Mohammed has sleep apnoea – a serious condition that can lead to constantly interrupted sleep and substantial weight gain. Most of those suffering don’t realise they have it.
Video journalist: Cebo Luthuli
News and information about sleep apnoea and snoring
Complete 3D full body scanning is now available at the Sleeping Disorders Centre. Scanning someone is simple. Patients simply stand on the turntable and hold still for 30 seconds, while the platform spins. With its razor sharp high resolution infrared images, Styku technology captures millions of data points in a matter of seconds in a fast, non-invasive process.
The Styku app gives professionals the ability to perform a full body scan, view 3D models, extract measurements, track changes in body shape, calculate fitness and health metrics, and much more. This technology is used at health clubs by fitness professionals and nutritionists, and now Snore Centre founder Michael Oko has identified the benefits the device can provide in a medical context. Improving fitness and weight loss is a key part of treating sleep apnoea, and the 3D body scanner allows this be assessed and monitored in a new and comprehensive way.
Can’t sleep? Join the unhappy club: according to the NHS, one in three people in the UK has trouble sleeping and every year it hands out more than ten million prescriptions for sleeping pills. There’s a range of products that claim to help, but how effective are they? The Daily Mail asked Sleeping Disorders Centre founder, Michael Oko, to give journalist Anglea Epstein his verdict on some of the latest.
Congratulations to Rachel Shelley for winning the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) Best Radio News Feature award for her piece on sleep apnoea named Snore and Peace. Available to listen to here on SoundCloud
Find out more about the awards and winners on the #bjtc Facebook page
Amanda Matthews is trying to raise £12,000 to buy a specialised wheelchair to allow her daughter, Phoebe, to have a better quality of life. Please read her story and donate to the campaign.
“Phoebe is our very soon to be 16 year old daughter (her birthday is the 16th September) who has cerebral Palsy spastic quadraplegic which affects all her limbs, she is unable to stand, walk, use her arms to feed herself or write or sit unaided. She does have a wicked sense of humour and a very gentle and loving heart that loves life and loves socialising. She started out in life with a massive fight on her hands as she was born 16 weeks early weighing only 1lb 10oz and we were told on two occasions that she wasn’t going to make it but Phoebe being Phoebe was and still is a fighter.
We had the opportunity to try this fab powerchair from a company called “easyrise” that reclines, sits and stands up. Phoebe loved it!! it was so great to see the smile on her face she just lit up when she was able to stand in the chair!! We were at Monkeyworld in Dorset a few years ago and we had to stand back from the glass enclosures so that Phoebe could see the monkeys because she was in her wheelchair, and she wasn’t tall enough to see through the glass close up. The amount of people that stood right in front of her with their noses up against the glass was infuriating as well as heartbreaking when Phoebe would say “oww I can’t see!”. With a chair like this it would mean she could stand up the same as everyone else and see what she wanted to see and when she wanted to see it. When you are at a wheelchair level there is so much that you can’t see as well as being ignored, but this chair gives social inclusion and a chance for Phoebe to be seen and noticed.
It also has a practical use as standing is a very important part of Phoebes physio programme she does have a standing frame at home which we hoist her in and out of but she only goes in it once a day this helps prevent hip displacements and helps keep muscles and bones strong and prevents operations
which we want to avoid as much as possible. This chair would allow more frequent standing as often and as long as Phoebe wanted. The chair also has the capability of lifting just Phoebe’s legs up to straighten them again another great physio move for stretching her legs which we currently have to do with leg gaitors. This chair also lays flat which would be of great help when we are out and we need to use the disabled toilet for cares.
This is a great chair however it costs more than we can afford. We can’t get help through the NHS to fund this chair as it is too expensive. Which is why we have decided to try this route of funding to see if we can get some or all of the fees to pay for it and allow Phoebe to “stand up to her disabililty”.”
A large part of the population suffers from nasal congestion and a condition called rhinitis, which makes breathing difficult. Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal membranes caused by an allergic or non-allergic reaction or by hormones, infections, occupational or other triggering factors.
It is a very common disease that results in significant costs for medical treatment, impairs breathing and disrupts sleep, causing fatigue and reduced productivity at work and at school. Treatments offered are antihistamines or surgical procedures or a combination of both, which are costly, may have disadvantages and do not guarantee appropriate relief.
The Snore Centre at 150 Harley Street nows offer patients with non-allergic rhinitis a simple twentyminute, non-invasive outpatient KOS neuromodulation treatment without surgery or pharmaceuticals, with almost instant relief or within a few days for those responding.
An award-winning NHS service to help patients with diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is opening at Hampton Hill Medical Centre (TW12 1NY) on 12 September.
OSA is caused by an obstruction blocking the airway of the throat so that the air cannot reach the lungs, leaving the sufferer gasping for breath. Men are three times more likely to have the condition, which affects around 1.5 million adults in the UK. If left untreated, OSA can cause heart disease, hypertension, stroke and exacerbate diabetes.
Symptoms of OSA may include:
Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has commissioned a community based OSA service, which is available to people who have been referred by their GP. It is one of the first of its kind in the country and allows patients to be assessed and monitored in the comfort of their own home.
The service has been developed in partnership with consultant ear, nose and throat surgeons and Department of Health OSA advisors, Professor Ram Dhillon and Mr Michael Oko.
