Impact of sleep on health
Lack of sleep makes one look tired and can cause one to be more irritable. It also affects concentration, immune system, and as if that's not bad enough, it can cause one to overeat too. While studies about the importance of sleep are gaining international attention, still more than 50% of adults worldwide don't have a regular sleep schedule, resulting in inadequate sleep and all the adverse effects mentioned.
Globally, 67% of people surveyed agree that sleep plays a vital role in their health but only 29% feel bad about not trying to improve their sleep habits. More people feel guilty about their lack of exercise and poor eating habits.
Lack of awareness and its impact to government healthcare systems
Whether by lack of awareness or available solutions, sleep isn't just a priority for many adults.
In Singapore, for instance, one in three people over 40 suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnea, the majority of them gasping for air during sleep because of soft tissues blocking their upper airways. Even if the existing treatment, Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP), is known to be effective in treating apnea, only about 5000 sleep tests are done and about 6000 CPAP or sleep therapy devices are prescribed annually in Singapore.
This lack of awareness is straining Singapore and other government healthcare systems worldwide. For instance, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is related to hypertension and diabetes. Only on rare occasions will a patient be sent to a sleep lab and their undiagnosed OSA confirmed and treated with CPAP.
This confirms the importance of conducting proper sleep tests and treatments.
Free Sleep and Respiratory Care Training
To fight this lack of awareness in Southeast Asia, Philips opened the first Sleep and Respiratory Care Center in Singapore last month. Our aim is to increase the number of healthcare professionals trained in sleep and respiratory care within the region.