Nicola Exton.jpgToday (Friday, March 13)  is World Sleep Day.

Do you get enough sleep? Or are you the kind of person who longs for their bed from the moment you get up in the morning?

Created and hosted by World Sleep Society, World Sleep Day is an internationally recognised awareness event bringing researchers, health professionals and patients together to recognise sleep and its important impact on our health.

This year’s slogan is, ‘Better Sleep, Better Life, Better Planet,' highlighting sleep's important place as a pillar of health, allowing for better decision making and cognitive understanding in even big issues, such as our planet.

This focus is purposefully broad in meaning, surrounding the message that quality of life can be improved with healthy sleep.

Conversely, when sleep fails, health declines, decreasing quality of life. Sound sleep is a treasured function.

Sleep apnoea is a common sleep disorder in which an individual's breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Symptoms include daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, and restless sleep.

Today, sleep apnoea nurses Nicola Exton and Vicki Sewell from North Cumbria Integrated NHS Trust, raised awareness of the condition at a special stall in the atrium.

Nicola said: “It is estimated between 80-85 per cent of people of all ages, including children, live with undiagnosed sleep apnoea in the UK. Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnoea can reduce your life expectancy by up to 20 years and the cost to society is estimated to be £1.6 million.

“There is international evidence which suggests that patients with undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnoea cost the NHS twice the resources of an effectively treated patient. It is estimated that treating the whole moderate to severe sleep apnoea patient population would result in savings to the NHS of approximately £55 million.”

This year’s slogan from the World Sleep Society is Better Sleep, Better Life, Better Planet.Vicki.jpg

Vicki said: “Eighty per cent of the population have sleep apnoea – many of them just don’t know about it. Most of them improve significantly after being diagnosed and treated.”

Dr Liborio Parrino is chair of the World Sleep Day Committee.

He said: “If we really want to contribute to the planet’s survival, a wise activity is to extend the period of our sleep time.

“Better quality sleep also reduces the risk of labour-related and road accidents, promotes the secretion of melatonin and protects the natural circadian clock, which can prevent premature aging in humans.

“Extending our sleep period also improves our mental and body performances during the day and, last but not least, enhances our dreaming experience, as REM stages are mostly concentrated in the final portion of sleep, which is often curtailed by the urging rules of modern life.”

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  1. Fix a bedtime and an awakening time.
  2. If you are in the habit of taking siestas, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
  3. Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion four hours before bedtime and do not smoke.
  4. Avoid caffeine six hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate.
  5. Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods four hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
  6. Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
  7. Use comfortable bedding.
  8. Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated.
  9. Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
  10. Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don't use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room.



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