KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysians are a sleep-deprived lot. Nine out of 10 Malaysians suffer from one or more sleep disorders in their lifetimes, says Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur consultant ENT head and neck surgeon Dr Kong Min Han.
He said the country had enough experts to deal with sleep problems linked to ENT causes such as obstructive sleep apnoea, but it lacked experts in chronic sleep disorders linked to stress and mental health.
”Many more Malaysians are waking up in the middle of the night, finding difficulty in sleeping because of anxiety,” said Kong, who spoke on Sleep Deprivation Causes & Effects at Balai Berita today.
“They feel tired and unrested in the morning and fall asleep during the day. “This can affect their mental and social health, including their thinking and memory, and may lead to difficulty in learning, irritability and mood swings.
“Increasing anxiety can also effect the immune system and cause weight gain.” Kong said the average person needed at least seven hours of sleep per day.
He said a study showed that people who got less than five hours of sleep could develop hypertension and were twice as likely to get diabetes.
“We need sleep to help our bodies recover and carry out repairs.
“Just following a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables is insufficient.”
Kong said it was important for children to sleep early as lack of sleep would present problems in terms of development and memory.