Importance of Sleep
Sleep plays a critical role in our well being and quality of life
Most of us spend around a third of our life sleeping, so it may be no surprise that a sleep disorder can a have a significantly negative impact on a person’s health, quality of life and subsequently effect the rest of the family.
Life Style & Health
For some people, it is simply a lack of sleep that is the problem (insomnia) or perhaps simply their snoring which is highly disruptive to their partner or to others. What many people are unaware of is that a sleep disorder can put a person at significantly greater risk of driving or work accidents as well as major impacts on their long term health.
Even snoring can be associated with more significant problems with their breathing while asleep and can led to not only inadequate quality of sleep but also long term health implications. For most, they are unaware of any problem at night, yet experience significant symptoms as a result.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most commonly diagnosed sleep disorder. It is characterised by repetitive upper airway narrowing or total collapse and is often associated with snoring, decreases in blood oxygen levels and sleep disruption (‘micro-arousals‘).
This ‘choking‘ effect of the upper airway not only effects sleep quality in the short term, it can put unnecessary strain on your heart, brain and other organs which can in turn lead to long term health implications.
Major Health Implications
Some of the more major health risks of untreated sleep apnea are heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. In addition, sleep apnea (OSA) causes excessive daytime sleepiness that can result in accidents, lost productivity and strain on interpersonal relationships. More research emerges everyday linking sleep apnea to chronic health conditions.
Risk factors linked to sleep apnea include being older, overweight, and having family history of severe snoring or sleep apnea.
Insomnia too has been clearly linked to poor daytime functioning, negative mood alterations, memory deficits, fatigue and increased rate of driving accidents as well as a long term impact on not only mental health but even on physical health such as heart disease.