Dr Graham Lewis, local GP and chair of Richmond CCG, said: “For some people who snore, the cause will be OSA. It is a common, treatable condition, but many people don’t know they have it and require diagnosis. It is important to make an appointment to see your GP if you have any symptoms.”
The service allows many of the patients with suspected OSA or those with established OSA to be diagnosed and monitored in their own bed, without having to spend a night away from home.
Dr Lewis continues: “The good news is that we can help 80% of patients manage the condition at home, without the need for surgery. This could be anything from lifestyle changes to state-of-the-art technology which enables us to track the progress of a patient at the touch of a button.
“We are very pleased to be offering this innovative service for people living in the borough of Richmond who have suspected obstructive sleep apnoea.”
The Office for Health Economics and The British Lung Foundation have published a report this month which clearly demonstrates the cost of undiagnosed sleep apnoea to the NHS.
Despite the clear evidence of benefit and value for money, there is evidence from recent research estimating that about 85 per cent of OSA cases currently are undiagnosed and untreated in the UK.
Research found the following OSA prevalence in the UK:
1.5 million adults living with OSA
45 per cent have moderate and severe OSA: 667,000 people
55 per cent have mild OSA
Considering only direct benefits, the report estimates the NHS in the UK would be saving a total of £55 million and producing 40,000 QALYs annually if all people with moderate to severe OSA (45 per cent of the total OSA patient population) were diagnosed and treated with CPAP, relative to none being diagnosed and treated.
If everyone estimated to have moderate to severe OSA in the UK were treated, compared with the estimated current treatment level, the NHS would be saving £28 million pounds and producing 20,000 QALYs annually. Approximately 40,000 road accidents could be prevented.
In addition to direct health benefits to patients and costs/savings to the NHS, treating OSA produces wider economic benefits, including increased productivity due to reduced sleepiness at work, and also quality of life improvements for people close to OSA patients (their bed partners).
The evidence found in the literature demonstrates that OSA patients, the NHS and the wider society in the UK have not yet obtained all of the economic and health benefits that could be achieved. An increase in the rate of uptake of CPAP could double the savings to the NHS and the health benefits to patients compared to the current situation.
STAYING up late for a few nights to meet work deadlines may bring relief when the assignment is completed, but how will such an employee function at work the next day?
Tired employees are often in a foul mood. They cannot handle stress and may fly off the handle at the smallest offence. They are unable to think as clearly or imaginatively as others, and tasks are more challenging.
Researchers based at hospitals with sleep laboratories have charted the effects of a lack of sleep. Short-term effects include less healthy food choices, a higher likelihood of road accidents and being prone to infectious ailments. The person may be less gregarious and more emotional. Memory and focus suffer, and, most seriously, a recent study in the journal Sleep linked one night without sleep to a loss of brain tissue.
Long-term effects are more alarming: the risk of developing cancer may increase; obesity risk rises abruptly; the risk of having a stroke quadruples; people are more likely to develop heart disease or diabetes; and the sperm count in men decreases.
Another study shows that less than six hours of kip a night significantly increases mortality risk.
What can company directors and managers do to ensure employees function at their peak during the working day? Some have installed nap rooms or energy pods that allow workers to catch up on sleep.
Google, Procter & Gamble, Huffington Post and Nationwide Planning have incorporated napping into daily office life. Mike Karalewich, chief compliance officer of Nationwide Planning, swears by it, saying it “really allows me to approach the second half of the day with a lot more force”.
Nathaniel Hindman, a former editor and reporter at the Huffington Post, concurs: “Sleep makes us more productive, creative, less stressed and much healthier and happier.”
Irshaad Ebrahim, specialist neuropsychiatrist in sleep disorders at the Constantia Sleep Centre and the London Sleep Centre on Harley Street, says people don’t only need enough sleep, but enough “good sleep”. His “2-Q Rule of Sleep” is to seek both quality and quantity.
“The best measure of your sleep quality is how you feel when you wake up in the morning — if you are getting adequate quantity but still wake up unrefreshed, tired and feel sleepy during the daytime, you should book a sleep assessment at your nearest sleep centre,” he advises. “Common conditions that affect sleep quality are snoring, sleep apnoea, restless leg syndrome and medical conditions like cardiac disorders and diabetes.”
A University of California study found there are “short-sleepers”, who go to bed around midnight and wake each morning — between 4am and 5am — feeling completely refreshed.
Lead study author Ying-Hui Fu and her colleagues discovered a tiny mutation in the DEC2 gene that seemed present in “short-sleepers”, who function just as well on limited sleep as those who get eight hours.
According to Fu, “Sleep is vitally important. If you sleep well, you can avoid many diseases, even dementia.”
The brain performs repair work on its cells during sleep, removing toxins, restoring energy levels and laying down memories for future reference.
Fu says many people who thought they were short-sleepers volunteered for the study and discovered they were suffering from insomnia. “We wanted to focus on people who slept for just a few hours and still felt great. These individuals are all very energetic, very optimistic. It’s very common for them to feel they want to cram as much into life as they can, but we’re not sure how or whether this is related to their gene mutations.”
While Ebrahim believes that the decision by some corporates to enhance sleep health by installing nap rooms or pods is admirable, he says the focus should be on the reasons people need daytime naps.
Companies should instead tackle the underlying causes of the sleep debt — the amount of sleep a brain is deprived of and needs to repay. “Once we address the underlying causes, there may well be no need for sleep pods at work,” he says.