Sleep and your health

Many sleep-disorders are closely linked to other medical conditions. If you suffer from any of these medical problems, you may be at higher risk of having a sleep-disorder, including:

  • Arthritis, chronic pain (these often cause insomnia)
  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • Depression
  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux disorder/heart-burn
  • Heart conditions - angina, atrial fibrillation, heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Impotence
  • Nasal allergies and congestion
  • Neurological problems (morning headaches, stroke)
  • Nocturia (frequent urination at night) - think of sleep apnoea before the prostate gland
  • Obesity (correlates with sleep apnoea, which also makes it very difficult to lose weight)
  • Type-2 Diabetes
    • Up to 58% of patients who have type-2 diabetes suffer from OSA
    • Patients with sleep apnoea are four times more likely to have coronary heart disease
    • 50% of congestive heart failure patients have sleep apnoea - 5% of all heart disease is attributable to sleep apnoea
    • Mild OSA doubles the risk-level of hypertension
    • 35% of people with OSA have hypertension
    • More than one in three people with high blood pressure suffer from sleep apnoea
    • More than 80% of people with drug-resistant high blood pressure have sleep apnoea
    • 70% of people who have had a stroke have sleep apnoea
    • Approximately 40% of patients with OSA have some form of depression - approximately 20% of the burden of depression is due to OSA
    • OSA causes about 8–9% of all motor-vehicle and workplace accidents
    • Greater divorce rate
    • Up to 17 year reduction in life expectancy in patients with untreated OSA
    • There is a close link with learning difficulties in some children

Summary of Patients to Consider for Referral for a Sleep Study

  • All patients with Type-2 diabetes - as per guidelines set by International Diabetes Association (Released 25/4/2008) (Click here for more information)
  • Patients suffering from depression
  • Patients with heart disease
  • Patients with high blood pressure - especially if drug-resistant
  • Patients who have either had a stroke or are high risk for stroke
  • Patients who are obese

In many cases, treatment of underlying sleep-conditions can improve daytime sleepiness, and can also help underlying medical problems such as the above – this is especially the case for those in bold.

Research shows that sleep apnoea is associated with other serious health conditions:

  • More than one in three people with high blood pressure suffer from sleep apnoea
  • More than 80% of people with drug-resistant high blood pressure have sleep apnoea
  • 50% of people with heart failure have sleep apnoea