This World Sleep Day, 86% of Brits won’t be fully rested and our habits are to blame
March 13th marks World Sleep Day – a day designed to celebrate all things sleep-related. A recent survey into the nation’s pre-sleep habits shows that a massive proportion of Brits are not doing enough to get quality sleep.
Poor sleep routines, where two thirds of all pre-sleep activity is centred on electronic devices, lead nearly one in ten to say they find it ‘virtually impossible’ to get up in the mornings. A further three quarters to confess to feeling less than fresh the next day.
A staggering nine out of ten of us watch TV, half use a computer and over a third use a smartphone. It is likely that the same people are using multiple electronic devices in the run up to bedtime, giving their brains sparse opportunity to wind down.
The research carried out by luxury bath mat makers Turtle Mat found that although most of us think it’s important to relax, only one in four undertake activities that allow their brains to start switching off, whether it be by taking a bath or reading a book. Many put this lack of relaxation down to being too busy, with a further six percent of the population going as far as saying they feel guilty for it.
The knock-on effect of these activities is clear: if our brains aren’t being prepared for sleep, we won’t get the rest we need.
Dr Michael Oko, consultant ENT surgeon and founder of the Snoring Disorders Centre, describes the impact using an electronic device prior to bed can have on the brain to affect sleep:
“These devices emit blue light which stimulates the brain and inhibits melatonin metabolism for a few hours. This has the effect of resetting your body clock (circadian rhythm) and sleep cycle. If you do not get enough quality sleep you cannot perform at your best the next day.”
Those glued to electronic devices before bed are running the risk of major long-term health effects, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. As Dr Oko says, “We are yet to see the true long term impact on the younger generation of this recent advancement in technology.”
With the help of Dr Oko, Turtle Mat has created a self-assessment quiz with positive actions to take this World Sleep Day which can be found here. The survey also found:
• The South West of the country gets the best quality of sleep with over 2/3 waking up rested
• Older people drink more alcohol before bed than younger generations, younger people use the most electronic devices before bed
• Leicester is the city that feels the most guilty for relaxing whilst Londoners take the most baths and wake up fresher for it

Rebecca Wilson, Marketing Manager at Turtle Mat, says of their research “The health impact that our pre-sleep habits are having on our minds and bodies is a real cause for concern, but to think that we don’t fully know what the long-term impacts may be is shocking. We set out to explore if people were taking enough time to relax and the reasons they don’t, but once we got started a much more worrying trend started to emerge.”
So what can be done to improve quality of sleep? Dr Oko describes what is known as “Sleep Hygiene” and offers some pointers: “It is essentially “powering down” your mind so it can go into “Sleep Mode”. In today’s 24/7 society you have to plan to sleep well so you can be as efficient as possible. Turn off your devices 2-3hrs before you intend to sleep, your bedroom is only for two things; Sleep & Sex!”

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Ergoflex-Snoring-Map-of-the-UK

Scotland has more snorers than anywhere else in the UK a recent sleep study has found. The study was conducted by Ergoflex UK- a memory foam mattress company- who have created a map highlighting the regions with the most snores.

A total of 2,438 Britons aged 18 and over, all of whom stated that they were in a co-habiting relationship were quizzed about their sleeping patterns, habits and those of their partner. Scotland topped the list of snorers with 61% saying either they or their partner snored. The East of England was second with 55%, West Midlands third with 52% and North East was the least snoring region with 9%.

The respondents were asked a series of questions such as: ‘Does your partner ever wake you up in the night?’ Almost three quarters of respondents, 72%, stated ‘yes’, with ‘their snoring’ (42%) and ‘moving around’ (26%) topping the list of ways they did so.

The study also found that 13% of respondents admitted that at one point or another they had woken themselves up snoring.

