herald

Friday 17 August 2018

A good night's sleep will help your marriage

Poor sleepers are four times more likely to have relationship problems and three times more likely to be unable to concentrate as those who get enough rest, according to a new report.

Mild, moderate or severe insomnia also causes issues with getting things done, while sufferers experience energy slumps and are three times more likely to feel low.

Not enough sleep over the long term is also linked to health problems such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Of more than 5,300 people surveyed, 37pc had some form of insomnia and 24pc had other sleep-related problems such as teeth-grinding, sleeping excessively, or sleep apnoea, where the airway is obstructed and people can struggle for breath.

Some 39pc of the total sample said they slept well.

The findings are contained in a new Sleep Matters report from the British Mental Health Foundation, and believed to be the biggest ever survey of people's sleeping habits in the UK.

Neglected

Other published research has put the figure on the number of people suffering insomnia or another sleep problem at around 30pc of the population.

Dr Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the charity, said: "Whilst great emphasis is rightly placed on the importance of diet and exercise, sleep has for too long been neglected as a major influence on the physical and mental health of the nation.

"Up to a third of the population currently suffers from insomnia, and with stress and longer working hours on the rise, it is crucial that we now treat the issue of sleep problems as the major public health concern it is."

Professor Colin Espie, director of the Glasgow University Sleep Centre, said: "The data shows the extent to which sleep disorders can inhibit the very essence of who we are: our relationships, our mood, our ability to complete day-to-day tasks.

"These factors in turn have an impact on our health -- sustained periods of low mood, relationship difficulties and lack of exercise due to low energy levels, for example, are all notable causes of mental health problems such as depression."

hnews@herald.ie

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