World Sleep Day special: Obstructive apnea fast depleting modern lives of restful sleep

Mar 14, 2014, 07:47 IST | Kartiki Nitin Lawate

On the occasion of World Sleep Day today, we spoke with experts who said that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is emerging as a major modern-day sleep disorder, other than stress

Given the stress and activity inherent in modern urban lives, many people are forgetting how to get a good night’s sleep. To commemorate World Sleep day, we spoke with a few experts to understand what are the afflictions that are keeping people up ate night, and found out that other than stress, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the latest disorder to hit modern lives.

According to a new research, there are more than 120 million adults affected by OSA in the country. Dr Shripal Shrishrimal, sleep specialist and director of Keystone Center for Sleep Disorders, said, “OSA is the most common category of sleep-disordered breathing. The muscle tone of the body ordinarily relaxes during sleep, and at the level of the throat the human airway is composed of collapsible walls of soft tissue which can obstruct breathing during sleep.”

He continued, “Mild occasional sleep apnea, such as many people experience during an upper respiratory infection, may not be important, but chronic severe OSA requires treatment to prevent low blood oxygen (hypoxemia), sleep deprivation, and other complications.”

Dr Arcahna N Javadekar, consultant psychiatrist at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, said, “Stress levels also lead to disturbance in sleep, which is very commonly found in today’s youngsters.” She said that as the age increases, sleep reduces, and one must sleep at least 6- 8 hours in the night. “If one takes an afternoon nap, they may sleep for an hour or so less, but not longer or shorter than this duration. If someone is physically or mentally stressed, the sleep gets disturbed for sure.”

Dr Suchit Kamalapur, dietician at Jahangir Hospital, said, “One feels fresh after they get a good sleep. One must eat fresh fruits instead of juice during summer to get a good sleep. In summer some people feel sleepier because of dehydration. To avoid this, eat more fruits, drink a lot of water and avoid spicy and heavy food at night.

>> Turn to Pages 8-9 to see what the world is up to while you are asleep 

For a good night’s sleep

Don’ts: Watching TV before sleep
Drinking alcohol, cold drinks, fruit juices with sugar
Eating spicy, heavy food

Sleeping in a silent place
Eating fruits
Drinking lots of water
Drinking cold milk before sleeping

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