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Curing curse of tiredness

Violet Savona has found a new lease on life after managing her sleep apnoea.
Violet Savona has found a new lease on life after managing her sleep apnoea. JoJo Newby

QUALITY rather than quantity is what makes a good night's rest says sleep apnoea patient Violet Savona.

For years the crafts-person and artist battled constant tiredness without ever realising it was her poor sleeping patterns that were behind it.

"I had quite a few illnesses and so I thought it was that making me tired," she said.

"But when I was recovering from them, the tiredness stayed and it didn't seem to matter how long I slept, I was still tired during the day."

It had a devastating effect on her life, making driving long distances impossible and caused her to become depressed.

"It was so frustrating. I slept longer trying to get the rest I needed, but that left less time in the day to do things," Ms Savona said.

"I couldn't do anything like read a book because I just nodded off as soon as I started to read.

"Eventually when you're frustrated like that it leads to you becoming depressed."

Ms Savona's lucky break came when she described her symptoms to her GP.

"He guessed it might be sleep apnoea and he referred her to a sleep clinic in Brisbane," she said.

You would have to be sleeping badly to think the practices in a sleep clinic could help.

Clinicians wire you up to machines and monitor your sleep patterns through the night.

If they think you have a problem you get another night in the clinic, this time hooked up to a machine which helps you breathe while you're asleep.

This was a revelation to Ms Savona, who awoke after a night in the clinic feeling more alert and alive than she could remember.

"Finding out what problem I had was a huge relief," she said.

"That was the first stage in overcoming my depression."

 

SLEEP ENEMIES

  •  Daytime stress
  •  Alcohol and drugs
  •  Shiftwork
  •  Eating late at night
  •  Sleep during the day
  •  Reading screens
  •  Exercising close to bedtime.
  •  Bedroom has too much light
  •  Offputting smells

Topics:  health, sleep, sleep apnoea, stress

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