Facts about sleep
Sleep is an essential part of good health. A good night's sleep can help you feel good, look healthy, work effectively and think clearly.
But it's not always so easy to come by. If you sometimes have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you're not alone. A 1991 Gallup study found that more than a third of all adult Americans suffer occasional or chronic insomnia. And, people are often surprised to learn that daytime drowsiness isn't an inevitable, harmless byproduct of modern life, but a key sign of a sleep problem that could be serious if not treated.
Here are a few more eye-opening facts to consider when thinking about your own sleep habits:
Everyone has different sleep needs. Although most individuals require seven to eight hours of sleep per night, some may need only four or five hours to feel refreshed. Others can't function effectively without ten hours or more.
The need for sleep does not decrease with age. Although elderly people report shorter periods of sleep and tend to be more wakeful during the night, they have the same sleep needs as younger adults.
Insomnia can be brief, or persistent. Transient insomnia lasts only a few days. Short-term insomnia lasts two to three weeks, while chronic insomnia lasts more than a month.
Individuals with sleep problems may be more likely to snore or frequently shift position during sleep. -A recent study that examined people with recurrent difficulty sleeping found that 40 percent snored and 39 percent did lots of moving around. These could be signs of more serious sleep disorders. Tell your doctor if you have such signs.