Sleep and well-being go hand in hand. There’s nothing more annoying than feeling desperately tired and not being able to fall asleep or staying asleep. In conjunction with Sleep Awareness Week, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about our Sleep Study Unit at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Werribee. Our sleep study unit in Werribee is the only sleep study facility in Wyndham. We have patients with all sorts of sleep disorders come into our state-of-the-art hospital to be evaluated and diagnosed.

Sleep disorders are conditions that affect the ability to sleep well on a regular basis. Whether they are caused by a health problem or by too much stress, sleep disorders are becoming more common. Signs you may have a sleep disorder include persistent difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep, irregular breathing or movement during sleep, and feeling tired and having a strong urge to nap during the day.

There are a myriad of sleep disorders that we are able to diagnose through our sleep study. Sleep study is a non-invasive, overnight observation that allows our Sleep Scientist to monitor what’s happening in a patient’s brain and body and measure things such as eye movements, oxygen levels in your blood, breathing rates, snoring, and body movements.

Some well-known disorders include Insomnia, Restless Legs Syndrome, Parasomnias (sleep walking, nightmares, teeth grinding or jaw clenching) and our most common by far is obstructive Sleep Apnoea.

Treatment for sleep disorders can vary depending on the type of disorder, but generally includes a combination of medical treatments and lifestyle changes. Medical treatment for sleep disturbances might include medication for underlying sleep and health issues, breathing device (CPAP or mouth guard) or occasionally surgery.

St Vincent’s Private Hospital Werribee is progressively attracting more and more sleep physicians and patients. Currently six leading sleep physicians refer to us from all parts of Melbourne, including A/Prof Neil Smith, the first respiratory and sleep physician to provide this service in the Western suburbs.

A/Prof Smith specialises in bronchoscopy, COPD, asthma, chronic cough, obstructive sleep apnoea, men’s health and veteran’s health. As A/Prof Smith sees it: “The most satisfying part of my job is making tired, frustrated and often grumpy people, happier. My patients greatly appreciate what I do for them which makes it a rewarding area of medicine.”

Speak to your GP for more information and a referral. A/Prof Neil Smith is located at Port Phillip Respiratory and Sleep Clinic, 218 Heaths Road Hoppers Crossing 3029. To make an appointment call 9749 4699.