Many work cultures remain rooted in the myth that more work is better work with current mindset of “If you snooze, you lose” &, as a result, sleep is usually sacrificed in an effort to do & accomplish more. That is the reason why coffee is consumed globally on a wider scale. Ambitious employees worldwide log in long work weeks, surviving on large cups of coffee or any other stimulants, & often are able to manage on five or six hours of sleep a night.
Corporate culture often pushes long hours on the job expecting high performance.
The sad truth is that sleep deprivation is an issue too often ignored, even when sleep curtailment is associated with an increase in industrial accidents, motor vehicle accidents, medical & other occupational errors.
It is difficult to find any other condition that has a greater impact on productivity than sleep deprivation. In our present super-fast pace of world, sleep has somehow become devalued.
Modern technology is certainly a large part of the problem. Smartphones, tablets & computer screens all emit a bluish light, which drastically suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls the body’s day-night cycle. So, reading in bed with any backlit device at night, actually makes it harder to fall asleep & makes you more tired the next day.
Sleep Deprivation affects various systems:
Reduces Immune Function
Increases the risk of developing Diabetes, while optimized sleep duration & quality may improve blood sugar control in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Increases risk of Obesity over time.
Associated with Cardiovascular Disease including High Blood Pressure, Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Failure, while Sleep Disordered Breathing increases the risk of hypertension & heart disease because of stress placed on the heart due to multiple oxygen deprivation events throughout the night. The risk of Stroke doubles with less than six hours of sleep.
Affects Mental Health, associated with depression, anxiety, stress & other psychiatric disorders.
Reduces male testosterone levels & lowers sperm count, & decreases sex drive, affecting Fertility leading to conception issues.
May increase the risk of some Cancers, such as Colon & Breast Cancers, with a correlation between Sleep Apnea & Increased Cancer Risk of any kind.
Increases risk of Alzheimer’s dementia & accelerated disease onset.
Some people who are not getting adequate sleep daily may be suffering from an actual sleep disorder. The most common are Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders, particularly Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Chronic Insomnia, & Restless Legs Syndrome. Reportedly, a sizable number of people with sleep disorders remain undiagnosed or untreated.
The term ‘Sleep Disordered Breathing’ encompasses a range of conditions characterised by abnormal breathing during sleep; ranging from intermittent, partial obstruction of the airway without sleep disturbance (Snoring) to, at the other end of the spectrum, frequent apneas (Cessation Of Breathing) associated with repetitive hypoxaemia (reduction in oxygen levels) & arousals leading to sleep disruption & daytime sleepiness.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is an independent risk factor for hypertension & is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, abnormal glucose metabolism, depression & sleepiness-related road traffic, work-related & domestic accidents, contributing to increased morbidity & mortality in the general population.
Sleep Disorders Clinic at Masina Hospital:
To identify patients who suffer from primary sleep disorders, like Sleep Apnea, Insomnia, Restless Legs Syndrome, etc
To identify patients who suffer from Sleep Deprivation & assist in improving their sleep patterns
To provide a holistic approach with multi-disciplinary management approach towards sleep related disorders
TIPS for Sleep Hygiene:
Avoid caffeine, nicotine & alcohol before bedtime.
Avoid heavy meals within two hours of bedtime.
Avoid energetic exercise within three hours of bedtime.
If you can’t sleep after 20 minutes, get up & do something boring until you feel tired, then try again.
Reduce extreme light, temperature, & noise in your bedroom.
Keep your sleep regular – same bedtime & same rise time.
Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night.
Avoid reading, watching TV or working in bed. Bedrooms are ONLY for sleep & intimacy.
Take a hot water shower 2 hours prior to bedtime; hot water relaxes the body, causing you to feel sleepy as body temperature drops
Dr Vikas Pnamiya
MD, MRCP (UK), FCCP (USA)
European Diploma (Respiratory Medicine)
Consultant Pulmonologist & Sleep PhysicianMasina Hospital