It’s genuinely great that scientists care so much for our health, we are now being told how much sleep we need. Depending on which research you read, the average figures quoted for adults are between 6-8 hours a night. But the reality is that most of us don’t sleep for that long.
According to the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) at least 4 in 10 people aren’t getting enough sleep, with the Sleep Health Foundation suggesting 1 in 3 people suffer with insomnia – trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. It’s the second most common health complaint after pain.
And it’s not just a British problem. According to some reports (scrutinised by the NHS) sleep is an issue around the world.
It makes sense that when Dr. Guy Meadows commissioned The Big Sleep Report, he identified that only 1% of the UK’s population wake up feeling completely refreshed every day. Even people getting the recommended 8 hours a night (or more) admit they don’t wake up feeling rested.
Why can’t we sleep?
Ironically, The Great British Sleep Survey identified that one of the main things (for 79% of people) that keeps us awake at night is how long they’ve been lying awake. In other words, it’s the worry that we are not getting our recommended eight hours, that’s stopping us from sleeping.
Other reasons include:
What happens if we don’t sleep?
The research in the RSPH report and others explains that lack of sleep causes significant problems for us physically and mentally. People who don’t sleep well are more likely to wake up feeling depressed as well as experience poor memory, weight gain and ill health. Recent research published in the New Scientist shows increasing links in the role of sleep in causing Alzheimer’s.
So, what can we do?
Everyone is different so how much sleep you need may be different to everyone else. If the aim is to wake up feeling rested, try shifting your attention to sleep quality, rather than quantity.
This article was originally published by Delphi Ellis on her dedicated resource to sleep and dreams – The Dreams Maven™ website.
Copyright Delphi Ellis