Get your six hours sleep every day Wake-up call

Madhvi Surana (name changed), a 54-year-old homemaker, suffered from morbid obesity. Her Body Mass Index (BMI) was 40 and weight 130kg. The well-to-do North Indian woman was diabetic and hypertensive but more worrisome was her history of daytime sleepiness and intermittent loud snoring - she'd fall asleep while sitting, speaking to someone, watching TV or even cooking. When she consulted a neurosurgeon, she was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and started undergoing treatment .

Sleep disorders are a major cause of concern following changing lifestyles. Lack of sleep is leading to diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart and kidney failures. It's also a major cause of road accidents, say brain specialists and pulmonologists in the city.

A study of 1,050 persons by doctors of the departments of neurology and neuroepidemiology at Nimhans here between 2007-2012 concluded that at least one-fifth of respondents had one or more sleep disorders. These include insomnia (18.6%), sleep-related breathing disorders or OSA (18.4%), narcolepsy (1.04%) and restless leg syndrome (2.9%). Another pan-India survey shows that over 90% of Indians with sleep apnea are unaware of the lurking hazard.

"Considering the health implications and poor awareness, there's a need to sensitize physicians and increase awareness among the public. Sleeping disorders can be linked to snoring, obesity, depression, epilepsy, migraine, Parkinson's, etc. There can be various reasons for sleep deprivation, but if it's ignored, it can lead to serious health problems," said Dr P Satishchandra, director, vice-chancellor & professor of neurology, Nimhans.

Dr Padmasundran, consultant, head of the department, pulmonologist and sleep analyst said: "At least 6 hours of adequate sleep is necessary for an adult. About 4%-16% population is suffering from OSA, which is caused by respiratory disorders. There's a lack of awareness about snoring being a disease. Snoring can lead to choking. An obese person who also snores can choke breathing about 100 times a night, which is dangerous."

"Sleep hygiene is important for everyone. While a growing child needs to sleep for 10-12 hours, adults and aged persons need sound sleep for 6-8 hours. It's necessary to sleep in a cozy environment, comfortable bed following a light dinner. Avoid excessive drinking and smoking," said Dr N K Venkataramana, chief neurosurgeon, BGS Global Hospitals.

Sleep labs

Almost all major hospitals have a sleep laboratory which studies the sleeping pattern of a patient and diagnoses disorders. The lab in Nimhans was set up in 2007-08. "The aim of this laboratory is to study the sleep changes and abnormalities in various disorders affecting the brain," said Dr Sanjib Sinha, additional professor, Nimhans.

Sleep Apnea

Dr Hiranappa, pulmonologist, Bangalore Baptist Hospital, said: "Sleep apnea is one of the four causes of heart diseases because it disturbs blood circulation to the heart. About 6% men and 3% women suffer from sleep apnea which also affects the emotional wellbeing of a person."

A patient is prescribed the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device. "When you sleep, it gently delivers air into your airway through a mask. It creates enough pressure to keep the airway open and produce immediate relief," said Dr Natarajan Rajgopalan, consultant pulmonologist and sleep medicine, Narayana Hrudayalaya.

Sleep deprivation

* If you're not energetic in the day

* If you're not satisfied after sleep

* If you sleep unintentionally during the day

* If you're tired, restless, irritable, fatigued

* If you need coffee or a smoke to forcibly keep awake

* If you tend to fall asleep while sitting, working or driving

World Sleep Day

* Annual event organized by World Association of Sleep Medicine since 2008

* Celebrated on third Friday of March every year

* Propagates benefits of good sleep

* Focus society's attention on sleep problems and medicine, education and social aspects

* Promote sleep disorders prevention and management

Obesity, kidney failure, diabetes and hypertension -- these are just a few ways in which we punish ourselves by depriving our bodies of sleep. With hectic lifestyles and work stress dominating our lives, sleep has taken a backseat. Help is at hand with hospitals waking up to this serious problem and setting sleep labs to help people sleep better. Organizations with 24/7 operations should also ensure their employees get sufficient rest. On World Sleep Day and beyond, let's remember that sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.

Similar Threads: