These sleep labs will ensure you get your sleep right
In the cacophony of our lives we often lose on our sound sleep but not anymore!
Most of us drift from our waking lives into predictable cycles of deep, non-rapid-eye-movement sleep, followed by dream-filled rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. But when the boundaries of these three phases of arousal get fuzzy, sleep time can be downright scary. Of late, people of all age groups are reporting sleep-related issues and disorders, psychologists say.
Enter sleep labs. While the good old counting sheep routine made way for pills and drugs a few decades ago, here is an attempt to spin a whole new industry around what is arguably a lifestyle-related disorder. At no small price, you can turn up at a sleep lab and curl up even as researchers watch you sleep — or not sleep — closely, and study your sleep patterns using various equipment.
Researchers sit by your bed all night evaluating every toss and turn, every snore or any signs of disturbance you exhibit. “Polysomnography is the method used to find if the person has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), narcolepsy or restless leg syndrome (RLS),” says P.K. Satyanarayana, senior consultant at the city-based Sleep and Asthma Centre India (SACI).
This therapy helps find out if the obstruction is mild, moderate or severe and gauge the pressure that is required to overcome it. Snores pause the breathing during sleep for a while, he adds. “This (snoring) cuts off the oxygen supply for short durations, jolting the brain to act in a crisis mode. This means the person rarely sleeps well. Such people tend to have daytime drowsiness too,” he said.
The way out? Dr. Satyanarayana explains that snoring can be stopped by using a device called the C-PAP (continuous positive airway pressure).
C.R. Chandrashekar, professor of psychiatry at National Institute of Mental and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) said all sleep problems may not be related to stress. “More often than not, most sleep problems are attributed to stress. This, however, is quite misleading. Shifting of biological clocks and other internal problems are the root cause of serious sleep problems.” NIMHANS too has a sleep lab that investigates the trouble a patient faces with sleeping and arrives at appropriate remedies, he adds.
Chronic insomnia is another major sleep disorder. The patients have weekly sessions of cognitive behaviour therapy spread over 30 weeks, says Bangalore-based psychiatrist Murali Raj. “Patients are asked to maintain a sleep diary and given a number of relaxation exercises.”
Does it work?
A resident of Indiranagar, aged 40, who has undergone treatment at NIMHANS's centre, says that 25 to 30 days of CBT did help him get back to a regular sleep pattern. Initially reluctant to seek help, he says he was prodded by his family into seeking treatment. “Now, I get five to six hours of sleep every night,” he said. Sivaramakrishnan Venkateshwaran, a 45-year-old who had trouble breathing while asleep, said he could sleep sound after undergoing sleep therapy.
Source: The Hindu