In the United States, 22 percent complain of insomnia either every or every other night, while 48 percent have insomnia occasionally. Women, persons over 65 years of age, divorced, separated, and widowed people are more likely to suffer from insomnia. Insomniacs are four times more likely to have depression than people who have no trouble sleeping. Insomnia is likely to be a factor adding to illness, including heart disease, affect job and road safety, and worsen quality of life. Direct costs of insomnia are estimated to be $14 billion annually, while indirect causes could be as high as $28 to 35 billion annually.
Sleep disorders are much more common than most think. Costing more than $16 million annually in medical costs alone, sleep disorders are often unrecognized by those affected. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 40 million people in America every year have long-term, chronic sleep disorder, and 20 million have occasional problems. They often affect productivity, coordination, judgement, while profound effects on health and safety can result, such as lower immune system response, and studies have shown that average life spans can be shorter for those suffering with a sleep disorder.
Humans manufacture hormones during sleep that control energy, mood, concentration, and memory. Coordination of a sleep deprived person can actually be worse than an intoxicated one. Sleep deprivation can cause accidents, at work and on the highway, depression, premature aging, and a shorter life span.
To uderstand proper sleep, we must know the five stages of sleep that most people should experience. The stages range from light to deep and last from 5 minutes up to 110 minutes and cycle multiple times during sleep. For example, after Stage 5, the sleeper returns to Stage 1 and progresses through the cycle again. With each cycle, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep periods lengthen. For adults, an average of 20 percent of sleep time is REM (Stage 5) sleep. The remainder is comprised of Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep.
There are approximately 70 sleep disorders with the most common being:
(Disclaimer: This document is for informational use only, and should not be used in place of the advice of a doctor or healthcare professional. This document is also not a recommendation for any particular treatment plans. The advice of a doctor or healthcare professional is important for your particular condition or disorder.)
- Sleep Apnea
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- and Narcolepsy.