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World Sleep Day 2013: Philips Healthcare to launch sleep-focused awareness programmes

Sleeping disorders affect 93% Indians

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On the eve of on March 15, India today reiterated its commitment to increase awareness on common sleep disorders that affect an whopping 93% Indians.

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

Through its awareness programmes, Philips has emphasised 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 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.

Natarajan Rajagopalan, Director of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Narayana Hrudayalaya emphasizes, “The significance of sleep is shown by the fact, that a normal human spends one-third of his life in sleep. Sleep disorders are not uncommon. One should not hesitate to consult a physican regarding any disturbance in sleep, if it persists for more than a couple of weeks. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder which affects all age groups and not exclusively obese people as conceived by many. Left untreated it has wide range of ramifications in the body.”

Globally, approximately 100 million people suffer from OSA, according to World Health Organisation (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 or getting less than the 8 hours of sleep 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.

As a global leader in sleep-related solutions, Philips has assisted hospitals and clinics across India in establishing over 200 sleep labs till date. These sleep labs also help physicians accurately diagnose sleep disorders, while Philips provides technology, facilities and training.

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