20 January 2020


Around 100 members of Senior Citizen’s Council, Panchkula, attended a talk on ‘Common Sleep Disorders in Elderly and their management’, given by Dr Bhaskar Azad, Medical Director & Sleep Medicine Specialist, The Sleep Clinic. Dr Bhaskar was very warmly welcomed by the President of Senior Citizens Council, Panchkula, Mr RP Malhotra.

Sleep is a naturally-occurring and periodic state that involves both the mind and the body. Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

Research shows that not getting enough sleep increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes, explained Dr. Bhaskar.

“Along with the quality of sleep, the quantity of sleep is also very important. Infants & children need 10-16 hours of sleep, teenagers need 9-10 hours of sleep and adults need 7-9 hours of sleep”, said Dr. Bhaskar.

Elaborating on the Common Sleep Disorders in Elderly, Dr. Bhaskar said that one of the most common disorders is sleep apnea – a condition characterized by repetitive pauses on breathing during the night. The most common symptom for the disorder is snoring. Latest research shows that close to a billion people may be suffering from this order globally, and India has the fourth highest prevalence of this disorder in the world. It is easy to diagnose using a sleep test which can be done either in the comfort of one’s home – or in a sleep lab at the clinic – based on the disease condition – he explained.

While mild sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes, positional therapy, dental appliances and other techniques – moderate to severe sleep apnea usually requires using a device called CPAP – where one sleeps with a device and a mask which prevents the blocking of the upper airway and prevents the serious consequences linked to sleep apnea. Globally millions of people are using a CPAP device in the night to get better sleep – he explained.

Dr. Bhaskar concluded the talk by mentioning other common sleep disorders in the elderly like insomnia, restless legs syndrome, sleepwalking, REM behavior disorder; narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia, teeth-grinding (bruxism), circadian rhythm sleep disorders besides others.

If you do not sleep well you

  • Will feel more hungrier (midnight snacking), especially craving for sweet food increases
  • Use the washroom more often (kidneys don’t get rest)
  • Have heart problems like blood pressure or heart failure (heart doesn’t get rest)
  • Have lower immunity (Immunity can’t recharge itself)
  • Get body aches (muscles don’t rest, repair)
  • Get acidity at night (Stomach / Digestive system doesn’t get rest)
  • Get negative thoughts, bad mood swings, memory problems, premature ageing signs and depression (Brain can’t weed out the negative thoughts and improve memory)


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