The Science Of Sleep


If your one of the nations many sufferers of a poor sleep routine then you are not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundationan, an estimated 48% of Americans report that they suffer with insomnia occasionally, while 22 percent experience difficulty sleeping every or almost every night. The NSF also report that women are more likely to suffer - around 1.3 times more than men, whilst those over the age of 65 are 1.5 times more likely to complain of insomnia than younger people.

However scientists have spent time and money into researching what is most likey to stop someone from getting a good nights rest.

Sleep Hygiene

'Sleep Hygiene' is the medical term used to describe how good a person's sleeping habits are. Considerable research has gone into developing a set of guidelines and tips which are designed to enhance good sleeping, and there is much evidence to suggest that these strategies can provide long term solutions for insomnia sufferers.

There are many medications which are used to treat insomnia, but these tend to be effective only in the short term. Ongoing use of sleeping pills may lead to dependence and could actually interfere with developing good sleep habits, thereby making sleep difficulties more of a long term issue. Talk to your health professional about what is right for you, but it is recommended that good sleep hygiene as an important part of treating insomnia, either with other strategies such as medication or cognitive therapy or even simply by itself.

A series of 15 Sleep Hygiene Tips have been designed for insomnia, meaning, with making some small changes to daily routines, suffereres can try to help ensure they awaken each morning feling more refreshed. 

Why Do We Need Good Sleep Hygiene?

Poor sleep hygiene causes sleeping disturbancies and daytine sleepiness. This affects, not only things like your body's own abilities to repair and to fight infections, but tiredness has a large impact on your ability to carry out basic day to day activities. Trouble concentrating in the office, trouble focusing you mind whilst reading and a shortened attention span are all possibe symptons of a poor level of sleep hygiene.

A good routine actually encourages healthy sleeping and daytime alertness and can prevent the development of sleep problems and disorders, which is important for everyone. If you are experiencing sleep problems, you should initially look at your sleep routine - such as are you taking too long to fall asleep? are you waking up in the middle of the night? or waking up early with a continuously drowsy mood? - and make any changes necessary, but realistically it can take some time before these changes can have a positive effect.