by Thilaka Ravi on  March 14, 2013 at 6:00 PM Indian Health News
 Philips Healthcare to Launch Over 250 ‘Sleep Awareness’ Programs in India on World Sleep Day
On the eve of World Sleep Day 2013, which is celebrated on March 15, Philips Healthcare India today reiterated its commitment to increasing awareness on common sleep disorders that affect an overwhelming 93% Indians.

As part of its awareness drive, Philips Home Healthcare division organized over 150 sleep focused events in 2012 and intends to increase this to 250 in 2013. Identifying the need for trained sleep specialists across India, Philips has already trained over 200 technicians and 500 physicians, and will continue to increase this number over the next few years. In addition to this, Philips will continue to help hospitals in setting up more sleep labs across the country.

Through its awareness programs backed with fresh plans to reach 7 million sleep disorder patients, Philips has emphasized that lack of sleep not only impacts the overall quality and productivity of a person's life but also leads to serious health issues such as increased risk of diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats among others. According to industry estimates, today there are at least 7 million Indians who are living with different types of sleep disorders, with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) being the most common.

"Despite the alarming and well-documented consequences of not sleeping enough, it is still not considered a serious health issue in India. If left untreated, lack of sleep and snoring could signal a more serious condition-OSA - which can potentially lead to heart disease, worsen heart failure and even trigger heart attacks," said Bidur Dhaul, Senior Director, Home Health Care, Philips Healthcare India."People who are experiencing poor sleep must visit a doctor for correct diagnosis. If detected on time, this can be treated and one can avoid more serious health issues," he added.

Some of the most common signs of OSA are loud and chronic snoring, frequent urination at night, morning headaches, irritability, depression, mood swings, memory or learning problems and inability to concentrate.

Dr. N. Ramakrishnan, President, Indian Sleep Disorders Association (ISDA) emphasizes, "Sleep related problems will be the next big epidemic of non-communicable disease in India (after Diabetes and Heart Disease) and treatment would change the quality of life. It is important to remember that excessive daytime sleepiness is as much a problem as not sleeping enough. You must sleep well for good health".

Globally, approximately 100 million people suffer from OSA, according to World Health Organization (WHO). Evidence collected by WHO suggests that undiagnosed patients with OSA incur higher health-care costs. In India, a Philips survey conducted by The Nielsen Company revealed that 93% Indians are sleep-deprived, getting less than the 8 hours of sleep they need every day. An astonishing 11% take leave from work because of lack of sleep. The Survey also reveals that 58% feel that their work suffers due to lack of adequate sleep while 11% actually fall asleep at work. A whopping 87% agree they are aware that lack of sleep affects their health. Interestingly, only 2% Indians discussed their sleep issues with a physician.

Source: Medindia

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