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Poor sleep quality affecting heart health of the young, say city experts

Long work hours and work stress are major reasons for sleep deprivation among many, experts say
Last Updated : 02 May 2023, 12:44 IST

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Cases of sleep disorders are increasing among the youth in Bengaluru and doctors are seeing a link to heart diseases.

Sleep specialist Dr Satyanarayana Mysore says the number of patients with sleep disorders he sees has increased by 30% to 40% over the past decade. Those in the teenage to middle-aged group are most affected. He attributes this to the increase in the use of light-emitting devices like smartphones.

“Studies have shown that sleep disorders can put stress on heart functions, disturb heart rhythm, increase blood pressure and the stickiness of platelets in blood. Also, heart attack and stroke are associated with sleep apnea (which reduces oxygen levels in blood) and sleep disorders,” he says.

Dr C N Manjunath, director at Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases and Research, says that now 25% to 30% of the patients coming in with cardiovascular issues at Jayadeva are those with sleep deprivation, which is a recent phenomenon. “Sleep deprivation is a precipitating factor for heart disease. Other than increasing heart rate and BP, it also contributes to obesity, stress, etc., that are direct risk factors for heart disease,” he says.

Dr Jagadish Hiremath, Chairman of AASRA Hospitals, also said that sleep deprivation is now seen in about a quarter of patients who come to the hospital with issues like hypertension. He says that long work hours and work stress are major reasons for sleep deprivation among his patients. Around 70% of the sleep apnea patients at the hospital are aged below 45 years.

Sleep deprivation also affects other organs like the liver, and causes a range of problems like mood problems and low productivity, says Dr Mysore.

“The extent of sleep each individual requires varies; some need fewer hours only. But on average, seven hours of sleep is needed for those aged between 11 and 60 years.”

While options like bright light therapy are available for sleep disorder patients, the most important solution is lifestyle change, he says.

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Published 08 April 2023, 19:37 IST

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