People seldom talk about their sleeping habits except when it is has become too much for them to deal with anymore. That’s when they go see a doctor to help them sort things out and feel normal again. Unfortunately, not everything can be solved with just a prescription. Other times, far more effort is required; starting from the assessment before appropriate interventions can be advised. Sleep disorders are among those things you often keep to yourself and only discuss with your attending physician. Aside from being embarrassing, others don’t usually talk about it too so you feel weird exposing your deepest, darkest secrets out in the open.

You don’t have to wander around in search of the best people to help you manage your sleep conditions anymore. Sleep may have been elusive for a while but you’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep once more if you get yourself checked in at a reputable sleep clinic to get to the root of your problem. No need to self-medicate or try a long list of remedies that are said to promote restful sleep like drinking warm milk, listening to relaxing music, or even counting sheep because what you need all along is medical help. So, why visit a sleep clinic? These are specialty hospitals or clinics that focus mainly on sleep-related disorders and issues where patients often have to stay for the night to be assessed properly since symptoms don’t usually manifest during waking hours.

When someone is suspected of suffering from sleep apnea, they’re often sent for a sleep study (also known as polysomnography). This involves their spending the night sleeping at a clinic, with numerous electrodes hard-wired to their head. There are diagnostic devices that they can use at home, although these can also be rather cumbersome. By contrast, the new SomnaPatch is quite simple and – according to the recently-released results of a study – almost as accurate as polysomnography.

Made by Mountain View, California-based startup Somnarus, the SomnaPatch weighs less than an ounce, and consists of a forehead-worn disposable adhesive patch connected to a nosepiece.

Worn while the patient sleeps in their own bed, it uses integrated sensors to measure and record factors such as nasal pressure, blood oxygen saturation, heart rate, respiratory effort, sleep duration and changes in body position.


These sleep clinics often conduct the same tests but at times may use innovative technologies that are not yet offered in other mainstream clinics. A night spent in a sleep clinic will show the doctors what really happens to your body during your sleep since you are connected with leads that assess your heart rate, eye movements, brain activity, snoring, and other body movements to give them an idea what’s going on in your body during your slumber.

Doctor Irshaad Ebrahim of the Dubai-based London Sleep Centre describes the number of current sleep disorders as “an epidemic”.

“It’s so much more important than what’s being reported in the press: lifestyle, pace of work, demands of technology, screen use – they are harming our sleep/wake cycle.”

The number of sleep clinics in the UAE are on the rise, as are do-it-yourself responses such as sleep treatments at luxury hotels and online apps for managing one’s sleep cycle. “It is a response to demand,” says Ebrahim, “just the number of people seeking help”.

According to Elizabeth Graf, a clinical psychologist at a private clinic in New York, “research continues to show the emotional and physical benefits of sleep”.

Studies have linked lack of sleep to poor performance at work, depression and overall health, including links to cancer. It is not uncommon for studies to speak about the “public health crisis” of lack of sleep, in which billions of dirhams are spent tackling the secondary effects of poor slumber. Others point to its effect on the economy, and even its role in disasters such as the nuclear meltdowns at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.


Sleep clinics are helpful in diagnosing sleep disorders because they are equipped with the current technologies used in visualizing and understanding brain activity and everything else that matters in your sleep to find out what could have possibly gone wrong and what can be done about it. However, there are instances when sleep clinics aren’t immediately able to determine your sleep problem. Then, a sleep study may be your next option.

More often than not, sleep apnea is the cause of your misery. If CPAP isn’t something up your alley, you can check with your doctor whether an anti-snoring mouthpiece may work for you. It may not be as effective as CPAP but it’s the next best thing than nothing at all. You can opt for a mouthpiece like this one: or a similar device like: Don’t put off going to a sleep clinic… no matter how inconvenient it may initially seem, it is much better than continuously losing sleep from sleep apnea like you do now.

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