Overview of Sleep Disorders
Facts about sleep disorders
Loss of sleep can cause problems at
home or on the job. It can lead to serious or even fatal accidents. The National Sleep
Foundation notes that:
Between 50 and 70 million
U.S. adults have some type of sleep or wakefulness disorder.
Sleep problems get worse as you get older.
Poor sleep cost billions of dollars a year. This is from healthcare expenses and lost
Drowsy drivers cause about 40,000 vehicle crashes in the U.S. every year. This includes
more than 1,500 deaths.
Types of sleep disorders
There are many types of sleep disorders. They can affect health and quality of life.
The disorders include:
Restless legs syndrome
Why is sleep important?
Sleep is not just resting or taking a break from busy routines. Sleep is a key part
of good health. Getting enough sleep may help the body recover from illness and injury.
Not getting enough sleep over a period of time is linked to health problems. They
include obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
The mental benefits of sleep are also important. Sleep problems can make daily life
feel more stressful and less productive. Some people with chronic trouble sleeping
(insomnia) are more likely to have mental health problems. Sleep problems are also
tied to depression. In a research survey, people who had trouble getting enough sleep
had trouble doing tasks that use memory and learning.
How much sleep do you need?
Sleep needs vary from person to person. But most healthy adults need about 7 to 9
hours of sleep a night. You may need more or better sleep if you:
Have trouble staying alert during quiet activities
Are irritable with coworkers, family, or friends
Have trouble focusing or remembering facts
Have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or wake up early and can’t get back
Getting treatment for a sleep disorder
For those who suffer from sleep disorders, help is available from many sources. Sleep
problems can be treated or managed by different kinds of healthcare providers. You
may be treated by a healthcare provider who specializes in any of these:
You can also find a healthcare provider who is certified in sleep medicine by the
American Board of Sleep Medicine. Talk with your healthcare provider about finding
a sleep disorder program.