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Sleep disorders on the rise

The number of people treated for sleep disorders has risen by 92 percent in five years, the National Health Insurance Corporation said Monday.

The number of patients marked 290,000 in 2010, up 90 percent up from 150,000 in 2006 and the total fees for treatment soared 139 percent in the same period.

Sleep disorders include insomnia, excessive sleeping and sleep apnea, among others. About 57,000 of the people treated were in their 50s, taking up the lion’s share. About 43.6 percent of the total patients were over 60.

Insomnia was the most diagnosed disease, which was evident among those 80 years old or older, but the fastest growing type of sleep disorder was the sleep-wake disorder. Men were significantly more susceptible.

Dr. Lee Jun-hong of Ilsan Hospital said aging is the main reason for the sudden increase in the patients since sleep disorder is one of many uncomfortable things that come along with aging.

He advised people to take more than 40 minutes exercise every day, six hours before going to bed; not to take nap; and refrain from consuming too much caffeine.

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