Do you have problems sleeping well? Quiet, you are not alone: it estimated that up to 40% of the population suffers from sleep disturbances or difficulty sleeping, uncommonly occasionally or sporadically. Insomnia stands out as the most popular sleep disorder, but what does it mean to suffer from insomnia?
Insomnia defined as the difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep. There is a clinical standard to classify whether a person suffers from insomnia or not, where it determined that a person who takes more than thirty minutes to fall asleep and sleep less than six hours, may be suffering from insomnia. If these sensations are less than three weeks or a month, we speak of occasional or transitory insomnia, and when it is higher than that time, of chronic insomnia.
We talk about insomnia, more colloquially, when we are in any of these situations:
– When notice problems of lack of quality, or amount of sleep during a period.
– When we have difficulty adapting to the consequences of these problems to sleep, such as irritability, lack of concentration, fatigue or anxiety. These are some of the most well-known effects of insomnia.
How many hours of sleep do we need?
Sleep disorders, such as insomnia or the difficulty of falling asleep and maintaining a good quality of rest, are detrimental to our physical and mental health. Numerous studies show that insomnia has adverse effects on psychological and physical health, quality of life and work performance of the person, especially if it lasts over time. It is therefore essential to detect it through various alarm signals to be able to diagnose the problem early. Once a diagnosis has been made, and its typology determined, insomnia can address with hygienic-dietetic measures, with the help of a sleep treatment that does not require a medical prescription or, in some instances, by referral to the doctor.
It is significant to keep in mind that sleep disorders, such as insomnia, are prevalent, but are not always treated or adequately addressed. An international study comparing the frequency of sleep disorders in various countries (such as the United States, Japan, and Europe) showed a prevalence of up to 31% in people over 15 years. Most respondents acknowledged that lack of sleep negatively impacted their quality of life significantly, but only less than half had sought medical help.
Do we all need to sleep the same hours?
While not everyone needs to sleep the same hours, it is necessary to ensure some hours that guarantee the quality of rest. That is, we need to relax the hours that give us enough rest to perform during the day healthily, which can vary from person to person depending on multiple factors, such as age:
- A newborn will need between 16 and 18 hours of sleep.
- A teenager needs to sleep between 9 and 10 hours a day.
- Adults require about seven and eight hours of sleep per day. However, there are cases in which an adult may need only 5 or 6 hours, while another may require more than 8 hours to feel fully rested.
- In the case of older people, it is true that as age increases, sleep usually becomes more superficial, but the needs remain very similar.