The Number of Sleep Disorder Tests Carried Out By The NHS Has Doubled In A Decade

Apparently we're a nation of bad sleepers.

The Number of Sleep Disorder Tests Carried Out By The NHS Has Doubled In A Decade

by Arianna Chatzidakis |
Published on

You will only know how frustrating going to bed can be if you suffer from a sleep condition. Struggling to fall asleep, dealing with interrupted sleep, and even suffering from breathing problems at night are experienced by many people across the UK. And as a result, the number of sleep disorder tests carried out by the NHS has doubled in a decade.

Data from the NHS shows that 147,610 sleep diagnostic tests were carried out last year alone, which is a whopping increase compared with 69,919 in 2007-2008. The tests are commonly designed to identify the most popular sleep disorder 'sleep apnoea', which is a scary condition that causes breathing problems during sleep. But, they are also being used for other conditions, such as REM disorders. These can range from sleep walking and sleep talking to people engaging in violent acts during their slumber.

Although people all over the UK are being tested for sleep problems, South Sefton in Liverpool commissioned the highest rate of sleep diagnostic tests last year, with Medway and Southend following closely behind.

But why the increase in diagnostic tests? Well, doctors have attributed the rise to a greater sense of public awareness and understanding about health problems that could arise due to lack of sleep. And this is theory has been proven: according to a study by Rand Europe, sleep deprivation is linked to a higher mortality risk and lower productivity at work.

Dr Gary Dennis from the Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, told the BBC that people need to pay more attention to their diet and lifestyle choices in order to look after their 'sleep hygiene'. He advised on reducing late night phone calls and technology use, as 'these devices emit blue light and there is a clear association between using these devices late at night and then having poor amounts of sleep.' But of course, that's nothing you didn't already know, right?

Liked this? You might also be interested in:

Can We Please Stop Sleep Shaming Everyone?

Here's How Your Choice Of Career Is Affecting Your Sleep

Napflix: The Website That Wants To Bore You To Sleep

Follow Arianna on Twitter: @ariannachatz

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us