Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sleep and Sleep Disorders

    Sleep occupies around one third of a person’s life, although the hours we sleep decrease as we age. A one year child sleeps for about for about 14 hours each day, while a five year old needs around 12 hours. About 90 percent of adults sleep for six to nine hours per night, with most people sleeping 7.5 hours to 8 hours. Less than 6 hours sleep at night generally leads to daytime sleepiness. Elderly people tend to sleep less at night but doze during the day.

    Dreams are the result of mental activity during REM sleep. They are believed to represent the processing of all the thoughts and stimuli that have occurred to a person during the day. They may also form part of the process whereby short term memories are assimilated into long term memory storage. Many psychiatrists believe that dream analysis can reveal emotional conflicts.

      Sleep disorders can disrupt normal daytime functioning or cause sleepiness. Insomnia: Difficulty in falling, or staying, asleep. Around 30 percent of adults suffer from insomnia at some time in their lives. The main cause is stress, although causes include lack of exercise and misuse of drugs. Research indicates that insomniacs actually sleep more than they think but wake more often than normal. Remedies includes reducing stress levels; taking more exercise; developing a regular sleeping routine; and avoiding coffee late at night. Sleep inducing drugs are only prescribed if these remedies fail. Jet lag is a disruption of normal body rhythms caused by long distance flying across. Sleepwalking, sleep paralysis, Sleep deprivation, Sleep apnea, Night terror, Nightmares, Narcolepsy are some of the sleep disorders.