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Sleep Disorders

11 August 2010

Sleep – a matter of quality and timing

Insomnia is not only about how long you sleep, but rather the quality of sleep you get, and how much you feel you need.

Nearly two thirds of us are suffering from sleep deprivation.

Poor sleep can be associated with accidents, lower work productivity, and may also worsen medical and psychological conditions. Sufferers are at an increased risk of depression, a compromised immune system, and inertia. Still, and even though it is treatable, insomnia is one of the most under-diagnosed and under-treated disorders of the central nervous system.

  • Women tend to be more prone to insomnia than men, with poor sleep usually associated with the menstrual cycle, menopause and pregnancy.
  • Ageing also tends to bring a change in sleeping patterns, with elderly people often suffering from lighter, more fitful sleep.
  • Patients with a history of depression are also more susceptible to insomnia.

 

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Sleep disorders expert

Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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