Skip to main content


Building Independence / Community Hub / Employment / Families/Carers / Finding and keeping a job / NDIS

Are you getting enough sleep, does it matter? how can NDIS help?

By Jennifer Lumsden, October 4 2018

Sleep and NDIS

Did you know 38% of Australians don’t get enough sleep? That’s 4 out of every 10 people, amounting to 7.4 million tired Aussies.

The Australian Sleep Health Foundation recommends that the average adult aim to get between 7 and 9 hours sleep per night, however many Australians are getting far less.
And if you think getting inadequate sleep is not affecting you then you need to think again.
In 2017, a report by Deloitte Access Economics, called Asleep on the Job, the cost of inadequate sleep in Australia, found inadequate sleep was linked to 3,017 deaths, with 394 due to accidents either behind a wheel of a vehicle or industrial accidents, with the remaining deaths attributed to increased incidence of heart disease and diabetes.

Why is sleep important?
Every body system is affected by inadequate sleep. Here are a few examples:
• Hormone production can be affected by sleep deprivation. Namely, inadequate sleep can lead to increase production of cortisol, a stress hormone that can increase hunger and risk of diabetes.
• Immunity suffers, as the production of antibodies that prevent against infection is impaired.
• Nervous system is more frequently on high alert due to the ‘fight or flight’ response, which increases blood pressure and affects the heart.
• Brain health relies on adequate sleep for learning, memory and decision-making.
• Mental health can be impacted by inadequate sleep, resulting increased negative moods and decreased attention and memory.

Tips for improved sleep.
The No. 1 way to improve your sleep is to establish a good sleep routine. Consider these tips to get you on the right track:
• Aim to go to bed around the same time each night.
• Have a ‘no screens’ rule; avoiding using all devices for 30-60 minutes before sleep.
• If you do not fall off to sleep in 20 minutes don’t just lie awake in bed. Instead, go to another room until you feel tired again then go back to bed.
• Get out in the sunlight during the day.
• Exercise.
• Watch your caffeine and alcohol intake.
• Try not to take naps in the afternoon.
• Don’t go to bed hungry or on a full stomach.
• Try not to worry about how much you sleep; worry can keep you from sleep.
• Make sure your bedroom is dark and not too warm, cool is better for sleeping.

What is the cost of inadequate sleep?
Inadequate sleep cost our society dearly, with repercussions ranging from increased absenteeism, accidents, lost productivity, risk of chronic health conditions and reduced individual wellbeing.
In Australia, the estimated cost of inadequate sleep is approximately $5 billion per year.

Did you know eating cherries can help sleep?
Cherries contain natural melatonin, a chemical that can help to regulate your body clock and promote healthy sleep patterns. Keep in mind, however, that cherries alone cannot fix a poor sleep routine and should be consumed for added benefit rather than as a quick fix.

NDIS Support for sleep issues
If you or someone you care for has a disability and has significant trouble getting adequate sleep, depending on the cause, the NDIS may be able to offer support.
If it is a matter of developing a healthy sleep routine, NDIS Core Supports could assist by providing a short-term support worker.
Other supports that could help with sleep, such as psychologists and therapy assistants may also be available through the NDIS Improved Daily Living Supports category.
If sleep deprivation is the result of a physical cause such as sleep apnoea and a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure) is required, it would fall in to the health services category and would not be funded by the NDIS.
It is important to have an NDIS conversation with your disability service provider, prior to the planning meeting to get the right advice about which supports you need to include in your NDIS plan.
Do not wait for your NDIS planning meeting, get advice and do some research beforehand – being organised for your NDIS meeting is critical to getting the best possible plan.

For more information on how to get enough sleep, look at these.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No comments found.