The Power of Good Sleep Patterns
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The importance of sleep in our lives cannot be overstated. Have you been feeling sleepy and tired for a long time? Do you find it difficult to concentrate in your daily life? Perhaps you snore or experience shortness of breath? Sleep problems limit not only general well-being but can also lead to the development of serious illnesses. Lack of sleep can also negatively impact the quality of life and even relationships.
Every minute of our day is determined by our night, how long and how well we sleep, Katalin Várdi, sleep diagnostics specialist at Doktor24, argues.
“There are three important pillars of a healthy lifestyle: good nutrition, regular exercise and sleep of the right length, structure, and rhythm. Unfortunately, the latter is something many people tend to forget,” says Várdi.
It is a question, of course, whether it is possible to talk about universally valid rules that apply equally to everyone. To varying degrees, the human brain can adapt to specific situations in life. One need only think of people working multiple shifts or mothers with small children who have to get up several times a night.
Obviously, there are broad individual differences in both the amount and timing of sleep. “Night owl” people work well at night. If they get up early, they get nowhere because their brains do not work in the same way in the morning. At the other end of the imaginary scale are the “early bird” or “morning lark” personalities, who are in their element early in the morning.
The sleep expert says the most important thing is to look at everything individually and try to help what is really bothering the patient.
“Everyone has a different circadian rhythm, or in everyday language, a different biological clock. If you pay attention to this and know how your body works, it is easier to organize your life according to this rhythm. In Denmark, for example, many workplaces take the biological clock of their employees into account when setting working hours,” she says.
Sleep apnea is high on the list of the most common problems, affecting tens of thousands of people in Hungary every year. This is a condition where breathing stops for a period during sleep, resulting in waking, oxygen deprivation or arrhythmia. Sufferers wake up, even unconsciously, to allow the body to restore its waking breathing rhythm and healthy oxygen levels. This leads to a breakdown in sleep structure.
How can you ensure that snoring, for example, does not result from a pathological process? With an at-home polygraphic sleep apnea test (Polywatch), available from Doctor24, a small, multi-channel monitor detects breathing movements, airflow at the nose and mouth, blood oxygen levels at the fingertips and heart rate during the night. Thanks to the wrist-worn design, testing can be conducted at home.
The comprehensive diagnostic software provides accurate diagnosis. In all cases, the results are evaluated by a somatologist. If the evaluation of the sleep diagnostic measurement indicates a problem, the Doctor24 team of specialists, with the assistance of an ear, nose and throat specialist, will plan further diagnostic tests, help you develop a care plan and determine the treatment required.
Since most people spend a good chunk of their lives sleeping, developing the right rhythm and sleep habits is crucial for each individual. Restful sleep recharges and regenerates the body, strengthens the immune system and memory, improves physical resilience and is, therefore, as much an integral part of a healthy lifestyle as regular exercise or good nutrition.
This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of November 3, 2023.
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