Are you struggling to sleep through these hot summer nights? With nighttime temperatures hanging around the mid to late 20s it is important to keep your body cool this summer and maintain a regular body temperature between 36.5 degrees to 37.5 degrees Celsius. When your body temperature goes above this optimal temperature, your body clock can go out of sync making it difficult to fall and remain asleep.

Fortunately, there are some simple solutions to try to give yourself the refreshing sleep you need. Read on to discover how to beat the heat and get a better night’s sleep.

Cool down your body

  • Stay away from caffeinated drinks or hot beverages before bed.
  • Remain hydrated by drinking water.
  • Have a cold or lukewarm shower before bed.
  • Wear light-weight cotton.
  • Keep a damp washcloth or spray bottle close by.

Stay cool in bed

  • Invest in high quality cotton bedding and reduce the number of layers you sleep under.
  • Cuddling your partner is incredibly fine. However, do keep in mind that you and your partner will be absorbing each other’s body heat if you are sleeping skin to skin. Look to putting some space between you and your partner during the hotter nights.
  • Cool your bedding by putting sheets in a plastic bag and into the freezer just before you go to bed.
  • Keep your feet and hands out of the covers to allow the heat to be released.

Create a cool bedroom

  • Close up windows and keep blinds drawn during the day.
  • Keep the air conditioner set in the low 20s.
  • Allow for air circulation by opening the windows when the temperature drops in the evening.
  • Set up a fan in one corner of the room to allow for optimal air flow when you sleep.

Following a few of these solutions should help you achieve a better and much cooler night’s sleep. If you are still struggling to fall asleep or you aren’t having a quality night’s sleep no matter how hard you have tried, you may be suffering from sleep apnoea, which is a common and serious sleep disorder that blocks your upper airway and causes breathing to stop during sleep. Dr Levi is a snoring and sleep apnoea specialist with over 20 years’ experience. Dr Levi’s Sleep Clinic uses the latest technological advancements to offer customised solutions that work. Don’t waste another night of sleep – call Dr Levi on (02) 9283 1900 or book a consultation today.

 

 

Read More

We all know the drill. We feel sick, we go to the doctor, we get a blood test and we find out what’s wrong with us so we can receive treatment. But is this process actually giving us the whole picture? As science continues to reveal the plethora of ways in which sleep quality affects our health, doctors are increasingly choosing to send patients for a sleep study in addition to (or instead of) a blood test. The results often reveal that symptoms are being caused by a sleep disorder, and the patient is referred to a sleep specialist to receive a customised treatment plan.

Here are five common complaints that should be further explored by undergoing a sleep study:

Fatigue

Everybody feels tired sometimes, but feeling a bone deep weariness, an eternal fogginess that never seems to lift is not normal. Far too often, when the cause of the fatigue does not show up in a blood test, patients are mistakenly diagnosed with depression. While depression is one cause of extreme fatigue, it is not always to blame. Anybody who is experiencing unexplained fatigue should undergo a sleep study, as one of the most common causes is sleep apnoea – a condition where breathing stops intermittently during sleep, depriving the brain of oxygen.

Weight Management Problems or Obesity

Weight management can be very complicated and there can be myriad factors which cause a person to gain excessive weight. However, if you are struggling with persistent weight management issues despite making a concerted effort to lose weight, a sleep disorder may be to blame. Those suffering sleep apnoea experience a disruption to their hormones which affects the metabolism as well as inhibiting feelings of satiety. This is a toxic combination which causes excessive hunger while also slowing down the body’s ability to metabolise the energy consumed. Sleep apnoea can only be diagnosed through a sleep study, making it an essential diagnostic tool for those struggling with their weight.

High Blood Pressure

There is an extremely strong link between heart disease, high blood pressure and sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea causes the heart to work overtime to try to deliver oxygen to the brain, putting a strain on the cardiac system. Once sleep apnoea has been identified through a sleep study, treatment can begin almost immediately, relieving the strain on the heart and drastically improving cardiac health.

Snoring

Snoring is the most obvious symptom of a sleep disorder, yet surprisingly many sufferers never think to tell their doctor about their snoring, or undergo a sleep study. There is a common misperception that snoring is ‘normal’ and not a health issue requiring treatment. If snoring is infrequent and mild, it probably doesn’t pose a health risk, but anybody snores more than once a week should be aware that this is not normal and may indicate a serious health disorder. Snoring is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnoea, which can impact weight, mood, heart health and many other aspects of wellbeing. All habitual snorers should ask their GP about getting a sleep study, or seek a consultation with a sleep specialist.

