“24/7 Society” Loses Sleep over Sleep Disorders – The Silent Killer Ignored for Decades
Every year, Frost & Sullivan celebrates #WorldSleepDay to raise awareness of sleep as a necessity that is often compromised by the habits of modern life and shares the most impactful insights. When 1 billion people suffer from some form of sleep disorder, it should keep the health system awake until a solution is found. Globally, health systems strongly believe sleep is the most important factor for overall health and wellbeing, even more than financial security. Unfortunately, more than 80% of the global population sleeps with the mobile within reach, today. When more than 50 % of the population with sleep disorders tends to use mobiles or the internet before sleeping, it makes the care providers wake up and take notice of the incoming danger.
Sleep is Gender Biased, too…
Women’s circadian clocks work earlier than men’s by an hour, thus making them more inclined to fall asleep earlier and also wake earlier. The probability of women suffering from a sleep disorder is twice as that of men.
More than one-third of working women in the United States are sleep deprived and are barely managing six hours of sleep a night. Women are at 40% increased risk of developing insomnia compared to men. Lack of sleep and constant chronic stress have severe consequences to health, both physical and mental. The probability of patients suffering from chronic diseases is four times higher when suffering from insomnia.
21st Century Economy Revives the Market for Sleep Pills and Devices to Overcome Sleeplessness
Sleep is the most natural thing, unfortunately, in this decade; we have learned to unlearn that.
In the past decade, Americans had 60 million prescriptions for sleeping pills annually, which show how we have managed to change the circadian clocks with technology. Frost & Sullivan estimates the market size for sleep devices and drugs to be worth $ 37.5 billion globally and grow at a CAGR of 6.5% by 2022 which is above the average medical device industry growth rate. This has led to the need for the industry to intervene and look at prevention and monitoring rather than treatment.
The best advancement in the past decade was the increase in awareness and promotion of healthy sleeping habits. Unfortunately, we are dependent on technology to ensure we sleep well and for sufficient hours. The dependency on gadgets to help us sleep is especially felt by millennials.
Alarm has Sounded for Sleep Tech Companies – Don’t Snooze
Sleep, the new-age medicine, has gained the attention of many companies to take advantage of new opportunities. Interestingly, mattresses, bedding, coaching, apps, and trackers are being used to help the millennial sleep better.
Beddit is one of the first brands to establish a sleep tracker in the form of a thin mattress sensor. It helps the user understand the quality of their sleep and takes vital signs to help manage their sleep and health.
This sector has numerous startups with a device or technology that enables the management of the patient’s sleep disorder and helps overcome it. Some include Balluga, which has a smart bed with an anti-snoring system. LumosTech developed a mask that tailors the consumer’s sleep to their schedule and helps easily overcome jetlag; this is must-have for the digital nomads of the 21st century.
The Sleepio platform has millions of users and helps them create a sleep improvement program to overcome poor sleeping patterns, which internally supports wellness and wellbeing.
There are other devices like NightBalance, a wearable device that regularly measures its user’s sleep positions and lightly vibrates for them to subconsciously shift to a healthier position, thereby helping manage sleep apnea disorders. This was acquired by Royal Philips to expand its sleep product portfolio.
In a developed country like the US, $ 2,000-$ 2,500 annually is spent on tests and treatment for a single patient suffering from a sleep disorder. This is a high investment for sleep conditions that are considered disorders and not diseases.
Insomnia, one form of sleep disorder, alone costs the US economy $ 63 billion annually in lost productivity, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. It affects quality of life, as it can lead to heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, stroke, etc. Hence, sleep disorders are called a silent killer.
In the new-age economy, man is behind the gadgets that help grow the economy. What could happen we have sleep loss? Could we lose productivity and efficiency, in the future? It is time to discover why sleep is important for our health, wellbeing and job performance.
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This article was written with contributions from Sowmya Rajagopalan, Medical Technologies Global Program Director in Frost & Sullivan’s Transformational Health Practice.