A third of American adults say they sleep less than the recommended seven to nine hours. The optimal amount of sleep is highly dependent on the individual, but most people would likely be happier and healthier if they had between 60 and 90 minutes more sleep per night, according to the American Psychological Association.
But even people who get the recommended amount of uninterrupted sleep may be troubled by daytime fatigue and excessive sleepiness because of a variety of conditions that cause sleep problems.
To compile a list of 16 health problems associated with sleep disturbances, 24/7 Tempo reviewed dozens of articles in publications such as the Sleep Foundation, Science Daily, and National Institutes of Health.
Sleep quantity and quality have both been found to increase the risk of certain diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. These and other conditions can also be the medical cause for sleep problems.
Sleep occurs in several stages. In the first, which lasts a few minutes, your eyes are closed but you’re still alert. In the second, light sleep, your heart rate slows and your temperature drops. Next is deep sleep, when the body repairs muscles and tissues. The last phase is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, during which you dream and form memories.
Each of these four stages has its own role in promoting good health. Here are 19 secrets to sleep better at night.