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Sleep is not just a matter of closed eyes and "switching-off" for the night. It's actually an active process that involves increased metabolic and brain activity. There are two main phases of sleep. dream sleep (known as Rapid Eye Movement, or REM), and non-dream (non-REM) sleep,
Dream sleep is essential for humans. The brain is highly active at this time even though the body is not moving.
However, people with sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA - one of the most common sleep disorders) will experience disrupted sleep and overall poor sleep quality. People who have OSA or other sleep disorders will suffer from the symptoms of sleep deprivation: poor memory, poor concentration, high blood pressure, and irritability. They are also at risk of more long-term health consequences, such as heart disease, stroke, and sudden death in sleep.
If unsure, always check with a doctor to investigate the cause behind poor sleep quality and sleep deprivation.
Some individuals suffering from insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea do use sleep tech devices to monitor and enhance their sleep. Technologically upgraded sleep tech devices include head belts, rings, wearable smart watches, and sleep pads. The data these devices provide may help an individual assess his sleep pattern, quantity and quality of sleep.
Sleep disorders are common in many societies worldwide. Some of the signs and symptoms of sleep disorders include excessive daytime sleepiness, irregular breathing or increased movement during sleep. Other signs and symptoms include an irregular sleep and wake cycle and difficulty falling asleep. It will be good to understand the six different types of sleep disorders; the most appropriate doctor to treat your condition will depend on the type of sleep disorder that you have.
Ended on July 24, 2020
Dr Han Hong Juan is a Consultant ENT surgeon and the Medical Director of The ENT, Voice & Snoring Clinic, a private clinic located at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre. His main clinical interests are in the surgical management of Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea as well as Voice and Swallowing Disorders. He is also a trained Robotic and Laser surgeon. Dr Han was part of the pioneering team of surgeons that started Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) in Singapore. He also has a keen interest in the treatment of Nasal Allergies and Nasal Obstruction to facilitate nasal breathing.
Prior to his private practice, Dr Han has practiced for 20 years in the public sector. He was the Chief of Sleep Surgery and the Director of the Voice Clinic in the Department of Otolaryngology, Singapore General Hospital. He was also the Adjunct Assistant Professor in Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and Senior Clinical Lecturer of the National University of Singapore, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.
Dr Ng Beng Yeong received his medical education and postgraduate training in Psychiatry in Singapore. He was subsequently awarded a scholarship to pursue his interest in Organic Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital, UK. He was a Senior Consultant Psychiatrist with the Department of Psychiatry and Sleep Disorders Unit, Singapore General Hospital (SGH). He also ran sessions at the Urology Centre, Singapore General Hospital, where he treated patients with sexual concerns.
He was Head of Department, Psychiatry, SGH, from 1 July 2006 to 31 Dec 2015. His book, 'Till the break of day: a history of mental health services in Singapore, 1841-1993' is often used as a reference text by many young psychiatrists and mental health professionals in the country. The book is now in its second edition.
He is also known for his research in dissociative trance disorder, which was done when he worked at the Institute of Mental Health. He was President of Singapore Sleep Society from 2006 to 2008. He is the founding President of College of Psychiatrists.