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The Beauty of Sleep

By: Pat Lam
Posted: October 24, 2008

Have you ever experienced any of these situations?

  1. Restless night
  2. Thrashing or turning in bed
  3. Sleeping while driving
  4. Sleeping on the job

Hands up! It’s awful, isn’t it? Well, you are not alone! Almost everyone suffers from sleeplessness at some time. According to American Sleep Disorders Association (ASDA), more than 35 million Americans suffer from sleeping disorders and about 20 million have experienced sleep deprivation. Do you know that 1/3 of your life is spent sleeping? The notion of “A Sleepless Society” has been proposed. Apparently there is a whole army of people out there who do not sleep at night but spend almost their nights watching TV and surfing the Internet. However, the individuals who are most affected by sleep deprivation are night workers (doctors, nurses, shift workers), pilots, truck drivers, and those suffering from depression and using excessive drugs.

There are also those who burn the candles on both ends, such as partying until the wee hours of the morning and then going to work straight afterward. Many people do not think they need to have sufficient sleep, but end up falling asleep at work or even worse, while driving to work.

Why do we need it?

Sleep is an important biological need, like food and drink. Sleep theories focus on rest and restore for the psyche and the body. It plays an important part of our overall well-being since it affects bodily functions, such as the growth of new tissues, control of body temperature, control of energy and control of the nervous system—behavioral and memory performance.

Causes

There are many causes of lack of sleep or the inability of sleep. Some are short-term and will be resolved quickly; however, chronic insomnia can become long-term and serious, and requires professional therapy.