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Sleep - Sleep

Sleep disorders, the silent epidemic?

Expert commentary from Sleepstation (sleepstation.org.uk)

We’re in the grip of a pandemic and it’s hard to avoid hearing about COVID-19. But what most people won’t realise is that a good proportion of us are also fighting another, quieter epidemic: sleep disorders.

While it may seem slightly dramatic to compare sleep problems to the current virus situation, it illustrates a key problem with sleep disorders: visibility.

How often do we hear about the epidemic of sleep disorders? Virtually never. Yet, just as with COVID-19, problems with sleep also cause illness, increase the strain on health services, affect economies and interfere with our daily lives. Just not in ways that are immediately and glaringly visible.

While the COVID-19 epidemic will pass and we will begin to recover as a society, sleep disorders will continue to remain at epidemic proportions. Unless, of course, we start to talk openly about them and better understand the huge knock-on effects they have on all aspects of our society.

Most of us sleep badly from time to time. Whether it’s because we’re stressed about something, feeling under the weather or recovering from travel, problem sleep should right itself once the cause has been resolved.

Often, by adopting good sleep habits such as having a set getting up time, keeping an eye on your alcohol and caffeine intake, eating healthily and making time to exercise, we can improve our sleep.

However, if sleep remains poor for an extended period of time, this can be a sign of a sleep disorder developing.

In this article, the research team at Sleepstation delve deep into the scientific literature to examine what could be causing so many of us to suffer with sleep disorders. They look at the effects they’re having on society as a whole and why we’re not talking openly enough about our sleep.

The article also outlines steps we can take to reduce the impact of sleep disorders and look at what we can do to ensure we all know how to get a good night’s sleep.

If better sleep is on your wellbeing agenda, Sleepstation can develop a free guide to better sleep for your audiences.

To request your free guide, or discuss offering Sleepstation within your organisation, simply email wellbeing@sleepstation.org.uk. Please include some information about your audience if you're requesting a free guide.

If you’re regularly struggling to sleep at night, wake up feeling exhausted and un-rested or feel sleepy during your day, then these can all be indications that you’re suffering from a sleep disorder. You can check if you may have insomnia by completing a short assessment here.