Sleep apnoea is a debilitating disease affecting about one in twenty Australians (among the overweight, this rate is much higher). Apnoea means literally ‘to stop breathing’, and this is what happens to patients with sleep apnoea: the airway between their lungs and mouth collapses while they sleep, obstructing their breathing. This can happen up to hundreds of times each night.
Fortunately, your body’s subconscious response is to wake up, forcing you to breathe for a few seconds before falling back asleep. Unfortunately, while this keeps you alive in the short term, it has a devastating effect in the long-term. Left untreated, sleep apnoea results in broken, interrupted sleep patterns, preventing your body from getting the benefits of proper sleep.