Why sleep is important
Sleep influences the general health and wellbeing in various ways.
It also affects some specific chronic disorders in all major body organs including heart and blood vessels, brain, kidneys, eyes and lungs.
How sleep disorders affect health
Some sleep disorders have direct effect on health. They could shorten your life span, make you more prone to accidents on the road, at home or workplace, and lead to poor quality of life.
Sleep disorders worsen other chronic disorders that you may have. Some of these chronic disorders include,
- Respiratory disorders (e.g. asthma, COPD)
- Cardiovascular disorders (e.g. high blood pressure, heart diseases, stroke)
- Metabolic disorders (e.g. diabetes, high cholesterol)
- Psychiatric/Psychological disorders (e.g. depression, anxiety, stress, dementia, cognitive impairment)
- Sexual dysfunctions
- Disorders of liver and kidneys
- Visual impairment
Not only the quantity of sleep but also its quality is of paramount importance to general health and better manage other co-existing chronic disorders.
Do you have a sleep disorder?
- Excessive tiredness or sleepiness, feeling low, feeling stressed or anxious could indicate an underlying sleep disorder.
- If your asthma or blood sugar levels or blood pressure is not satisfactorily controlled with treatment, or you have had heart disease or stroke, you may be having some form of a sleep disorders.
- Some sleep-disorders are commoner in males, in middle-aged and elderly, after menopause and in overweight. However, many people without these conditions could also suffer from sleep disorders.
Sleep disorders could be silent! Some people with sleep disorders do not have perceivable symptoms but these silent sleep disorders could be damaging health by affecting the functions of organ systems. Clinical assessment and some laboratory tests could reveal such silent sleep disorders.
The major categories of sleep disorders and their common symptoms include
- Insomnia (inability to fall asleep in night, frequent awakening, early morning awakening, short sleep)
- Sleep apnoea (snoring, breathing pauses during sleep, choking and snorting during sleep, breathlessness in night, increased tiredness or sleepiness)
- Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders (disrupted and abnormal sleep-wake patterns)
- Parasomnias (sleep walking, sleep terrors, nightmares)
- Sleep movement disorders (frequent, often stereotyped limb movement during sleep, abnormal unpleasant sensations on limbs)
How are sleep disorders diagnosed?
Some sleep disorders are diagnosed based only on a doctor’s clinical assessment. Diagnosis of others require some laboratory tests.
How are sleep disorders treated?
- Treatment of sleep-disorders depends on the type of disorder, presence of other disease conditions, and characteristics of the patient such as age, sex, type of job etc.
- Treatment of some conditions does not require medication. These can be treated by simple changes to daily activities and behaviour.
- Some conditions require medications. Depending on the condition the period of treatment could vary from a few days to several weeks.
- Most conditions need a combination of above methods.
- For sleep apnoea, a range of treatment options from risk-modification to devices that support breathing is available to choose from depending on the life-style of the patient.
Services we offer
- Detailed consultation on sleep health and general wellness
- Clinical assessment to detect presence of sleep disorders
- Sleep laboratory facilities to confirm some diagnoses
- Personalised guidance, support and therapeutic options to improve your sleep conditions and overall health and wellbeing
If you snore, fall asleep during the day or regularly feel tired and sleepy despite having had around 8 hours of sleep the previous night you may be suffering from a sleep disorder.
Normally during sleep the muscles that control the tongue and soft palate keep the airway open. If these muscles relax, the airway contracts and this may cause snoring and breathing difficulties. If your breathing is obstructed during sleep (usually between 10-90 seconds at a time) for five or more instances in an hour you will be diagnosed as having a sleep disorder.
Such disorders often go undiagnosed but the consequences of not receiving early treatment can be serious, even resulting in health issues such as hypertension, heart failure or stroke.
What sets us apart
Take a look at the facilities and services we offer to ensure that your stay with us is a restful, healthful experience. You’ll see that we really do offer you a better experience all round.
- We are the only private-sector healthcare provider in Sri Lanka to run a sleep studies unit with specialist medical professionals who are trained in this field
- Our sleep studies unit is located at the plush Asiri Central Hospital which is conveniently located at Norris Canal Road, Colombo 10
- The sleep laboratory is equipped with the latest cutting-edge technology and manned by medical personnel who are skilled at using such state-of-the art equipment
- The sleep studies unit is specially designed to put you at ease and help you fall asleep while a specialist monitors your breathing patterns
Symptoms of OSA
- Heart failure
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Morning headaches
- Memory lapse
- Intellectual deterioration
- Sexual problems
What to do if you have these symptoms
- Screening: Complete a preliminary assessment for OSA and return it to your doctor who will assess your level of risk. You can find this questionnaire at the reception of any Asiri Group Hospital.
- Diagnosis: Depending on your risk level your doctor may recommend you for a sleep test which can be performed at Asiri Central Hospital which has the latest sleep lab.
- Treatment: After assessing your sleep test results your doctor may recommend treatment which usually involves using a facemask and a CPAP therapy device (CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure and is a treatment that uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open) during the night.