Sleep problems are a major cause of economic loss. According to studies, they result in an estimated $4.3 billion in indirect costs to the economy, costs that come from lost productivity, workplace injuries, car accidents, and more. To counter this, the Cooperative Research Center (CRC) for Alertness, Safety, and Productivity–headed by Monash University in conjunction with the University of Sydney, other universities, and industry partners–will be moving forward with an output-oriented, multidisciplinary research program aimed at reducing sleep disorders.

Shift Work, Electric Lights, and Other Disturbances

Researchers note that the incidence of sleep disturbance in Australia continues to grow, influenced by many factors. Shift work is one of the biggest causes of sleep disturbance, with as much as 16% of all shift workers suffering from significant effects of sleep disturbance.

Electric lights are also to blame for sleep disturbance. Sensitivity to the day-night cycle is one of the most basic elements of our body’s internal clock, and the one that has been most profoundly affected by the advent of electric lights. Even when lights are off in our homes, street lights and gadgets like electric clocks still illuminate our sleeping spaces, making it hard for people to get good, restful sleep.

Sleep Apnoea Should Be Studied

Although researchers do not note that sleep apnoea is on the list of CRC research projects, it should be. Sleep apnoea is one of the most prevalent and dangerous types of sleep disturbance. It may affect as much as 25% of all men and 9% of women in Australia. It has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and the type of events that the CRC focuses on. This includes daytime sleepiness, loss of motivation, and car and workplace accidents.

Fortunately, we already know that there are good treatments to correct problems associated with sleep apnoea. Oral appliance therapy and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) are both effective sleep apnoea treatments that can reduce the effects of sleep apnoea on a person’s sleep and productivity.

To learn more about your sleep apnoea treatment options in the Sydney area, please contact David Lee Dentist.