In 2002, 570,000 people in the country took the hypnotic drugs and sedatives prescribed by doctors for a total of 104 million dollars. Among over-the-counter drugs, this type of medicine is the most popular. The economic damage caused by untreated sleep disorders a year is estimated at 10 billion dollars. In 2000, a survey of 20,000 patients of general practitioners revealed alarming numbers: seven out of ten respondents complained of sleep disorders, four out of ten indicated that they suffer from them regularly.
Every sixth complained of frequent bouts of drowsiness in the middle of the day, eight percent said that she often falls asleep during the day against her will. Smaller polls, conducted in different segments of the population, did not give the best results: about a quarter of the population of West Australia constantly or periodically can not sleep or wake up for a long time in the night, found out in the 1990s. At the same time, Australia in international comparison is somewhere in the middle: from 15 to 35% of the population of developed Western countries suffer from insomnia. But what does “bad sleep” actually mean?
In which case are we talking about sleep disorders?
To answer this question is extremely difficult. Many people in vain imagine that they suffer from insomnia – for example, because they wake up several times during the night or because the time in bed before falling asleep seems to be long. In fact, their sleep is very deep and not too short and therefore performs its main function: it gives a feeling of rest. Some, on the contrary, sleep a lot and for a long time and don’t even realize that something is wrong with their sleep. Nevertheless, in the mornings, they regularly get up sleepy, tired and lethargic, and then they want to sleep all day.
This suggests that a person, unknowingly, suffers from some kind of illness that does not allow him to fall asleep really deeply or constantly wakes up for brief moments. Therefore, sleep does not bring rest. This causes a painfully increased need for sleep, called hypersomnia. It is much easier than sleep disorder to determine its opposite: who wakes up refreshed, optimistic and energetic in the morning, doesn’t remember a dream during the day, and in the evening feels tired at the right time and falls asleep quickly — he’s fine.
Children usually sleep that way. And many adults. But those who sleep well, as a rule, do not know why every night they manage this trick. For them, it goes without saying that sleep brings vigor. Most of them do not even think about how lucky they are. And most importantly, they do not even know how many people envy them. The fact is that bad sleep has countless possible causes. Doctors allocate 88 different diseases that disturb sleep.
This number includes everything imaginable and unthinkable: somnambulism, back pain, spasms of calf muscles, painful periods, asthma, creaking of teeth, sleep disturbances caused by the environment, such as improper temperature or noise, restless legs syndrome, tinnitus, nightmares, side effects of various medications, hormonal disorders, heartburn, severe snoring with frequent respiratory arrest – the so-called apnea, narcolepsy – sudden seizures of sleep, unreasonable panic attacks, heavy night thoughts, unexplained internal anxiety, depression, and more.