Mr Michael Oko FRCS(ORL-HNS), Consultant ENT Surgeon of 150 Harley Street, commented:

“Sleep takes up between a quarter and a third of our lives and serves to refresh and restore our bodies, yet snoring is damaging for so many. Severe snoring is not only socially disruptive to partners, often leading to couples being forced to sleep in separate rooms at night, it can also signal more severe sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea with which patients stop breathing periodically at night, waking up grumpy and tired with early morning headaches. If you or your partner snore so badly that you cannot even share the same room, you need to see your doctor and get it checked out.”

Jed MacEwan, Managing Director of Ergoflex said: “Snoring is commonly seen as amusing, but in reality it’s anything but funny.

“Living with a partner who regularly snores of course jeopardises your own sleep quality, and experiencing disrupted sleep over a sustained period of time isn’t ideal for your health and wellbeing. For the snorer themselves it could well be a symptom of more serious problems, so simply ‘accepting’ the condition could be a dangerous decision. We’d implore anyone who suffers from snoring to take it very seriously, for their own good as well as their partner’s.”

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The Spalding Guardian has an article on the increase in outpatients attending clinics at Johnson Hsopital.

“Already in the five years that the Outpatients Department at Johnson Community Hospital has been open there has been a dramatic increase in the services that it offers and in the number of patients who attend.

“When the department opened in 2009, we saw approximately 53,239 patients through the doors. In 2014 to date, we have already seen 11,743 more patients than by the end of 2009 and are set to see on average 2,000 more patients each month by the end of the year.

“During this time, our team at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust has worked with other health and care providers in the county to develop the range of clinics and services available locally. By doing so, we have been able to help reduce the distance patients with certain conditions have to travel for their appointments.

“Next year we are pleased to be welcoming and expanding clinics run by our colleagues at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

“Onel clinic increasing available appointments in the department is Sleep Apnoea. The great advantage for patients with this clinic increase overall is that some clinics will run on a Saturday, allowing a lot more flexibility for patients to attend out of work time. However, as always, we do ask that patients let us know if they are unable to attend any of their appointments so that it can be offered to someone else.”

Read the article in the Spalding Guardian

 

Continuous positive airway pressure is effective at treating sleep apnoea in older people, a new study has found. Previous studies have established the benefits of CPAP in middle-aged people with OSA, but until now there has been no research on whether the treatment is useful and cost-effective for older patients.

The new research found that CPAP reduces how sleepy patients feel in the daytime and reduces healthcare costs. The researchers say CPAP should be offered routinely to older patients with OSA, and more should be done to raise awareness of the condition.

The study, published today in Lancet Respiratory Medicine, involved 278 patients aged 65 or over at 14 NHS centres in the UK. It was led by researchers at Imperial College London and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in collaboration with the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit at UCL, and the Universities of Oxford and York. It was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) Programme.

Around 20 per cent of the adult population experiences breathing problems during sleep. In four to five per cent of middle-aged people, these problems lead to sleepiness in the daytime, classified as obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. The condition is thought to be more common in older people, but the true prevalence is unknown, in part because patients and their relatives may attribute their sleepiness to old age, or older people can compensate by napping. The disease is becoming more common because obesity is a major risk factor.

Professor Mary Morrell, co-principal investigator of the study from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, said: “Sleep apnoea can be hugely damaging to patients’ quality of life and increase their risk of road accidents, heart disease and other conditions. Lots of older people might benefit from this treatment. Many patients feel rejuvenated after using CPAP because they’re able to sleep much better and it may even improve their brain function.”

Patients with sleep apnoea sometimes stop breathing for 30 seconds or longer at night before they wake up and start breathing again. In these pauses, their blood oxygen levels fall.

“We think low oxygen levels at night might accelerate cognitive decline in old people, and studies have found that sleep apnoea causes changes in the grey matter in the brain. We’re currently researching whether treatment can prevent or reverse those changes,” said Professor Morrell.

