In this webinar, the Sleep Health Foundation looked through the lens of people who have lived-experience of sleep disorders. Our guests - Charlotte Vincent, Suzanne Curyer and Carol-Anne Howlett, from our Consumer Reference Council - shared their personal experiences through a discussion of how their disorders impacted their lives, how they were diagnosed with a sleep disorder, and what treatments they have found. Part of our mission is to elevate these voices and experiences, so that they inform our resources, practices, and provide hope for those who might be struggling similarly or want to know they are not alone.
Suzanne was diagnosed with OSA in 2016 after many years of experiencing symptoms and the significant impact on my quality of sleep and life. Fortunately, she participated in the national trial for surgery to manage her OSA and the result was life changing. She also has severe restless leg syndrome. These two sleep disorders have impacted Suzanne's quality of life.
Carol-Anne has late onset Narcolepsy, experiencing symptoms at the age of 50. Once formally diagnosed, symptoms had progressed to unmanageable levels and she had to give up her corporate career. Now at 56, and medicated, she runs her own psychotherapy practice and has identified an incredible 14 clients within the last four years as needing further sleep investigations.
Charlotte is a sufferer of Idiopathic Hypersomnia. After years of struggling, with no answers and just believing that she was lazy and a bit of a failure, she was fortunate enough to be referred to a specialist sleep physician in Melbourne in 2014, aged 33. Diagnosis was a shock, but it meant a huge amount to know that her struggle was real and there were people out there who knew about it and were able to help.