As we embrace the New Year and set our personal goals for 2016, it’s important to make sleep a priority. Getting enough sleep and ensuring good quality sleep is a key to maintaining good physical and mental health.
So before committing yourself to that expensive Gym membership, getting up early to exercise each day, or starting your next diet, make sure sleep figures in your plans for the coming year. This time of the year, many of us are making New Year’s resolutions. What do we plan to give up that we indulged in too often throughout the year? What are we going to take up that we wished we had made time for this year? As we make these plans, it’s important to make sleep a priority rather than something that can be traded off, to make space in our schedule for other activities.
Very few of us sleep well, and some of those who think they do should perhaps ask their long-suffering partner if that’s the case or not.
Sleep disorders affect millions of people in every country of the world and very few of them do anything about it, and as a result of that suffer serious consequences as far as their health is concerned – something that can easily be remedied. Adequate, restful sleep is necessary, and in fact vital for both physical and mental well-being. Recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine are that adults of working age should get at least seven hours undisturbed sleep each night – but not more than nine.
Hundreds of studies have shown that sleep is essential for the normal functioning of the immune system, the endocrine system and the central nervous system. In addition, as we all know and have always stressed, adequate sleep is crucial for learning in our children, and continues to be so even when they are young adults. It’s no different when we reach that adult age ourselves. After all why should it change because we’re older; it’s just as important then, if not more so.
Numerous studies continually show that interrupted sleep not only gives rise to daytime fatigue and weight gain, but may also be associated with very serious life-threatening conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and even early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Some studies even link it to various forms of cancer with an associated earlier death.
Sleep disorders are common but rarely recognised as health problems, and are diagnosed even less often. There are actually 88 different types of sleep disorders and their treatments have advanced significantly in recent years.
Obstructive sleep apnoea, signified by heavy snoring, interrupted breathing, and gasping for breath, is by far the most common sleep disorder encountered, affecting more than hundreds of millions of us worldwide. Research has shown that for critically advanced cases that treatment with a positive airway pressure device leads to reduction in blood pressure and lowers risk in a multitude of areas. A recent Johns Hopkins study from the USA reported that, if left untreated, sleep apnoea could increase glucose levels in the body, leading to insulin-resistant diabetes. It also affects all your cardiovascular functions and strokes can be a result of the neglect. Using an oral appliance will control it and prevent it reaching that serious stage.
Patients with sleep apnoea often experience excessive daytime sleepiness, unrefreshing sleep, snoring, frequent night-time urination, ankle swelling, headaches and memory problems. Treatment options medically approved oral appliances, surgery of various kinds and devices like CPAP for the very worst sufferers. Mouthpieces of course are easiest and are highly effective, plus they’re easily available and with no prescription required.
The important thing is to act – and to do it now before it’s too late or it will be just forgotten as often happens, until your health problems eventually remind you.
Lets face it – it’s not sensible to allow that critical oxygen supply to be cut off from your brain – and heavy snoring and sleep apnoea do just that. If you allow it to continue you’re in effect allowing yourself to be strangled and could be damaging your health forever. An oral appliance will prevent that and may even reverse some of the damage already done.
Sleep well in 2016 with SleepPro
Have a Happy and Healthy New Year