Sleep experts in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have raised the red flag on the adverse effects of poor sleep and chronic sleep deprivation in the region, attributing the rising cases of lifestyle and heart diseases to the condition.


The London Sleep Centre Dubai (LSC), the only fully integrated sleep diagnostic and treatment facility in the GCC region, has singled out Snoring and Sleep Apnoea as one of the main contributors of Type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart diseases.

According to LSCD, the UAE in particular has continued to grapple with the rise of chronic diseases and their risk factor not to mention the economic burden of diseases such as diabetes, which currently stands at AED 22 billion.

Recent figures from the International Diabetes Federation confirm that there are 37 million diabetics in the Middle East and North Africa, including 803,900 in the UAE. Additionally, a recent research done by West SD, Nicoll DJ, Stradling JR, suggests that over 80% of obese Type 2 Diabetes sufferers may have underlying sleep apnoea, which is likely to have been present prior and a significant contributor to the development of their diabetes. This presents a strong case for mandatory screening of all Type 2 Diabetes patients with a raised Body Mass Index (BMI).

Sleep specialists at LSC, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom, say that sleep apnoea can lead to chronic headaches, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat as well as heart attacks and heart failure if left untreated.

“As the prevalence of diabetes and heart diseases continue to increase, one of the most effective ways to prevent these cases from escalating further is through the early detection and treatment of sleep apnoea. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea as well as general poor sleep patterns have now become a public health issue and the effects are dire if not potentially catastrophic,” said Dr. Irshaad Ebrahim, specialist neuropsychiatrist and medical director at LSCD.

Dr. Irshaad notes with concern that the country’s healthcare system is under intense pressure as a result of ballooning cases of lifestyle diseases. If not adequately addressed, he says, it will claw back the gains made by Dubai in particular in the health sector.

“Dubai continues to position itself as the hub of healthcare in the region, which in turn has resulted in an influx of visitors. The gains are however likely to be watered down if these chronic lifestyle diseases are not drastically reduced by treating the underlying causes such as sleep disorders,” noted Dr. Irshaad.

More recently, a scientific study has found that treatment of Sleep Apnea with CPAP resulted in improvement of symptoms of Depression! The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, September 2015, evaluated 426 patients (243 males and 183 females) for suspected sleep apnea. At the beginning of the study, nearly 73% (213 of 293) of the patients with sleep apnea had clinically significant depressive symptoms that increased with sleep apnea severity. However, after undergoing CPAP therapy for 3 months, only 4% (9 of 228) of the sleep apnea patients still had remaining depressive symptoms.

Poor sleep reduces energy levels making exercise less appealing, however it also has a direct effect on our appetite and metabolism. Fragmented and reduced sleep stimulates appetite by increasing craving for high energy foods such as sugars fats and carbohydrates; poor sleep also slows our metabolism, both of which can lead to increased weight gain and obesity.

The average adult needs seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep while children, where a lot of human growth takes place during sleep, require between 10 to 14 hours depending on the age.

London Sleep Centre, Dubai, recommends that  people who suspect they or their child might have sleep disorder to seek the expert opinion from a physician or a sleep specialist. Treatment now can save you from a future full of health problems and associated physical and mental health complications. 


Source: Matrix Public Relations