Today the 13th March 2015 is World Sleep Day. Sleep-related disorders are fast becoming public health issues. There needs to be more awareness about the link between sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes and heart ailments. Senior doctors say sleep deprivation has the potential to negatively impact brain function, the immune system, metabolism and hormonal balance. “Sacrificing sleep for three days at one go could increase the levels of fatty acids in blood levels that lower the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugar, ultimately setting patients up for diabetes,” says a statement issued by doctors.
“Diabetes predisposes persons to sleep disorders and makes them vulnerable to hypertension and heart diseases. When an obese individual struggles with diabetes, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), a sleep disorder, in which patients have pauses in their breath during sleep, can be the culprit. About 30-40 per cent of diabetics can suffer from OSA,” endocrinologist K.D Modi says.
“In India, obesity will make Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS) a public health issue. Obese individuals, irrespective of their age and sex have nearly four times higher risk of having OSA. It has been found that hypothyroidism, a secondary cause of obesity, also predisposes an individual to OSA,” says professor and head of Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders at AIIMS, Randeep Guleria.