Supporting Healthy Sleep
Number 114. For Professional Use Only
Sleep is a physical and mental resting state, a vital biological function, necessary for physical and emotional well-being. Insomnia, or sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder that affects significant numbers of our population, with the main symptoms being difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up too early every morning 1. Even just one night’s bad sleep can affect our mood, concentration and alertness, and chronic sleep deprivation can lead to daytime fatigue and tiredness, and memory loss. This can have a huge impact on work performance, absenteeism, lost productivity and an increase in work-related accidents. Insomnia can also have adverse consequences on an emotional level, leading to stress, anxiety and depression; as well as serious long term health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke1. Studies from the University of Laval in Quebec have shown that people who had less than 6 hours sleep (or indeed 9 or more hours sleep) had two and a half times the risk of type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance than those who had 7-8 hours sleep per night2. This was supported by evidence that showed people who get five or less hours of sleep a night are five times more likely to develop diabetes than those who get over seven3.
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