Discoveries for people
with sleep disorders
Three common sleeping Issues and how technology can help you overcome them
By Josh Wardini
Getting a healthy amount of sleep is essential for our day-to-day routines. How we function at work or at home largely depends on whether we get enough sleep. Unfortunately, a lot of people have trouble when they go to bed at night.
Recent studies have discovered that as much as 60% of young people aged between 18 and 24 don’t get sufficient sleep. Moreover, sleepiness while driving is believed to have caused over 70,000 deaths.
Snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, or any other common sleep issues all have known causes, but more importantly, we also know how to cure them.
In the last several years, we’ve seen remarkable technological discoveries, and a portion of them is designed to help us achieve that desired 8-hour rest. In this article, we will name three common sleep disorders and tell you about the gadgets and technology that can help you overcome them.
Recent studies have discovered that as much as 60% of young people aged between 18 and 24 don’t get sufficient sleep.
Snoring is not so much an issue for people who do it, but more for those who are sharing a bed or a room with them. Nevertheless, snoring can be an effect of some other health issues. Snoring usually occurs when a person has excessive throat and nasal tissue which doesn’t allow air to flow freely.
Some people simply have a specific mouth anatomy and are prone to snoring, while others can experience snoring due to alcohol consumption. However, the most common cause of snoring is a particular sleep position, more specifically, when we sleep on our backs.
Men snore more than women – 40% versus 20%. Also, the older you get, the more prone you become to snoring, as surveys have calculated that only 10% of young people between 17 and 29 snore, while around 40% of people older than 50 experience this issue.
The best way to avoid snoring is to change your position and sleep on your side. However, we often change sleeping positions in the middle of the night unconsciously and start snoring anyways.
‘Snoring usually occurs when a person has excessive throat and nasal tissue which doesn’t allow air to flow freely.’
A specially designed snoring mask from a company called Hüpnos manages to detect the vibrations of snoring and encourages users to change their habits of sleeping on their backs. A similar device from Philips called SmartSleep works the same, only it’s worn around your chest.
Sleep apnea disrupts our normal breathing tempo during sleep, causing it to get briefly or repeatedly interrupted. There are several known types of sleep apnea, but they all have similar causes like smoking, alcohol drinking, or being overweight. Over 40% of obese people have sleep apnea, while 70% of sleep apnea patients have excessive weight issues.
The most dangerous type of this disease is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, and it can cause abnormal heartbeats even during the day. OSA has a strong connection with snoring since as much as 95% of OSA patients experience snoring as well, while around 30% of snorers are at risk of developing sleep apnea over time.
The Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP) technology made by TheraVent might be the solution to your sleep apnea issues. It’s a small therapy strip that you put on your nostrils before you go to bed. They regulate airflow and reduce vibration during sleep.
‘Over 40% of obese people have sleep apnea, while 70% of sleep apnea patients have excessive weight issues.’
Another useful solution is called BiPAP, which uses non-invasive ventilation and positive airway pressure. It’s an easy-to-wear mask connected to a device that you can set-up and see the measurements on.
Insomnia is a disorder of having trouble falling asleep. Some people who have severe insomnia can’t sleep at all for several days or even weeks. Insomnia can even express itself as a difficulty staying asleep or sleeping for very short periods of time.
Mild insomnia is a very common issue, as every tenth person has it. It is even more common in older people since over 30% of people over 50 years old experience insomnia. Acute insomnia is usually only temporary, and every fourth person has it every year. Chronic insomnia is recorded in less than 10% of the general population. Women suffer from this sleeping disorder more than men – 27% compared to 20%.
Insomnia can be caused by our sleeping environment, like exposure to bright light or extreme temperatures. However, most insomnia patients experience emotional discomfort, chronic stress, or depression.
‘Chronic insomnia is recorded in less than 10% of the general population. Women suffer from this sleeping disorder more than men – 27% compared to 20%.’
Technology has come up with various ways to help people falling asleep better. One of the solutions is the Sleepio system that tracks your behaviour patterns thus identifying your sleep issues. After that, the system can give you a personal recommendation and organize your sleeping routines.
EBB Insomnia Therapy has also proved helpful to a lot of patients. This device is put on the user’s forehead in order to adjust its temperature. Once the temperature is lowered by several degrees, the brain will more easily make us fall asleep.
Josh Wardini, a bodybuilder trapped in a computer geek’s body, is a student of informal education, experience based knowledge through web technologies, tangible product advertisement and human communication to provide a well rounded marketing skill set to customers and clients.