When it comes to sleep, not many find it easy.
The big assumption is that everyone must put their heads on a pillow and sleep for eight hours, but the experts say we are all wrong.
They are of the opinion that the correct number can vary from four to nine hours per night. As long as you wake feeling refreshed and have no daytime problems related to your sleep.
And to ease the burden of many insomniacs, a first-of-its-kind sleep clinic was launched a week ago by Restonic and Ezintsha in Johannesburg. The clinic is said to be a centre of excellence for sleep analysis.
Local sleep research will be facilitated at the clinic and serve as a training facility for other doctors, making it better for them to diagnose and treat sleep disorders.
The benefits of the sleep clinic will consist of:
The clinic offers four overnight sleep rooms for patients with a sleep problem who have been referred by their doctor for sleep analysis, including a dedicated bedroom for sleep studies focusing on children.
Patients are also able to book a consultation to discuss their sleep issues with a doctor who understands and has training in the sleep field.
“In future, the Restonic Ezintsha Sleep Clinic hopes to offer lectures and group treatment options for the public on topics ranging from snoring to sleep apnoea and insomnia,” says medical doctor Alison Bentley.
Nomathemba Chandiwana, director and principal Scientist at Ezintsha Research Centre, says the sleep clinic is also perfectly placed to undertake large-scale research projects to gather more and better data.
“There is currently very little known about how sleep impacts other medical disorders in the South African population. We believe we have an opportunity to explore how sleep potentially affects other major healthcare concerns in the country, such as HIV, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
“The clinic will allow us to research and explore alternatives to the current expensive treatments for sleep disorders, such as CPAP for obstructive sleep apnoea, as the cost of these treatments limit their use and accessibility.”
Local research into sleep disorders could therefore help to improve public health outcomes and even positively benefit the economy.
Training for medical professionals
The Restonic Ezintsha Sleep Clinic is also an ideal environment to train doctors in the broad field of sleep medicine. “Given the prevalence of sleep disorders and their effects on other medical disorders, it is essential that most doctors are exposed and trained on these problems,” Bentley said.
Doctors residing in Johannesburg are able to attend in-person case presentations, while those further afield can attend remote video call discussions or arrange to visit us for a week or more. The Sunnyside Hotel is conveniently located adjacent to the clinic, allowing for residential visits.
Bed and mattress showroom
In addition to the clinical, research and training facilities on offer, the Restonic Ezintsha Sleep Clinic offers a comprehensive Restonic showroom. Dale Harley, executive: Restonic Marketing, explains that patients, medical professionals and visitors are able to view a select range of Restonic beds and mattresses.
Finding the right bed can help improve comfort, proper spinal alignment, and quality sleep, particularly for those with specific needs, such as back or body pain, Harley explains.
“We can help with information on bedding and comfort terminology, explaining various mattress and bedding innovations and technologies and suggesting bed options to meet specific preferences and requirements,” he says.
The Restonic Ezintsha Sleep Clinic states that the number of hours you sleep at night is less important than the daytime function. If there is no drop in concentration and no daytime fatigue then sleep duration may be satisfactory even if slightly less than seven to eight hours.
Speaking to Sunday World, Bentley said it was critical to be aware of how your sleep works.
“There are people who need five hours, some four hours and there are people who need nine hours. You need to be aware of yourself and know how much sleep you need. This you will know when you note the minimum amount of sleep you need and still function well throughout the day.
“You also need to know what bedtime suits you best. If you are a night owl and that works for you, great,” she said.
Detailing why scrolling on your phone before bed is not healthy, Bentley said that lowlight produces melatonin, and being on the phone with a bright light close to your eyes will result in failure for your body to produce melatonin.
Harley said: “Restonic is a trusted brand in South Africa, we are passionate about sleep and improving the quality of sleep of our consumers. We want everyone in this country to have a good night’s rest, whether your a taxi driver, an athlete or a boardroom executive. This sleep clinic is instrumental in helping us as a brand to make people understand how important sleep is in achieving their daily goals.”