Mar 30, 2009
A good night's sleep not only makes one alert and energetic throughout the day but also keeps away some lifestyle diseases like hypertension, arthritis and heartburn, a study has claimed.
According to the study, lack of sleep is the biggest cause for lifestyle dieases.
Almost two-thirds of those surveyed in the study reported the presence of at least one medical condition, most of which are commonly managed in the primary care setting. Some of the diseases caused due to the lack of sleep found by the study were hypertension (29 per cent), arthritis (28 per cent) and heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (19 per cent).
Conditions like depression (18 per cent), anxiety disorder (12 per cent), diabetes (11 per cent), heart disease (10 per cent) and lung disease (five per cent) also turned out to be the main side effects of lack of sleep.
"As sleep is vital to our health and well being, we must not cut ourselves short from the amount of sleep that we get or suffer from sleep problems," Ramnathan Iyer, a counsellor for sleep disorders, said commenting on the rising lifestyle diseases.
According to him, people should take control of their sleep problems before it takes control of them.
"Effective management of sleep problems begins with a visit to your doctor. Early assessment and action can prevent short-term sleep problems from developing into a chronic one," Iyer said.
Obesity has also been associated with a greater number of sleep-related problems, said J C Suri, President of the Indian Sleep Disorder Association. "Sleep is important for mental, physical and emotional well-being," he said.
A condition of sleep disturbance -- insomnia -- refers to the difficulty in initiation, maintenance, duration or quality of sleep. It results in the impairment of daytime function. As a result of insomnia, people may experience poor concentration, lower productivity and poorer work quality.
It can also make a person fatigue, irritable or forgetful and can lead to stress and strained relationships, experts said. Most insomnia is co-morbid with other medical or psychiatric problems.
People, who reported a medical diagnosis, were more likely than those without a diagnosis to sleep less than six hours per night on weekdays and experience symptoms of insomnia, they said.