Doctors from Naruvi Hospitals, Vellore, emphasised on the quality of sleep being critical for the well-being of the heart in a webinar on ‘Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Get Your Night’s Sleep Back’ organised as a part of The Hindu Wellness Series.
T.V. Rajagopal, consultant interventional pulmonology, Naruvi Hospitals, highlighted that there’s a common misconception that sleep apnea is just snoring. “It is in fact, a series of symptoms such as loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, hypertension, troubled concentration and excessive choking, which in some cases might lead to a cardiac arrest or stroke,” he said. He emphasised on the need for awareness, and added, “Out of 10 who are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, only three get treated and the remaining often do not seek help.“
Abhishek Goyal, additional professor, Pulmonary Medicine, AIIMS, Bhopal, said the severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) could be evaluated with certainty with the help of sleep labs and the facilities they had. “There are home sleep tests also available as an option that are easy to use and are cost friendly,” he added.
Speaking about how over the years, obesity has been known to be a significant cause of many cardio-metabolic complications, Niranjana Sreedevi N., consultant, Internal Medicine, Naruvi Hospitals, suggested a Mediterranean diet with high tolerance to water and plant-based food and a DASH diet that was designed to treat hypertension – a critical symptom of OSA. “Apart from a healthy diet, regular exercise and behavioural alterations, such as setting goals, tracking your progress, eating styles and self-control, will create a drastic change,” she said.
Through the webinar, the doctors also spoke about how humans were bound to receive eight hours of undisturbed sleep, and if this did not happen, it would snowball into a series of health issues. They further spoke about behavioural alterations, which included staying away from screens that emit light at least 2 hours before sleep, avoiding a heavy meal for dinner, avoiding drinking too much water at night, which causes frequent urination, and to reduce caffeine intake.