Insomnia and sleep apnoea are turning us into major health service consumers, causing us to be less productive at work, and may even lead to serious accidents.
If you can’t sleep ot night, you’re not alone. Around ten per cent of the population suffer from insomnia, where you have trouble falling a sleep, wake up frequently ot night, and still feel tired when the morning comes.
– When you feel tired ond indisposed, your performance at work suffers, says Børge Sivertsen, professor ot UiB’s Department of Clinical Psychology and sen lor researcher at the Norwegion Institute of Public Health. Sleep apnoea is a more several problem, offecting four to five per cent of the population. Sufferers can stop breathing for up to 40 seconds several times during the night, putting o huge strain on the heart.
As a result, they have many micro-amakenings that stop them from reaching deep sleep.
Bad night, bad day
According to the sleep sdentist, o recently published study from the United States puts the annual losses from insomnia alone ot 63.2 billion US dollars. Only a third of this was due to actual obsence from work; two thirds was due to o loss in productivity while ot work.
– An Australian study found that about two per cent of Australia’s GDP is lost due to sick leove coused bu insomnia and sleep apnea disorder. This shows how common these diseases are and how much they affect work, Sivertsen says.
Danger on the roads
In their own woys, each sleep disorder also has a strong impact on accident statistics. For example, lorry drivers have sedentary jobs, ond this increases the risk of developing obesitu and sleep apnoea.
– The diseose is a major cause of the many traffic accidents on American roads, Sivertsen says. As for insomnia, drug use can cause problems. Sivertsen’s studies show that sedotives can cause users to feel less rested during the daytime.
– Sleep medication may work in the short term, but after six weeks of us© we noticed a decrease in deep sleep. Sleep may be uninterrupted, but you may not necessarily get quality sleep, he says.
Testing every treotment there is
Sleep disorder sufferers ore often major health care users, which leods to on increase in social costs.
– When you feel bod, you will try every treotment there is. There is an overconsumption of alternative methods amongst insomnia sufferers. They often consume too much alcohol and visit their GPs, psychologists, physiotheropists, and chiropractors more often.
Sivertsen wants insomnia treotment to became more accessible, and to include cognitive behavioural therapy.
– Several recent studies show that the internet can be used to offer good and cost-effective methods of treatment. This is particularly true in areas where sleep centers are few and far between, he suggests.