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What’s Your Sleep Disorder?
People nowadays sleeping less than they did in the past, and sleep quality has decreased as well. Common sleep disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, circadian rhythm disorders (including jet lag and shift work) or mild sleep problems (including snoring, bruxism and bedroom allergies), may interrupt your normal sleep cycle, preventing you from getting enough rest at night, and may lead to fatigue and excessive sleepiness in day time.
Through this website, you can learn more about the different types of sleep disorders easily, including their symptoms, impacts and treatment options.
Snoring generally not considered as a sleep disorder, but frequent and loud snoring of your bed-partner may worth your attention. Some studies showing that about one-half of people who snore loudly may have obstructive sleep apnea .
Snoring happens when air cannot go through the partially obstructed airway freely while you are sleeping, making the soft tissues around the throat and the nose areas vibrate, and snore occurs.
Snoring usually becomes more common as you get older. The softer the tissues of the airway, the more vibration, and the louder the sound of snoring. It was estimated that about 40% of adult men and 24% of adult women are habitual snorers .
In Hong Kong, it was estimated that over 200,000 people having sleep apnea . Individuals with sleep apnea may stop breathing or experience shallow breathing a hundred time or more during sleep, each time lasts for at least 10 seconds, or sometimes more than a minute.
About 90% of patients with sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) , caused by a blockage in the upper airway due to collapse of the soft tissues.
Sleep apnea is a kind of sleep disorders. The severity of sleep apnea is defined by the number of apnea and hypopnea occur in an hour (AHI); AHI of 5-14 is Mild OSA, and AHI of more than 30 is Severe OSA.
Insomnia means having difficulty in fallen asleep, waking up too early, or waking intermittently, resulting in insufficient sleep.
Causes of insomnia include psychological reasons like stress, anxiety and depression. Physically discomfort/ pain and poor sleep habit may also lead to insomnia.
A Hong Kong study pointed out that the risk of adults suffering from insomnia is about 39% . According to the figures released by the Faculty of Medicine of the Chinese University of Hong Kong on World Sleep Day in 2011, 1 in 8 Hong Kong people has chronic insomnia. In addition, according to data from the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection, it is estimated that 6.6% of Hong Kong children suffer from chronic insomnia . Chronic insomnia represents a person has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at least 3 times per week for 3 months, and usually affects daily life.
We spend an average of 1/3 of our life in bed, so bedroom allergies can seriously affect our lives; and symptoms such as cough and nasal congestion during sleep may make us unable to have a good night’s sleep. In our bedroom, there can be one or more allergens, including dust mites, mould or pet dander.
Dust mites may be the most common trigger of year-round allergies and asthma , up to 85% of asthmatic patients are found to be allergic to house dust mite . In Hong Kong, it was estimated that more than 330,000 people suffering from asthma . Unfortunately, the humid climate in Hong Kong is very suitable for dust mites to live, and it is more likely to make the patient’s condition worse. Although dust mites appear on upholstered furniture and carpets are also very common, but the most likely to affect our health is the bed we sleep for 8 hours every night.
Medical professionals like Allergy UK recommend zippered fully encased mattress, duvet and pillow covers for the patients with chronic asthma and/or allergic rhinitis to minimise their exposure to dust mite allergens.
Bruxism (teeth grinding) is an unconscious habit of clenching or grinding of the upper and lower teeth against each other. It can apply substantial pressure - up to 250 pounds of force , which will cause teeth damage in the long run.
Nearly 70% of bruxism occurs as a result of stress or anxiety . There were 5 times more grinding episodes in smokers than in nonsmokers .
Bruxism in children is common, about 14-17% of children have it . Your child will have a higher risk of bruxism if there is a history of it in your family.
Reference:  The National Sleep Foundation, [2, 13] American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM),  Consumer Council,  Hospital Authority,  Community Medical Support Service Network,  Centre for Health Protection,  Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA),  The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI),  The Hong Kong Asthma Society,  The Bruxism Association, and  Sleep Research Society.
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The above information is for reference only. Please consult your doctor, if you have any health concern.
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