15-minute nap can make difference, expert says

Prodita Sabarini ,  The Jakarta Post ,  Jakarta   |  Fri, 08/14/2009 2:10 PM  |  Headlines

Taking a 15-minute nap during the day can restore one’s energy and increase concentration, a sleep specialist says.

Sleep specialist Andreas Prasadja said Thursday that people in Indonesia were unaware of the importance of getting a good night’s sleep and how to make up for a lack of sleep, meaning many people feel tired unnecessarily.

Sleep deprivation can be caused by difficulties in falling asleep and insomnia to bad quality sleep due to sleep apnea, he said.

One of way to restore one’s energy is to take a short nap during the day, Andreas said. “One can take a nap at their desk or in their car. In Jakarta, people take at least an hour traveling anyway,” he said.

He said Indonesians still associate sleep or being sleepy as a sign of laziness. “Feeling sleepy during the day time or feeling tired can actually be the result of a sleep disorder.”

He added that sleep disorders can be dangerous. “Sleep apnea can be a silent killer,” he said.

Andreas was speaking at the launching of his book Ayo Bangun! (Wake Up!), about healthy sleeping habits, and the relaunch of Mitra Kemayoran’s Hospital Sleep Disorder Clinic.

The clinic, which opened in 2002, is the first of its kind in the country. Andreas is one of only two Indonesia’s sleep specialists.

“Most cities abroad have at least one sleep center, but in Indonesia the awareness among both the public and the medical community about sleep is still low,” he said.

He said a US study showed that one out of five Americans have a sleep disorder, but added that there has yet to be a similar study conducted among Indonesians. However, he said that the rate of sleep disorders was likely higher than that in the US.

He said that a common misconception in Indonesia is that people who snore sleep well. He said that if left untreated, snoring can cause hypertension, heart failure, diabetes or stroke.

Snoring is a type of sleep disorder clinically known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

“When people snore, their respiration tract gets clogged, due to the relaxing of muscles during sleep, and this makes them stop breathing. As a reflex the brain wake them up, often gasping for air. This means people who snore wake up continuously at night even though they might not be entirely conscious,” he said.

link: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/08/14/15minute-nap-can-make-difference-expert-says.html

Snoring no laughing matter: Specialists

Prodita Sabarini, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 03/02/2009 2:13 PM | Jakarta

Many Jakartans are unaware of the health and social risks that come with sleeping disorders, seeing insomnia as a regular part of urban life or assuming that snoring as a sign of deep sleep, a sleep specialist says.

Dr. Andreas Prasadja, a sleep physician at the Mitra Kemayoran Sleep Laboratory, pointed out a lack of sleep poses health risks and contributes to the number of traffic accidents in the city.

“We’ve heard about so many traffic accidents being caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel,” he said Friday at a seminar on sleeping disorders.

Andreas said he hoped to dispel two commonly believed false notions: Sleep as a sign for laziness and snoring was a sign of deep, restful slumber.

He said our urban lifestyle, which hails productivity and runs by the motto “work hard, play hard”, has contributed to people’s sleep problems.

For productivity’s sake people force themselves to work long hours using stimulants which then keep users awake when it was time to rest. Light sleeping is not the only consequence: overuse of stimulants can lead to kidney failure.

He also said exercising just before going to bed can disrupt sleep as well as a brightly lit room, or snuggling up with our digital sidekicks, laptops and cell phones, before snoozing.

He said people should avoid taking stimulants – including caffeine, nicotine, and chocolate – nine hours before going to sleep, replacing them with relaxing drinks such as camomile tea.

He also encouraged people to finish their exercise regimes three hours before going to bed and to stop all work-related activities an hour before.

“When you feel really sleepy, then go to bed. Do not do anything in bed except sleep and have sex,” he said.

Another sleep disorder which is the most common and the most dangerous but also the most ignored is snoring.

“Snoring is not a laughing matter. It’s serious. If untreated it can cause hypertension, heart failure, diabetes or stroke,” he said.

He said that hypersomnia, a condition where people feel excessive daytime sleepiness despite long nighttime sleep might be caused by sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep, common among people who snore.

“During sleep the muscles of the body relax, including the soft tissue around the air way in the throat area. These tissues can collapse and obstruct breathing during sleep, causing people to stop breathing until they gasp for air,” he said.

To take in air, sufferers must wake over and over so they are never fully rested and can wind up with chronic, life-threatening consequences of extended sleep deprivation.

The importance of sleep, however, has yet to be fully understood by the public, including doctors, Andreas said.

“In Indonesia doctors diagnosing patients with hypertension or diabetes still rarely ask how well their patient is sleeping at night. In developed countries, that question is one the first questions the doctors ask a patient,” he said.

Lalaine Gedal, a Singapore-based sleep physician, said the prevalence of sleep apnea among 35-year-olds is 20 percent among men, and 5 percent among women. Among the elderly, 60 percent of men have sleep apnea and 40 percent of women.

A patient of Andreas said he had not realized he had been suffering from sleep apnea until he became very tired every day, dozing off during meetings and even while driving.

For those who dread surgical interventions, an effective and noninvasive method for stopping snoring involves a machine. Andreas’ patient now uses a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device known as a CPAP.

The CPAP includes a mask with air tubes and a fan. It uses air pressure to push the user’s tongue forward and keep the throat open. This allows air to pass through the airway consistently. It reduces snoring and prevents apnea wake-ups.

There are only two sleep specialists in Indonesia, both based in Jakarta. Andreas and Rimawati Tedjasukmana founded Thursday the Indonesian Society of Sleep Medicine, or INA Sleep.

Andreas said he hoped to educate people about sleeping disorders, through the organization.

link: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/03/02/snoring-no-laughing-matter-specialists.html