Sleep. We take it for granted. Well, we shouldn’t. We can’t survive on just a few hours of sleep. Even if we try to, our health is going to suffer. We all need to get some good sleep, not just for one night but for every single night of our life. In other words, we all need to get quality sleep regularly.
Sleep is a natural physiological state of the body where our brain is inactive, muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended. Sleep is an essential part of our routine and it helps the body ‘regenerate and rejuvenate’. We spend one third of our life in sleep and we never bother about it.
Sleep is important as our body undergoes a lot of changes during that time. It allows the body to rest, relieves tiredness, and most importantly restores our cognitive (thinking) ability. During sleep there is active hormone production, which is essential for good metabolism and maintaining homeostasis or body balance. In addition, there is a decrease in the heart rate, heart function and drop in blood pressure.
Question is, how much sleep do we actually need?
The American Association of Sleep Medicine has given guidelines as to the amount of sleep you require to promote optimal health:
-Infants and children- 10 -16 hours
-Teenagers- 9-10 hours
-Adults- 7-9 hours
Seven to nine hours of sleep is a lot for a busy adult. Face it. We’d be lucky enough to get five hours of sleep especially on a week day. The only time we can really catch up on sleep is on the weekend.
Even if we’re given the luxury of time to sleep, there are barriers. These barriers are making it very hard for us to get some sleep.
Lack of sleep brings about some serious consequences. Needless to say, these consequences could be deadly.
Unfortunately, sleep is a very underrated and under diagnosed problem. The consequences of sleep disorders involve multiple parts of the body including risk of stroke, heart attack, memory loss, depression to name a few. We do not have much data for our country, but the Western data shows that a significant number of their population is sleep deprived and has sleep disorders. Consequences of this include loss of productivity, road accidents, accidents at work place. In fact, the West has strict laws with sleep disorders and driving. One’s license is suspended till they comply with treatment.
It’s time we all look deeper as to why we can’t seem to get good sleep. For all we know, we might already be suffering some kind of sleep disorder.
Here are some sleep disorders that we should all know about.
Snoring, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome (OHS), Central Sleep Apnoeas, Parasmonias (sleep walking, sleep talking, sleep paralysis, confusional arousals, nightmares), Restless Legs Syndrome, Insomnia to name a few.
The commonest and most important amongst these are sleep disordered breathing (OSA, OHS). The patient, more so the partner witnessing, would have complaints of excessive or loud snoring, choking or gasping sensations, intermittently stopping breathing, needing to go to pass urine at night, dry mouth, waking up unrefreshed, unable to concentrate at work, daytime sleepiness, and morning headaches.
We don’t have to suffer from a sleep disorder to lack sleep. It could be that your partner is the one who has a sleep disorder. If your partner is snoring heavily each and every night, we’re definitely going to lack sleep. That’s not good for us.
So, what should we do about it? For starters, we can start getting healthy. If our partner is the snorer, we should encourage him or her to get healthy.
Living a healthy lifestyle can help us get some good sleep, whether we snore or not.
Our lifestyle has a big role to play in the increasing prevalence of this condition. In todays ‘fast food’ era and instant technology where one can access work, play, and entertainment at the finger tip, we are moving into a society with a sedentary life style in addition to increased calorie intake with instant foods and beverages. We as a young nation are growing into an obese nation, which is a known risk factor for OSA. In addition, social media and online working results in poor sleep hygiene and quality leading to other sleep disorders such asinsomnia and addiction to the same. This results in poor sleep quantity and quality, both of which affect sleep and hence health.
Aside from living a healthy lifestyle, we can get our snoring partner to wear a mouthpiece that can help him or her breathe while sleeping. A snoring mouthpiece like the https://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/good-morning-snore-solution can help us get all the sleep that we need. After all, sleep is a serious matter.