World Sleep Day 17th March 2023

Sleep is essential to health – the theme of this year’s World Sleep Day, 17th March 2023.

Breathing plays a crucial role in getting a good night’s sleep, and it is essential for maintaining overall health and wellbeing. When we sleep, our breathing should be regular, slow, and effortless. However, some people may experience breathing difficulties during sleep, such as sleep apnea, which can disrupt the sleep cycle and cause daytime fatigue, mood changes, and other health problems.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes a person’s breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep. It affects more than 936 million people worldwide and can be particularly dangerous for those with pre-existing medical conditions. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have sleep apnea or other sleep-related breathing difficulties, it’s essential to seek medical attention. A sleep study can diagnose sleep apnea, and treatment may involve the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, lifestyle changes, or other medical interventions. Contact our team to learn more.

World Sleep Day is a reminder of the importance of good sleep health, including the role of breathing in getting a good night’s sleep. It’s a time to raise awareness and take action to promote better sleep habits and sleep-related health issues. By spreading the word about World Sleep Day and promoting sleep health, we can help improve the quality of life for millions of people worldwide. We sat down with Breathing and Medical Lead Clinical Sleep and Respiratory Physiologist, Cath Corble to discuss World Sleep Day.

What is your role at Breathing and Medical?

My role as the Lead Clinical Physiologist is to facilitate the running of the clinic which is telehealth based and nationwide.

Patients can be referred through their GP or can self refer through our website. Our team is also available for free 10 minute advice calls.

My usual day would involve speaking with new clients around their sleep issues, scoring and reporting sleep studies, discussing treatment options, setting up trials of PAP therapy, speaking with those currently undergoing a PAP trial and then supporting them ongoing on their journey to better sleep.

I believe there are many facets of sleep, so first we must listen to the patient, let them explain to us their concerns about their sleep. My work is overseen by a respiratory physcian an in-depth understanding of the individual we are able to get a good idea of the problem at hand, we can then perform a sleep study where the equipment is sent directly out to the patient for an overnight test and where I can remotely report on their sleep data – it’s very easy and simple process. Once we have a diagnosis, treatment options can be discussed and then actioned.

My role has grown in 2023 and also includes being the product specialist on the extensive CPAP and mask range that we hold, along with the other respiratory equipment that we hold in stock.

How have you seen sleep affect people in daily activities and at work?

Sleep or lack of sleep can affect people in different ways. We know that long term poor sleep can affect our long term health as well as out quality of life.

Our quality of sleep can affect how we deal with life on a daily basis, both at work and in the home.

Poor sleep in an individual will affect their performance in the workplace and in the home, it is important to acknowledge that sleep is crucial to all aspects of life and daily living. We are encouraging employers who rely on their staff’s performance to test their sleep.

A sleep deprived patient will have more trouble remaining focused on the task at hand, may fall asleep during sedentary tasks, for example whilst at the computer. The computer requires a lot of concentration and these people may find it more difficult to deal with stressful situations, which takes more time away from work and creates higher risk of workplace accidents.

What common issues do you see impacting people’s sleep?

As the average weight of the population increases so does the incidence of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, although noting that you don’t have to be overweight to have OSA it is a risk factor. There are also many other sleep disorders out there that are not covered / investigated by sleep labs. These include parasomnia, Narcolepsy, Insomnia, and more, there is no funding available to look at these in public health, so if you cany afford to go private there is no help.

Obstructive Seep Apnoea can have numerous causes and is not always seen in the overweight person. However as the awareness of sleep disorders increases, more people are seeking assistance with their sleep concerns. Unfortunately Public Health Sleep departments often don’t have the funding to expand into some of the other sleep disorders that affect out population.

We also need to remember that there are many things other than sleep disorders that can affect our sleep, Age, particularly Adolescence, shift work, other health issues, medications and retirement, will all have an impact on our sleep quality. And in our modern world, social media, Netflix, the 24 hour global society we live in,  we take technology into the bedroom and its our sleep that suffers.

We should be spending a third of our lives asleep, that in itself indicates that it is a very important part of our wellbeing, our understanding of sleep increases and yet its importance is often overlooked.  

What is your very best sleep tip to help improve sleep?

My very best tip would be; well, there is a few that I stick by where I can.

  • Try to maintain a regular sleep / wake routine
  • No screen time for at least an hour before bed ( I read, paper book 😊)
  • No smart devices in the bedroom when you sleep (I have an alarm clock, not my phone as an alarm)
  • Try and spend some time in the natural morning light

If you feel you may have an issue with your sleep, talk to your GP or give us a call and talk to one of our team directly to help get your sleep back on track.

New Employee Wellbeing Package

Cath has been working on a sleep support package for employees, whether they be professionals in an office environment, or drivers in a large trucking fleet – sleep is crucial to performance. Email Cath to learn more

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