We all know that sleep is vital to our health and wellbeing. This is the time when the body heals itself and increases its vitality. But nowadays, sleep has become one of the biggest health problems for modern people. We sleep less, suffer from insomnia, have insomnia and poor sleep quality. These disturbances can affect our quality of life, cause illness and health problems up to and including death.
Assoc. Prof Naricha Chirakalwasan,
MD, Managing Director of the Nidra Vej Center,
King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital
“Currently, insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, accounting for 10-20% of the world’s population, and up to 20% of that number are the elderly. There are also other sleep-related disorders such as sleep apnea, movement disorder, bruxism, periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), restless legs syndrome (RLS), hypersomnia, parasomnia including sleepwalking, sleep speech, and circadian rhythm sleep disorders which are common in people who sleep late and wake up late, “said Assoc. Prof. Naricha Chirakalwasan, MD, Executive Director of the Nidra Vej Center, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital.
The Center of Excellence for Sleep Disorders, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital,
5th floor, 14-story special station building
The Nidra Vej Center was founded in 2003. It is Thailand’s first comprehensive sleep diagnostic center and its services include sleep tests, a sleep disorder ambulance and a behavior modification clinic for insomnia sufferers. The center also offers a certificate course for training doctors and specialists in sleep disorders and researches and innovations on sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea research. It has been found that Thais and Asians suffer from sleep apnea when they sleep on their backs. Other research and innovation projects include cannabis and sleep, as well as an application to monitor patient sleep, etc. Every year the number of patients coming for advice and services increases steadily. In 2020 there were 3,400 patients aged 8 months to 105 years.
“Sleep is the best recovery. We spend a third of the day sleeping. Quality sleep is something we should appreciate and understand. “
Busarakham Chaithasanee, MD
Assoc. Prof. Naricha Chirakalwasan, MD, and Busarakham Chaithasanee, MD, two experts from the Nidra Vej Center, provide the following advice on “Quality Sleep” for good health.
Frequent sleep disorders
Most Thais suffer from lack of sleep, especially working-age urban dwellers whose lifestyle dictates that they wake up early and sleep late. According to the research, sleeping less than 5.5 hours or more than 9 hours increases the likelihood of death. Lack of sleep can cause cardiovascular diseases and force the autonomic nervous system to overload, which leads to death.
Guidelines for the treatment of sleep disorders
For obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the main treatment is to use a machine that blows positive pressure air to widen the airways that patients only wear while they sleep. There is also a dental device that is inserted to move the lower jaw forward and widen the airway. In mild cases, patients are advised to change their sleeping position, adjust their sleeping habits, or use a device that will help them sleep on their side to improve their condition.
Treatment for insomnia, which affects up to 20 percent of the middle-aged population and more women than men, can be divided into two types: behavior modification and drug treatment. The center will focus on behavior changes first, such as adjusting sleep and wake times, avoiding lights near bedtime, not doing exciting or scary activities near bedtime. The behavior that should be avoided and reduced is using social media on smartphones right before bed. Exposure to light reduces the release of melatonin and makes it difficult to fall asleep.
Who Needs a Sleep Test?
The sleep test is a sleep disorder diagnosis that is done when patients are suspected of having sleep apnea, bruxism, sleep talk, limbs twitching while sleeping, etc. A sleep test is not required for people with insomnia.
Do people who die in their sleep have trouble sleeping?
The number one cause of most people who die in their sleep is abnormal heartbeat caused by other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or snoring. These sleep disorders do not lead directly to death in the patient, but induce arrhythmias and lead to myocardial ischemia, which increases the likelihood of death.
How Much Sleep is Enough?
Sleep is important for people of all ages. Kindergarten children should sleep 10–13 hours, elementary school children 9–10 hours, secondary school children 8–10 hours, working people 7–9 hours and over 65s less than 7 hours of sleep.
To see if we are getting enough sleep, we should look at the difference between the number of hours we sleep on weekdays and on weekends when the difference is more than two hours.
How To Exercise To Help You Fall Asleep
We recommend about half an hour of aerobic exercise 4-5 hours before bed or even better if you can exercise in the morning, as the morning sun helps with melatonin secretion, which improves sleep that night.
What to eat, how to eat to promote sleep
We do not recommend eating a large meal within 3 hours of bedtime, as this leads to discomfort, increased likelihood of acid reflux and insomnia.
Foods that will help you sleep are foods containing tryptophan like bananas, milk, etc. Foods to avoid 6 hours before bed are caffeinated foods like chocolate, cocoa, tea, coffee and black soft drinks.
Does hitting the snooze button frequently affect your health?
Frequent presses of the snooze button does affect the quality of sleep as we press the alarm clock most of the time when we are about to wake up. Early morning sleep, called REM sleep or Rapid Eye Movement Sleep, is an important sleep that gathers memories that occurred during the day.
Pressing the snooze button during this time can decrease memory and cause the brain to wake up in spurts. As a result, the autonomic nervous system, heart rate and blood pressure all increase and have a negative effect on the cardiovascular system.
Which sleeping position?
Most people switch sleeping positions all night. Sleeping long in a certain position can cause pain. Sleeping on your stomach is hardly ergonomic as we have to turn our head to the side to breathe and this can cause muscle, neck and back pain.
Sleeping on your back is the most natural and comfortable, but it is forbidden for some groups of people, such as people who snore or have obstructive sleep apnea, because their airways are narrower than normal people. Sleeping in a supine position causes tissues in the pharynx, such as Therefore, side sleeping is better for this group of people.
Recommendations for people with insomnia
We don’t recommend buying over-the-counter sleeping pills for people with insomnia, as some medications can cause addiction or dementia. Whenever sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, drowsiness, sleep speeches or irregular muscle movements are detected, a doctor should be consulted immediately, as these symptoms, if left untreated, can lead to serious diseases such as heart disease, paralysis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, etc.
People with sleep problems can contact us for advice at the Center of Excellence for Sleep Disorders (Nidra Vej Center), King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, 5th floor, Specialty Hospital Building 14 or https://www.sleepcenterchula.org/index.php/. d /.