Even though sleep is something that is seen as a universal, it can be hard to admit that you’re having problems with falling or staying asleep at night. Support groups are a popular method of education and support for a variety of health and wellness related topics, one in particular being sleep apnea. For many with sleep disorders, attending support groups and connecting with others who share similar experiences has proved to be beneficial.
How they work
All support groups differ, but the basic format is a small group of people who meet on a regular basis to discuss their experiences in a relaxed environment. Individuals who are going through the condition attend, as well as possibly family members or friends to simply learn more about what their loved one may be going through and how to support them. Many times, the group is led by an outside person or a group member with facilitation training. Groups meet regularly, usually for an hour or two.
Support group sessions have many benefits. In fact, group members are often surprised by how rewarding the experience can be. Here are just a few of the benefits a support group can provide:
- Make you feel less lonely and isolated because of a sleep apnea,
- Develop skills to relate to others in providing empathy,
- Find emotional support in dealing with a sleep disorder,
- Connect with other people who are facing similar issues,
- Gain a sense of empowerment and control over your sleep disorder,
- Receive practical advice and information about treatment, doctors and alternative options.
Find a support groupSupport groups exist for many different types of illnesses, especially sleep disorders. Many times, these meetings are posted on websites and community calendars, but the best people to ask can be your doctors or other health care providers and other individuals who share the same disorder.
For individuals who struggle with sleep apneas, Iowa Sleep partners with Central Iowa AWAKE, a Des Moines area support group for individuals with sleep apnea. The group meets on the third Thursday of each month, beginning at 7 p.m., and is a part of the American Sleep Apnea Association. Topics vary at each meeting, with potential to target different audiences, such as shift workers, truck drivers and more. To learn more and to find meeting times, please visit our site.