HOW LONG WE SLEEP
Australians are the world?s longest sleepers, with 73 percent of us catching eight hours or more a night, compared with 49 percent globally. Source: An AC Nielson poll.
Almost 1 in 5 people sleep less than 6 hours a night.? Source:? Readers Digest, September, 1006.
SLEEP CLINICS GROWTH
In about 1987 there were four sleep clinics in Australia; by 2002 there about 300 beds in 70 sleep clinics across the country. In the US, the number of sleep clinic beds jumped from 100 to 2000 in the same period.
The World Health Organization forecasts that by 2020 depression will be the second largest illness after heart disease. It has been described as an epidemic of mental illness.
Figures of between 16% and 25% have been quoted as the number of Australians who suffer from depression.
At least 80% of depressed people experience insomnia. They have difficulty falling asleep or more often ? staying asleep. In fact, early morning awakening is a virtual give away of depression. Another 15% of the depressed sleep excessively. There is speculation, that it is more than just a symptom of depression, it may in fact unleash the mood disorder and or be an early indicator of it. Sleep researcher Michael Perlis Ph.D. thinks so.
Source: Psychology Today.
The ABS Women?s Safety Survey found that of the women who experienced violence by a current partner, 61 per cent reported that they had children in their care at some time during the relationship, and 38 per cent said that these children had witnessed the violence.
For more information see Depression.
4% of Australians use sleeping tablets. The proportion of those aged over 65 is 37 per cent.
Source: John J Croucher, Professor of Statistics, Macquarie University, numbercrunch, SMH goodweekend Magazine.
It takes between 3-14 days of continued use to become tolerant to a benzodiazepine sleeping tablet.
For more information see Getting Off Sleeping Tablets
SLEEP DISORDER CLASSIFICATIONS
The International Classification of Sleep Disorders lists about 88 recognised abnormalities relating to sleep.
They include Time Zone Change (Jet-Lag) Syndrome, Sleep Walking, Alcohol-Dependent Sleep Disorder, Food Allergy Insomnia, Sleep Bruxism (teeth grinding), Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Sleeping Sickness, Fatal Familial Insomnia, and REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder.
SLEEP APNEA (or APNOEA)
OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA (OSA)
OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA/HYPOPNOEA SYNDROME (OSAHS)
The American National Sleep Foundation estimates that sleep apnea is present in about 40% of those adults who snore.
The figures on the number of sufferers vary depending on the source. We have seen figures of 0.3 ? 2% of middle aged males (30-65 years old), and middle aged women as 0.5% to 1.0 percent. In other places it is quoted as 5% of the population. A study performed by Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney in 1995 indicated that it could effect as many as 10 percent of middle-aged men, and 5 percent of women ? perhaps even more.
As little as 10 to 15 per cent weight loss can reduce or eliminate sleep-disordered breathing, and may curtail the cardiovascular risk associated with sleep-disordered breathing.
A recent Australian federal parliamentary transport committee enquiry found that one in three traffic accidents is caused by driver fatigue.
Figures indicate that sleep apnoea sufferers are two to seven times more likely to have an accident, others say they are up to 15 times more likely (in the case of a car accident).
Link to Stroke and Heart Failure Patients
Studies have recently shown that between 50 and 80 per cent of stroke and heart failure patients have some form of sleep-disordered breathing.
OSA a risk factor in Liver Disease?
A study in the June 2005 issue of Hepatology looked at the connection between OSA and liver disease, independent of obesity. Overall 20% had elevated liver enzymes, independent of body mass index (BMI). The study concluded that severe OSA is a risk factor for elevated liver enzymes and further studies are needed to determine whether hypoxia (the deficiency of oxygen reaching the body tissues) contributes direct to liver injury.
Source:? American National Sleep Foundation website, June 2, 2005.
For more information see Sleep Apnea
HISTORY OF SLEEP DURATION
In 1910 we used to average nine hours sleep per night, now we average about seven hours.
INSOMNIA LINKS WITH CHRONIC PAIN
More than 20% of people with arthritis, asthma, back problems or diabetes reported symptoms of insomnia.
INSOMNIA LINKS WITH CHRONIC STRESS
23% of people who described their days as ?extremely stressful? reported insomnia.