Co-principal investigator Dr.Renata Riha, Consultant and Honorary Reader at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, added that sleep medicine spans many disciplines and comprises an important area of research which deserves support and greater recognition by funding bodies, universities and public policy makers. “Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnoea, impact on a wide variety of chronic conditions, potentially leading to their development or worsening them, including diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and possibly even cancer. Successful treatment diminishes this risk but we still have a great deal of work to do in the area,” she said.

Source: Imperial College London

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The One Show: Professor Keevil

Follow the above link to see Professor Keevil talking about the benefits of copper for tackling Hospital Aquired Infections.

A new study in the journal Sleep Medicine shows that cognitive ability, attention span and mood are all impacted negatively from interrupted sleep — to a similar extent as only getting four hours of sleep.

“The sleep of many parents is often disrupted by external sources such as a crying baby demanding care during the night. Doctors on call, who may receive several phone calls a night, also experience disruptions,” study researcher Avi Sadeh, a professor at Tel Aviv University’s School of Psychological Sciences, explained in a statement. “These night wakings could be relatively short — only five to ten minutes — but they disrupt the natural sleep rhythm.”

For the study, Sadeh and other researchers had 61 healthy adults between ages 20 and 29, 40 of whom were women, undergo two nights of sleep. One night, the participants had a normal night’s sleep, but the other night, they were assigned to either have restricted sleep (just four hours of sleep for the night) or induced night-wakings (where they were woken up four times over an eight-hour period in bed). For the participants assigned to the night-wakings group, the wakings were each about 15 minutes and required them to do a short task on a computer before being allowed to go back to sleep.

Researchers monitored sleep with sleep diaries and actigraphy. The next morning of each of the nights, participants underwent testing and answered questionnaires to gauge their mood, alertness and attention.

All of the participants — those who got restricted sleep, and those woken up during the night — experienced attention problems and more confusion, fatigue and depression as a result of their bad sleep. Researchers noted that even though the study only examined the effects of one night of bad sleep, “we know that these effects accumulate and therefore the functional price new parents — who awaken three to ten times a night for months on end — pay for common infant sleep disturbance is enormous,” Sadeh said in the statement.

Source: Huffington Post

The Irish Sleep Apnoea Trust have produced this list of handy tips for flying with your CPAP machine:

1. It is a good idea to get a ‘Letter of Medical Necessity’ from your sleep clinic (it states your condition and the pressure setting of your CPAP machine). In the event of loss or breakdown, it will prove invaluable should you need to replace your machine abroad.

2. Always ensure that you clear your CPAP equipment for air travel as soon as possible after booking your flight.

3. Follow instructions from The Special Assistance Department of your airline.

4. Always pack a suitable plug adaptor and extension cable. Check this site for details.

5. It’s a good opportunity to have your machine serviced and replace any worn parts (hose/filter) and mask.

6. Check any insurance issues with your supplier.

7. When you approach the security check area, make sure to tell security staff that you are carrying a medical device. You MAY have to remove it from the bag (unlikely), but it will be placed in a separate tray for scanning. Follow their instructions.

8. On rare occasions, security staff MAY ask to swab your CPAP machine for explosives. Should this happen, you can ask to have it swabbed privately in a room away from other passengers. This process involved removing the CPAP machine from the carry bag and lightly swabbing a small area of it. It should take no longer than a minute or two. You are entitled to ask security staff to replace their gloves with clean ones.

9. Once on board, try to place your CPAP bag beside a bulkhead in the overhead locker, with your other case beside it (protecting it). If you are unable to place the machine safely in the overhead locker, either place it on the floor under the seat in front of you or alternatively ask one of the flight attendants to place it in one of their lockers (NOT IN THE HOLD)

REMEMBER, problems or difficulties travelling with CPAP are more the exception than the rule.
If your equipment has received advance clearance, you are unlikely to experience any problems.

IF YOUR CPAP MACHINE HAS NOT RECEIVED PRIOR CLEARANCE, IT IS UNLIKELY THAT YOU WILL BE ALLOWED CARRY IT ON BOARD AS ‘ADDITIONAL LUGGAGE’.

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