May 2014

Sleep Apnoea Got Your Tongue?

If you notice that you wake up with blood in your mouth or cuts on your tongue, you may have been chewing your tongue during your sleep. Often patients who are mouth breathers are highly susceptible to Sleep Apnoea and often wake up regularly throughout the night. These spontaneous arousals often result in movement of the mouth, sometimes clenching of the jaw or grinding of the teeth, So before you patch up your tongue and tape down your mouth, come into Sleep Centres of Australia and get tested using a Home Sleep Study device. For more information, contact our Sleep Respiratory Therapists on 02 9252 6144.

A tip to keep your CPAP mask clean

Have you just had a cold and use a CPAP machine? You might be tempted to wash your mask in disinfectant? Think again - don't wash your mask in disinfectant as this will deteriorate the silicon it is made from. The best thing to do is to use a diluted solution of vinegar: one part vinegar to nine parts water. This will ensure that you get the most out of your mask and use it for the full length of its life. The soft silicon mask surface is soft for your comfort, but remember, if a mask is too old or worn out, it can leak. If it has been twelve months, maybe it is time for a mask check-up. Ring Sleep Centres of Australia on 02 9252 6144 to book in your free mask check-up.

Feels like a keg of beer is sitting on your chest? Sleep Apnoea gets worse with drinking.

As a Medical Scientist, I know that one or two glasses of wine a night is good for the heart, as is two pieces of chocolate a day and going for a brisk walk. If you suffer from Sleep Apnoea, you are more likely to get a hangover after a couple of glasses of wine. This is because even if you are being treated with CPAP, the alcohol relaxes your muscles even more than usual, and your airway starts to collapse. If you wake up feeling like all of your Apnoeic symptoms have returned after a big night, it is best to blame the alcohol, and not the CPAP device. As someone who likes their wine, and knows sleep studies (polysomnography) very well, we are not going to change your routine overnight. That is why we say that during the sleep study to do everything you would normally do. Include one or two glasses of wine if that is what you routinely do. Because even though you have a diagnosis, it is highly unlikely you will change multiple behaviours all at onece to improve your health. We just want you to fous on the one behaviour - compliance with using a CPAP device. Please contact us on 02 9252 6144 for more information.