Science is still studying how people can get their best night’s sleep.

Health City Cayman Islands has completed 750 sleep studies in time for the global observance of World Sleep Day on Friday, March 15, and it’s urging people to find a way to improve their night’s sleep.

Health City is offering a free tour of its Sleep Lab and free screening assessments between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday. Global studies have found that most sleep disorders are treatable, but less than one-third of those experiencing them seek professional help.

World Sleep Day, created by the World Sleep Society, was created to highlight the importance of rest and its impact on health. The slogan for this year’s event is “Healthy Sleep, Healthy Aging,” and medical professionals hope to impart the message that quality of life can be improved by quality sleep.

According to the Philips Index for Health and Well-Being, 35 percent of people do not feel that they get an adequate amount of sleep. Lack of sleep has been found to have a negative impact on attention span, memory recall and learning. Research studies have also found that lack of sleep has been associated with significant health problems like obesity, diabetes and even some cancers.

A U.S. study estimated that the annual economic costs of insomnia are between $92.5 billion and $107.5 billion, and 46 percent of people with frequent sleep disturbances report missing work or making errors at work. Fifteen percent of healthy sleepers, by contrast, report missing work or making errors at work.

Health City’s Department of Pulmonology conducts its own studies at its sleep laboratory where patients can stay overnight in a private room. The hospital’s team conducts a painless test called the polysomnogram while they sleep.

During that test – which lasts about seven hours – a sleep technologist places electrodes on a patient’s head, scalp, finger, chest, legs and abdomen. There will be a sensor near the nose and mouth, and monitoring will be conducted to assess sleep and identify breathing patterns.

The doctors are measuring brain activity, movement of the eyes, muscle activity of the chin and limbs, oxygen saturation, nasal and oral airflow, respiratory effort and heart rate and rhythm. They are also collecting data on blood pressure, snoring and sleep positions.

The team at Health City is led by Dr. Archita Joshi-Bhatt, consultant in pulmonology. Dr. Joshi-Bhatt has more than 10 years of experience in respiratory care, and she has completed American Academy of Sleep Medicine affiliated courses.

“Unfortunately, only about 10 percent of people suffering from sleep disorders receive appropriate treatment,” Dr. Joshi-Bhatt said in a press release. “Even minimal sleep loss can take a toll on one’s mood, energy and ability to handle stress. Sleep problems hinder daily functioning and can lead to accidents, but when they become chronic, a person’s long-term health can be adversely impacted. We are ready, willing and able at Health City to assist patients with sleep disorders to regain healthy and restorative sleep.”

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