Sex Drive and Relationships

Tiredness is one of the most common causes of a reduced sex drive, especially in men. Sleep deprivation (which can occur even without you realising) can lead to a drop in testosterone and consequently, a drop in sex drive. Improving sleep quality will boost HGH levels and testosterone and will work wonders for your sex life.

The snoring caused by sleep apnoea can also cause serious damage to relationships, as the sound usually disturbs the sufferers sleep partner, sometimes even forcing them to sleep in a separate room. Sleep apnoea treatment drastically reduces snoring and has been shown to have an incredibly positive effect on countless relationships.

Sleep disorders are the hidden cause for many serious health issues and can only be diagnosed through a specialised sleep test. More often than not, suffers have no idea that they are not getting adequate sleep. This is because sleep apnoea causes the body to stop breathing and briefly wake up multiple times throughout the night. These tiny awakenings are usually not remembered by the sufferer, so they will have the impression that they slept throughout the night, despite often feeling tired when they wake in the morning. The good news is, once identified, there are many highly effective treatments which can deliver drastic improvements almost immediately.

While your GP may refer you for a sleep study, you do not need a referral to undergo a sleep study. Dr Levi offers at-home sleep studies that allow you to sleep in your own bed while undergoing the test, rather than spending the night in the hospital.

Find out more about our sleep tests or call us on 9283 1900 to book a consultation with Dr Levi.

Read More

In August this year, Dr Levi packed up his bags and flew across the world to Florida to attend a conference of some of the world’s experts in laser snoring technology. Spurred on by his passion for discovering new technologies and treatment methodologies, Dr Levi jumped at the opportunity to enhance his expertise in the use of the revolutionary NightLase laser snoring treatment system. While Dr Levi had been impressed by the great results was already getting with NightLase in successfully alleviating snoring and sleep apnoea for many of his patients, he was eager to discover if these results could be improved on even further.

The conference was led by the laser snoring legend, Harvey Schiffman, who developed the training protocol for the NightLase system and is also the chief trainer for Fontana Laser (the manufacturer of the NightLase laser). Once Dr Levi got over his excitement at being in the presence of a laser-dentistry celebrity, he got fixed into learning as much as he could about the NightLase system. Across the world, there are currently 4-8 different techniques being employed to deliver the NightLase laser snoring treatment, but these techniques vary in their efficacy. The technique with the best results is the one designed by Dr Harvey Schiffman in collaboration with Fontana and Dr Levi was personally instructed on this technique by Dr Shiffman himself.

Returning to Australia, armed with his newly enhanced skills and knowledge about the NightLase laser snoring treatment system, Dr Levi has begun implementing the new technique and has been incredibly impressed with the results. There are currently just 10 NightLase machines in Australia and Dr Levi is currently the only practitioner in the country who has been trained by Dr Schiffman, meaning he is the only one using the most effective technique and getting the best results from laser snoring treatments. While the popularity of laser-based treatments is currently exploding, this has unfortunately resulted in many non-specialised clinics offering laser snoring treatments in addition to a range of other cosmetic laser treatments, without having the necessary knowledge and expertise in sleep medicine. This has resulted in many snoring and sleep apnoea sufferers paying to receive a treatment which is ineffective and not appropriate for their unique circumstances.

Dr Levi’s 20 years of experience in sleep medicine means that he uses a rigorous medical method, and he never uses a “one size fits all” approach. He only uses the NightLase laser on patients who are good candidates for the treatment and who are likely to experience great results. If he thinks a patient would be better served by using a MAS, CPAP or another snoring treatment, he will recommend that course of treatment instead of the laser.

That being said, Dr Levi is very excited about the opportunities that laser snoring treatment opens up for his eligible patients. This treatment is delivering great results and it works by simply stimulating the body’s natural collagen, meaning it does not cut, remove tissue, leave a scar or hurt the patient at all, and doesn’t require any anesthetic or down time. To book a consultation and find out if you are a good candidate for laser snoring treatment, call Dr Levi’s Sleep Clinic on (02) 9283 1900.

 

nightlase-smoothlase-conference

Read More

It’s that time of year again where we get to leave work while the sun is still shining and save on our electricity bills. The clocks will go forward by an hour on Sunday 2nd October at 2am so that we get an extra hour of light in the evening. While daylight savings can have plenty of benefits, it can also wreak havoc with our sleep cycle. Daylight savings can have an effect similar to mild jet lag, as our internal clock is powered by melatonin which is stimulated by sunlight, meaning we often don’t quite feel ourselves for the first week or so.

