The South China Morning Post has just reported that sleep deprivation is on the rise in Hong Kong. They report that the recent anti-government protests have increased the frequency of inadequate sleep among HK residents.
In fact, they report that more than half of Hong Kong residents are suffering from sleep deprivation. An online survey of 173 working people aged between 20 and 45 in August found that 57 per cent of Hongkongers had “insufficient” or “very insufficient” sleep.
“On average, respondents only had four hours of sleep and rated their sleep quality as five on a scale of 10 in the week before taking the survey.”
What Is Sleep Deprivation?
Sleep deprivation results when you are unable to receive adequate sleep. It’s common in new parents, as well as certain jobs, such as those involving travel and consequent jet lag. Staying awake for long periods of time (more than 24 hours) creates sleep deprivation. Certain medications or health conditions can also interfere with restful sleep. When you are sleep deprived, there are several potentially serious health consequences.
What Are The Health Consequences Of Sleep Deprivation?
Lack of sleep can cause mood swings, depression, anxiety, impaired reaction times, poor athletic performance, and of course feeling tired. Many don’t realize that other more serious health consequences are also associated with poor sleep, such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even cancer.
What Health Conditions Are Related To Sleep Deprivation?
Insomnia is a condition where people have trouble either falling asleep, staying asleep, or going back to sleep when awoken. Chronic insomnia can rapidly create a condition of sleep deprivation.
Nocturia, also known as nocturnal polyuria, is the medical term for excessive urination at night. If you have to rise several times every night to urinate, it can disrupt your sleep enough to create sleep deprivation by preventing you from achieving deep sleep.
Excessive Caffeine Intake
If you’re struggling with sleep issues, be sure to limit caffeine intake to a couple of cups per day. Avoid caffeinated “energy” drinks, and avoid any caffeine after noon. Some people have a genetic quirk that makes caffeine very slow to take effect, so for them, it can cause insomnia hours after consumption.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where your breathing stops and starts. It not only disrupts restful sleep, but it can also lead to heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure or stroke. Many people are unaware that they have sleep apnea, so it is often tested for when fatigue or sleep disorders are being evaluated.
We all experience some stress, and sometimes being reminded of a few tips to lower stress is helpful. Other times, stress can become so pervasive that it can actually make changes in the way our genes express, resulting in serious health issues. It’s important to pay attention to when the stress in your life really begins to feel out of control for you – and get help. One call to our clinic can connect you with a full range of professionals who can help.
While depression can be fleeting and “normal”, when it begins to affect your relationships, your income and your ability to enjoy life its time to connect with one of the many professionals who can help. Here are some tips for finding the right therapist for treating depression.
How Can Your Health Professional Help With Sleep Deprivation?
Here in our Hong Kong Integrative Clinic, we can not only arrange for testing and diagnosis of common issues related to poor sleep, such as sleep apnea. We also offer treatments including acupuncture, massage, counselling and hypnotherapy which can assist you to get better sleep.
Quality sleep is very important to your health, happiness and productivity. It’s also a factor in reducing ageing, particularly in keeping your brain healthy. If you’re one of the many people in Hong Kong struggling with sleep deprivation, call our clinic today at (+852) 2523 8044 to discuss how we can help.