Everybody needs a different amount of sleep to be healthy. Some need as much as 9 hours while others are happier with around 7, and of course the Iron Lady used to get by with only 4 hours sleep at night. I certainly couldn't function normally on such a small amount of sleep, much less run the country! But many people do get by with little sleep and not through choice. There are a number of disorders which prevent you from getting a good night's sleep and the top searched one is insomnia. Here are the other top sleep searches.
Top sleep searches:
Insomnia affects 1 in 3 adults at some point in their lives. If you suffer from insomnia then you will find it difficult to sleep or to stay asleep and you will feel permanently tired. You can suffer from transient insomnia which only lasts a couple of days, short-term insomnia which lasts less than three weeks and chronic insomnia which lasts longer than three weeks and can lead to depression. There are various treatments for insomnia depending on what is causing it. For example counselling is good if the insomnia is caused by stress, cognitive behavioural therapy addresses problems you may have with thinking and behavioural patterns, lifestyle advice can help change the habits that promote bad sleeping patterns such as alcohol, nicotine and caffeine consumption.
If symptoms are severe, doctors may prescribe sleeping pills. They are not as often prescribed in the UK as they are in the States. UK doctors feel that while sleeping pills help you fall asleep, they do not cure the reasons for insomnia (such as stress).
Other sleep disorders are sleep apnoea which involves breathing difficulties when you are sleeping and subsequent loss of sleep through waking up through the night, narcolepsy which causes you to fall asleep during the day at inappropriate times and can involve cataplexy when your muscles all become weak, restless leg syndrome causes your legs to jerk and twitch while you are sleeping, so much that it wakes you up and snoring, although it may seem mild, can be caused by other serious problems. If you think you have a sleeping disorder, consult your doctor immediately as lack of sleep can be very dangerous.
Do you suffer from a sleep disorder, how do you deal with it? Leave a comment and tell us about your experiences.