Philips issues wake up call on potential health hazards posed by sleep disorders

July 21, 2010

Hyderabad: Philips Electronics India Limited (PEIL) today called for greater awareness on common sleep disorders that affect an estimated 93 percent of the Indian population1 and pose serious health hazards. According to the results of the Philips Sleep Survey, conducted by The Nielsen Company, 93 per cent of Indians are sleep deprived; getting less than the 8 hours of sleep they need per day. An astonishing 11 per cent of Indians took leave from work because of their lack of sleep. This survey was conducted among 5600 respondents in the age group of 35 to 65 years across 25 cities in urban India with a population of 5 lakh and upwards.


Lack of sleep not only impacts the overall quality of life and productivity of a person’s life but also leads to serious health issues such as increased risk of diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats among others. If left untreated, lack of sleep and snoring could signal a more serious condition such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition characterized by the repeated cessation of breathing during sleep and which can potentially lead to heart disease, worsen heart failure and in rare cases even trigger heart attacks.


The Philips Sleep Survey revealed that 58 per cent of Indians felt their work suffered from lack of adequate sleep with 11 per cent actually falling asleep at work. 74 per cent of the respondents mentioned that they woke anywhere between 1-3 times during their sleep and the reasons for waking was to heed the call of nature (90 per cent), stress at work (15 per cent) and noises outside the home (10 per cent). 87 per cent of Indians also agreed that they were aware that lack of sleep affects their health.


The survey amplifies the need for education on OSA and other sleep disorders which are not taken seriously enough among the individuals suffering from them. 62 percent of those polled displayed high risk of OSA while 3.3 per cent were likely sufferers of OSA as per the sleep apnea questionnaire. The survey also uncovered a disturbing fact that 14 per cent of Indians exhibit pauses in their breathing at night, anywhere from one to more than three times per week. Pausing in breathing, like snoring, is an OSA indicator, corroborating this link; the survey found that the proportion of this high risk group increased further to 90 per cent in those suffering from hypertension and diabetes or hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Likewise, the proportion of likely OSA sufferers increased to around 9 per cent among these co-morbid groups. OSA can easily be diagnosed by physicians upon assessing a patient’s complaints and symptoms.


“Sleep is not optional – it is absolutely critical to people’s health,” said Satyakam Sharma, Business Manager, Home Healthcare Solutions, Philips Healthcare India. “The consequences of not sleeping enough are well documented. Inadequate sleep can contribute to weight gain, diabetes, highblood pressure and even heart attacks. The chronically sleep deprived also have a huge economic impact; in addition to significantly reduced productivity their condition may result in industrial or road accidents. If you are experiencing poor sleep, a visit to the doctor for a diagnosis is essential because you could have easily treatable OSA.”


In India, sleep disorders represent a significant yet overlooked health problem. As a global leader in sleep-related solutions, now also present in India, Philips Respironics has assisted hospitals and clinics in Hyderabad in establishing 15 sleep labs. Some of these sleep labs are in Konal Institute of Medical Sciences, Kaminini Institute of Medical Sciences, Jaya Hospital, Somna Care Centre and Mahavir Hospital. Philips has also assisted hospitals and clinics across Mumbai and Delhi in establishing 30 sleep labs by the end of 2009. These sleep labs will help physicians accurately diagnose sleep disorders, while Philips will provide technology, facilities and training. Philips aims to establish 100 more sleep labs across India by the end of 2010 in partnership with healthcare institutions, doubling the total number of sleep labs available across the country.


The sleep labs offer OSA patients and others with sleeping disorders, the means to evaluate their sleeping patterns and to diagnose their sleep disorders. A simple study known as polysomnogram or PSG is conducted on a patient in a lab setting and is painless. A sleep lab generally contains a complete diagnostic system. The patient is monitored with various sensors attached to the patient’s head, chest and legs. These sensors collect data which are then used to determine the type and severity of the sleep disorder. If the patient is diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), then the AHI (apnea hypopnea) index is generated which quantifies sleep apnea severity. The AHI index guides the physician regarding whether the problem is mild, moderate or severe so a treatment decision can be made. Often the patient is put on a Philips Respironics CPAP2 with technologies such as (C-flex, Bi-Flex and A-Flex) which ensures that the upper airway stays open continual airflow throughout the night thereby yielding a healthier sleep.


As a global leader in the sleep management market and the treatment of OSA, Philips will assist the hospitals and clinics in setting up the sleep labs by providing sleep lab equipment such as the ALICE 5 and ALICE PDX for clinical training to physicians and specialists. The equipment will also be used for training on software diagnosis and reporting to general practitioners and technicians. In addition, Philips will also assist by raising awareness of sleep disorders. These sleep labs will be named by the hospitals and physicians who own them and the new sleep labs will be located in leading hospitals and clinics in Mumbai and New Delhi.


The Philips Sleep Survey commissioned by Philips was undertaken by The Nielsen Company. The survey was conducted in a non-clinical environment and it surveyed approximately 5600 respondents from urban towns with population 5 lakhs and above, in the 35 to 65 years age group, belonging to SEC A, B and C classes and having a minimum monthly income of INR 10,000 per month. Philips mandated the survey to obtain an indication of people’s sleep habits and their awareness of the impact of sleep on health and quality of life. Survey questions included sleep duration, now and as compared to a year ago, reasons for waking up, lack of sleep and its effect and areas of life most affected. The survey’s accuracy is within 95 per cent.


For more information on sleep apnea, please visit Philips Respironics’ dedicated website To increase awareness on sleep disorders, this website will also provide extensive information on sleep apnea and other sleep-related issues in India.


1 Indian population in the age-group of 35-65 years in urban towns with population of 5 lakhs and above


2 Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) therapy is a non-invasive approach which is the preferred treatment of choice for OSA. CPAP provides a gentle flow of air pressure through the nasal passage using a mask, preventing airway collapse to allow an OSA patient to breathe freely during sleep. The CPAP device is equipped with various features to increase patient comfort during therapy.

For more information, please contact:

Moushumi Dutt

Director, Corporate Communications

Philips Electronics India Limited



About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified Health and Well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 116,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 23 billion in 2009, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at