Sleep-disordered breathing: A growing problem among Indian youth

Dr Nimish Shah, Consultant Pulmonologist at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre tell us about it

Sleep-disordered breathing is a spectrum of sleep disorders ranging from snoring to hypoventilation syndrome. "The entities included in this spectrum are snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), central sleep apnoea, obesity hypoventilation syndrome. As a consequence, the person wakes up feeling tired and lethargic which in turn results in poor attention, and impairment in speed and memory and feeling sleepy through the day," says Dr Nimish Shah, Consultant Pulmonologist at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre.

He adds, "The incidence of sleep-disordered breathing is only growing amongst the youth as a result of a sedentary lifestyle and erratic food habits. In addition, social media and online working result in poor sleep hygiene and quality, leading to other sleep disorders such as insomnia and addiction to the same."

Health problems due to lack of sleep:

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  • Body clock goes kaput.
  • Metabolic consequences: Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and weight gain.
  • Cardiac issues: Hypertension, cardiac rhythm disturbances, the risk of heart attacks and heart failure are clinically proven.
  • Risk of strokes, depression and sexual dysfunction.

Sleep well tips

  • Maintain a regular bedtime and awakening time
  • Do not nap during the day
  • Don't drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks in the evening
  • Do not smoke before bedtime
  • Do not exercise within 3 hours of bedtime
  • Keep the bedroom dark and at a comfortable temperature

Dr Nimish Shah explains, "Avoid usage of smartphones, tablets or watching TV. Do not sleep on an empty stomach as hunger may hamper your sleep. A late evening snack may help you sleep better. Light reading and ambient lighting with soft music will be beneficial."

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