Loss of sleep is believed to contribute to strained relationships at home, unfulfilled potential on the job, and can also be dangerous, leading to serious or even fatal accidents. Consider these facts from the National Sleep Foundation:
- Sleep problems increase with aging.
- Health care expenses and lost productivity from sleep deprivation cost approximately 100 billion dollars a year.
- Drowsy drivers take the blame for at least 100,000 police-reported crashes in the US annually.
- At least 40 million Americans report having sleep difficulties. Sixty percent of adults in the US have never been asked about their sleep quality by a physician, and 20 percent have never asked their physicians for sleep information.
Why is sleep important?
Sleep is not just resting or taking a break from busy routines – it is essential to physical, mental, and emotional health. Adequate sleep may also play a role in helping the body recover from illness and injury. Inadequate sleep over a period of time is associated with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. The emotional and mental benefits of sleep are also significant. Even occasional sleeping problems can make daily life feel more stressful and less productive. Some people with chronic insomnia are more likely to develop psychiatric problems. Studies indicate that those who said they had trouble getting enough sleep reported impaired ability to perform tasks involving:
- Logical reasoning
- Mathematical calculation
How much sleep is needed?
Although sleep needs vary from person to person, generally, most healthy adults need no more than of 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. If you have some of the following problems, you may need more sleep, or a better quality of sleep, than you are getting:
- Trouble staying alert during boring or monotonous activities
- Tendency to be unreasonably irritable with co-workers, family, or friends
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering facts
What are the different types of sleep problems?
There are many types of sleep problems. Disorders of sleeping and waking interfere with quality of life and personal health, and endanger public health. These problems range from staying awake or staying with a regular sleep/wake cycle, sleepwalking, bed-wetting, nightmares, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, snoring, and sleep apnea syndrome.