About Sleep & Insomnia
Most healthy adults require between seven to nine hours sleep a night, but as you get older it’s normal to find that harder to achieve in one sleep session, although you do still need the same amount of sleep.
Insomnia, which affects most people at some time or other, is not being able to sleep when you want to, so that you feel tired the next morning. Age, lifestyle, environment, diet and state of mind all affect the amount of sleep you need, and how much you get.
Most people have the occasional night when they may have trouble getting to sleep, and days when they feel too sleepy to function properly.
Sleep disorders are very common and are split into
Sleep hygeine problems with normal life affecting a good sleep habit (jet lag or caffeine and alcohol)
Dyssomnias – problems with getting to sleep or staying asleep
Parasomnias – abnormal behaviours during sleep
Sleep disorders related to other medical illnesses
This is a relatively common condition that interrupts breathing during sleep leading to daytime sleepiness. It can affect about 5-10% men and women and occurs usually in snorers where the airway closes off with advanced snoring.
Narcolepsy is a comparatively rare sleeping disorder, where a person can fall asleep suddenly and without any warning. There are also common symptoms of collapsing with strong emotions and sometimes episodes of sleep paralysis waking up feeling like you cant move and rarely dreaming during the daytime whilst awake.
Restless Leg Syndrome is a neurological disorder, giving unpleasant sensations with an irresistible urge to move the legs. In some patients these movements can continue during sleep called periodic limb movements syndrome and these can disturb sleep and cause sleepiness.
Sleepwalking can affect everyone but it is more common in children, and usually stops when the person reaches puberty. It is one of the sleep disorders called parasomnias that means abnormal behaviours during sleep.