Are you catching enough zzzzs? 

Research has shown that 40 per cent of Canadians will experience a form of a sleep disorder

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For overworked parents and tired skiers alike, March 15, World Sleep Day, offers a perfect excuse to take a break and consider how important sleep is to our lives.

"Sleep is fundamental to long term good health," said Dr. John Fleetham, founder and co-director, Leon Judah Blackmore Centre for Sleep Disorders, in a release.

Research has shown that 40 per cent of Canadians will experience a form of a sleep disorder in their life, such as narcolepsy, parasomnias, REM sleep behaviour disorder and sleep apnea.

According to World Sleep Day's website, the quality of sleep is more important than the quantity of sleep. As well, it only takes one night of a bad sleep to negatively impact memory, learning ability and attention span.

There are a number of issues that can impact the quality of sleep, from technology usage to the temperature of the room, and much more.

In September, Vancouver will be hosting World Sleep 2019, a worldwide forum for medical professionals to talk about sleep health and the latest research.

"Through research, we are better positioned to help those suffering from sleep disorders," said Fleetham.

Over 1,300 patients, 400 of those from Vancouver, are taking part in a nation-wide study through the Leon Judah Blackmore Centre for Sleep Disorders at UBC Hospital. The study will look at whether blood-based markers can predict the future of cardiovascular, cognitive and metabolic conditions in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

This is a condition that causes the throat to close and obstructs the air airway causing people to stop breathing or have a loud snoring problem. It is the most common form of sleep apnea. The 10 per cent of Canadians who work rotating shifts are more prone to this condition.

Lead researcher Dr.Najib Ayas said in a release: "Sleep research shows that patients with obstructive sleep apnea are at high risk of future medical conditions, including dementia and cardiovascular disease.

"We're hoping this study will help us better identify which patients with obstructive sleep apnea are more at risk for serious complications."

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