Sleep Disorders

Updated 18 July 2018

Risk factors of sleep disorders

Not getting enough sleep has a negative effect on our health.


One in every three people seen in the South African primary-care setting have occasional sleeping difficulties, according to the South African Society of Sleep Medicine. Ten percent of those experience chronic sleep problems. 

The Society also states that between 30 and 40% of adults suffer from some form of insomnia during any given year, and that between 10 and 15% of these people suffer from severe or chronic insomnia. 

Sleep disorders tend to get worse as people get older, and more women than men experience serious sleeping difficulties.

Reviewed by Dr Irshaad Ebrahim, specialist neuropsychiatrist in sleep disorders at The London Sleep Centre and The Constantia Sleep Centre. FRCPsych. April 2018.


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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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