Here are a few tips to help you adjust your internal body clock and ease the transition into daylight savings time:

  1. Set your alarm to wake up half an hour earlier than usual on the weekend to get you ready for what will feel like an earlier wakeup during the workweek ahead.
  2. As soon as you wake up, open the blinds and flood the room with lots of light. This will give your brain the signal that it really is time to get up. If possible, try to get outside into the sunlight for at least a few minutes each morning.
  3. Make sure you aren’t staying up late and not leaving yourself enough hours to get sufficient sleep. While you might be able to handle the occasional late night normally, you will be more vulnerable to tiredness during this transitional time.
  4. Make sure you eat dinner well before bedtime and try not to make it the heaviest meal of the day.
  5. Eat a hearty breakfast to kick-start your metabolism.
  6. Avoid drinking tea, coffee, cola or energy drinks after 1pm as this might make it harder to fall asleep.
  7. Also try to avoid drinking alcohol in the evening, as this will damage the quality of your sleep and make it harder for your body to adjust.

If you follow these tips, you should be able to fully enjoy those long spring afternoons and long summer nights without losing sleep. If you’re concerned about the quality of your sleep, Dr Levi’s Sleep Clinic can help. Dr Levi is a Sleep Disorder Specialist with over 20 years’ experience in helping patients finally get a good night’s sleep. Book your consultation ($60) today.

Read More

It’s no secret that we are a nation of sleep deprived individuals, with many of us blundering through our days in varying stages of sleep deprivation. While sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, snoring and sleep apnoea all require specific treatment, observing good sleep hygiene can be a helpful practice for anybody experiencing sleep issues. Here’s a few simple changes you can make to increase the quality and duration of your sleep.

Room Temperature

Room temperature can have a massive effect on sleep, but is often not considered by individuals suffering sleep problems. The ideal temperature for sleep varies from person to person, but is generally around 15- 20 degrees Celsius. With Australia’s warm climate, bedrooms are often reaching much higher temperatures during the night, causing overheating and poor sleep. For this reason, many people in Australia find that they sleep better during the autumn and winter months. Investing in a good air conditioning system could be very helpful in addressing sleep quality.

Lights

While we all believe we sleep in the dark, in fact many people’s bedrooms are full of tiny light sources. Standby lights on computers, digital alarm clocks and charging lights all cast relatively little amounts of light, but these can have large effects on sleep quality. Removing these light sources by either unplugging devices at the power source or covering the light with something opaque while you sleep can be helpful in improving sleep quality.

Time Spent in Bed

As obvious as it sounds, it’s impossible to get eight hours of sleep if you are only lying in bed with your eyes closed for six hours. Many people are simply not allowing themselves enough time to get adequate sleep and this includes people who watch TV series or scroll their phone in bed. In fact, not only do these activities push back the time people begin to actually attempt to sleep, but they may also actively prevent sleep.

Blue Light Technology

It has been speculated that perhaps the single biggest contributor to the modern day problems with sleep is the use of artificial lighting and electronics at night. The nature of the light emitted from electronics such as TVs, laptops and phones tricks the brain into thinking that it is daytime. This interferes with our circadian rhythms and inhibits the production of melatonin (the hormone which prepares our body for sleep), meaning that our bodies are not ready to sleep after being exposed to these lights. The use of electronic devices should be minimised in the hours preceding sleep.

Alcohol

While many people believe that alcohol aids sleep, this has not been supported by evidence. While it may make it easier to fall asleep in some cases, it often reduces sleep quality. More worryingly, for those who suffer snoring or sleep apnoea, alcohol significantly worsens the condition, as the tongue and tissue at the back of the throat is loosened and relaxed, blocking the airways. Alcohol should be avoided after lunch to prevent negatively impacting sleep quality.

Exercise

While exercising generally improves sleep quality, exercise just a couple of hours before bed has the very opposite effect. Your brain is very active after a workout and your body temperature is raised, as is your heartrate and adrenaline level. All these things make sleep a near impossibility.

Food

Just like exercise, food should be avoided in the two to three hours preceding bedtime. The body becomes very active when digesting food, preventing sleep.

Pre-Sleep Protocol

Many people benefit from establishing their own pre-sleep routine which works to help them wind down, relax and prepare their mind and body for sleep. These routines can vary but usually involve things like taking a warm bath or shower, using calming scents like lavender, drinking herbal tea such as camomile, lighting candles instead of lights in the hour preceding sleep, reading, meditating or performing other calming activities. Even if you don’t have a clear pre-sleep protocol, it is at least a good idea to avoid things like loud noises, bright lights, work emails and excessive physical or mental activity before bed.

Dr Levi is an expert in treating sleep disorders, with over 20 years of experience in the field. As somebody who has suffered sleep apnoea himself, he understands what it is like to struggle with a sleep disorder. Book a consultation ($60) with Dr Levi himself via contacting us, or booking here.

Read More