Many individuals who feel tired and lackadaisical may in fact
be suffering from sleep apnoea and not even know it, the National
Sleep Foundation has claimed.
Millions of people could be suffering from this ailment but be
putting their symptoms down to a number of other causes, such as a
lack of vitamins, exercise or simply the fact they are getting
older, MSN Health reports.
"It's such a slow process that it can go on for years ... People
think, 'Oh, I'm older, it's normal not to be as peppy,' and they
blow off their symptoms," commented Dr Joyce Walsleben, an
associate professor of medicine at the New York University School
of Medicine in New York City.
However, research from the National Sleep Foundation has revealed
that up to 18 million people in the US alone could be suffering
from sleep apnoea, with 90 per cent of sufferers completely unaware
they have the condition.
The illness is typified by a blocking of the airways while a person
sleeps and is most commonly found in obese individuals, but not
always. This results in oxygen deprivation in the sufferer, causing
them to partially wake up.
Numerous interruptions in sleep throughout the night caused by the
condition may not seem that important, but it stops the body from
ever truly achieving a deep sleep state - this is the most
important type of restorative rest to keep people alert and
functioning normally throughout the day.
As a result, the impact of sleep apnoea on a person's mood and
their ability to carry out work and even simple day-to-day tasks
can be profound.
Meanwhile, the Independent reported earlier this month the true
cost to the NHS of people's difficulties in getting a good night's
sleep, with prescriptions for sleeping pills costing the health
organisation £50 million per year.
Mandeep Mudhar, NHS business director at the Co-operative Pharmacy,
told the newspaper: "While usage has risen steadily, the costs to
the NHS have risen disproportionately, with costs going up at a
Posted by Micheal Ewing