World Sleep Day March 16 2012, Promotes Healthy, Undisturbed Sleep

Sleep is a vital component of overall wellbeing, affecting the mental, physical and emotional health of adults and children alike. World Sleep Day is designed to raise awareness of sleep as a human privilege that is often compromised by the habits of modern life—and by sleep problems, such as obstructive sleep apnea.

This is the message the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) will be promoting during the fifth-annual World Sleep Day on Friday, March 16, 2012. Organized by the World Sleep Day Committee (co-chaired by Antonio Culebras and Liboro Parrino), this worldwide event is a platform for medical professionals to deliver the message of the importance of healthy sleep to the public.

Sleep problems constitute a global epidemic affecting up to 45% of the world’s population. Conditions including insomnia, restless legs syndrome (RLS), sleep deprivation and sleep-related respiratory disturbances, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), result in loss of quality sleep that can lead to numerous health problems, such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Furthermore, insufficient sleep may lead to poor alertness, lack of attention, reduced concentration, decreased work and academic productivity, and even motor vehicle accidents.

A major focus of World Sleep Day 2012 is obstructive sleep apnea, which is a prevalent and often under-recognized problem. The Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study estimated an OSA prevalence of 24% among men and 9% among women in that state of the USA. In northern India, the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea is 13.7%.

Fortunately, with accurate diagnosis, both adult and pediatric sleep apnea are treatable and correctable. Treatment ranges from non-invasive procedures, such as continuous positive airway pressure (or CPAP, a machine that delivers air at a predetermined pressure through a mask placed over the nose), to oral appliances designed to keep the throat open, to surgery to remove excess tissue from the throat or enlarge the oral container by means of maxillomandibular advancement. Treatment can be life changing, as successful correction of sleep apnea can drastically improve sleep quality and overall health.

More information may be found at www.worldsleepday.org

SOURCE World Association of Sleep Medicine

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