INSOMNIA AND SHIFT WORK
Unsurprisingly, shift-workers reported higher rates of insomnia.
For more information see Shiftworkers, Jetlag, Varying Sleep Times
94% of travellers suffer from jetlag.? It can last for up to 2 weeks.? It is said that one recovery day is required for each time zone crossed.? Travelling west is generally easier than travelling east.
INSOMNIA AND OBESITY
Respondents whose body mass index exceeds 35 (described as ?obese?) experience higher rates of insomnia.
Infants and children
Snoring effects 18-20% of infants.
A study in America found that children who were identified by their parents as snorers at ages four and five had lower than average IQs. (Up to 10.3% of all children experience snoring occasionally and approximately 5.6% of children are habitual snorers.)
About one third of adults over the age of 30 are snorers. That number increases to about 40% by middle age.
Source: The British Medical Journal, 1997.
Snoring afflicts about 44 percent of men and 30 per cent of women. (About 44 percent snore occasionally, and around 25% snore habitually).
Nearly 85% of snorers exceed 38 decibels of sound, with loud snorers getting up to about 90 decibels, which is similar to a loud yell!
According to the American National Sleep Foundation sleep apnea may be present in up to 40 of those adults who experience snoring.
For more information see Snoring
SCHOOL STARTS TOO EARLY?
A recent survey of Australian students aged between 15 and 18 found two out of three were not getting enough sleep because school starts so early. Just under 20 per cent were getting two hours a night less sleep than they needed. And the children who were tending to be night owls rather than early morning performers (apparently about a third of all students) were irritable as a result and had problems concentrating.
?Enough sleep? for school children is repeatedly reported as 9 hours per night.
WOMEN compared to MEN, AND EDUCATION LEVELS
The American National Sleep Foundation?s 2005 Sleep in America poll showed that women are more likely than men to get less sleep than they need to function at their best (24% vs. 19%).
The poll also showed that women are more likely than men to experience some symptom of insomnia: they have more trouble falling asleep (26% vs. 17% of men), are awake more often during the night (35% vs. 28%), and are more likely to wake up too early and have difficulty getting back to sleep (24% vs. 19%).
The survey results suggest that insomnia was more prevalent with older, divorced/separated people with less education, poor health and/or low income. Women with a higher education were more likely to sleep through the night.
Source: American National Sleep Foundation website, June 2, 2005.
ADJUST YOUR RETIRING TIME?
Apparently, keeping your wake-up time constant but going to bed one hour later will help 25 percent of insomniacs within one to two weeks.
SUCKERS FOR PUNISHMENT?
People with insomnia are more likely to exacerbate or perpetuate their sleep problem by drinking alcohol to help induce sleep, smoking close to bedtime, and by sleeping in late in the morning according to the May 2005 issue of the journal Sleep.
Results of the study show that people with insomnia consume alcohol within 30 minutes of bedtime more often than controls, and 29 percent of them use alcohol to try to induce sleep.
Among regular smokers 45.3 percent of insomniacs smoke within five minutes of bedtime.
20% of Australians will suffer a mental health problem at some stage in their life. Source: ABC News February 10, 2006.
The Australasian Sleep Association estimates that lost productivity because of sleep disorders costs Australia $ 2 billion a year, and America $ 35 billion.? Source: What’s Good For You, Channel 9, June 12, 2006.
FATAL FAMILIAL INSOMNIA
This fatal insomnia afflicts only about 30 families in the world.? Sufferers stop sleeping and die within months.? Research into these families is beginning to shed light on Alzheimer’s and mad cow disease.? In the normal population the chance of getting this type of insomnia is one in 33 million, but in the families affected the chance can be as high as one in two.
Source:? Good Weekend, November 11, 2006.
AND MAYBE YOU’LL SLEEP BETTER AFTER THIS?
The proportion of surveyed couples who reached orgasm during intercourse when they kept their socks on:? 80 per cent;? without socks:? 50 per cent!
Source:? Sydney Morning Herald, Good Weekend, numbercrunch, Prof. John Croucher, August 12, 2006.
The world record for the longest period of no sleep was established by Randy Gardner in 1964…? 11 days.?? We’re not encouraging you to break it!