Forty per cent of Canadians will suffer from some kind of sleep disorder in their lifetime, according to Vancouver Coastal Health. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

World Sleep Day: UBC team examines link between sleep and illness

Vancouver Coastal Health says 40% of Canadians will suffer from a sleep disorder in their lifetime

Are you still feeling the effects of Daylight Saving Time? You might welcome Friday being World Sleep Day.

Vancouver Coastal Health is raising awareness about the importance of sleep for good health.

Forty per cent of Canadians will suffer from some kind of sleep disorder in their lifetime. Shift work, use of electronics, noise, light and bedding are just a few examples of things that can affect sleep.

Researchers at UBC Hospital are looking at the connection between sleep and medical conditions. They are involved in a Canada-wide study that will examine whether genetic, protein and other blood-based markers can predict cardiovascular, cognitive and metabolic conditions in people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when throat muscles block the airway during sleep. Symptoms include snoring, choking while asleep, and feeling sleepy during the day.

Up to 10 per cent of Canadians work on rotating shifts and might be more likely to experience obstructive sleep apnea.

READ MORE: 60% of British Columbians don’t know why we have Daylight Saving Time: poll

“Sleep research shows that patients with obstructive sleep apnea are at high risk of future medical conditions, including dementia and cardiovascular disease,” said lead researcher Dr.Najib Ayas. “We’re hoping this study will help us better identify which patients … are more at risk for serious complications.”

More than 1,300 patients are involved in the study so far, including 400 in Vancouver.



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

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