centre in your brain triggers you to wake up just enough to gasp and start breathing again. Then you fall back to sleep and the cycle begins again – these apnoeas can happen over 50 times every hour.

Sleep apnoea is bad for your health

Apart from making you tired, being deprived of oxygen and constantly being shocked back into breathing puts immense strain on your body and can increase the risk of other life threatening conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Depression

Including report from Sleep Specialist

Our sleep study uses the Philips Alice Night One device seen in the below image. We start with a 20 minute appointment in-store to gather some basic information and demonstrate how to set up the device. You then sleep at home with the device which will monitor your sleep and then upon return the next day we will download the data and send to the sleep specialist for analysis. The detailed sleep study report is returned to us within two weeks and we will discuss the results with you in a 30-40 minute appointment. 

Our Sleep Study Reports are prepared and analysed by Sleep Physician – Dr Donald Lee BSc(Med) MBBS MMed FCCP FRACP. Dr Donald Lee is a consultant adult respiratory and sleep physician. He is the Practice Principal at Nepean Lung and Sleep that scores and endorses all APSS sleep tests. His clinical interests include assessment of sleepiness, sleep disordered breathing, complex sleep apnoea, COPD, asthma, pulmonary thromboembolic disease and lung cancer. Dr Lee graduated with honours from the University of NSW in 1999. He trained at the Royal North Shore Hospital and Concord Hospital before obtaining his Fellowship from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2008. Dr Lee obtained his Master of Medicine from the University of Sydney in 2005. He is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and a member of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Home Based Sleep Study

*1. Koskenvuo M, Kaprio J, Telakivi T, Partinen M, Heikkilä K, Sarna S. Snoring as a risk factor for ischaemic heart disease and stroke in men. BMJ (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:16–9. 4.
2. Young T, Palta M, Dempsey J, Skatrud J, Weber S, Badr S. The occurrence of sleep-disordered breathing among middle-aged adults. N Engl J Med 1993;328:1230–5. 5.
3. Bearpark H, Elliott L, Grunstein R, et al. Snoring and sleep apnea. A population study in Australian men. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1995;151:1459–65.

Sleep Survey

How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep during the following situations, in contrast to just feeling tired?

Even if you have not done some of these things recently, try to work out how they would have affected you.

Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation.

0 = Would never doze
1 = Slight chance of dozing
2 = Moderate chance of dozing
3 = High chance of dozing


Please enter your contact details and one of our pharmacists will be in touch.