How did you sleep last night? Did you sleep well, like a log or a baby? Or did you sleep fitfully and still feel very sleepy when you got up this morning?
According to a new report by the Mental Health Foundation, a UK charity that carries out research and campaigns for better mental-health services, 30 per cent of the British population are not getting a good night's sleep. Many suffer from insomnia or another type of sleeping disorder, such as sleep apnoea. The report shows how sleep disorders put those suffering from them at a greater risk of health problems. These can range from depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder to immune deficiency and heart disease.
Included in the report is data showing to what extent lack of sleep or poor sleep affects our everyday lives. Compared to people who sleep well, people suffering from insomnia are four times as likely to have relationship problems, three times as likely to experience low mood, three times as likely to lack concentration during the day and three times as likely to struggle to "get things done" at work or elsewhere in their lives.
Professor Colin Espie, director of the Glasgow University Sleep Centre and co-founder of the organization Sleepio, said of the survey results:
"The diminished concentration levels and ability to complete tasks revealed by the survey, combined with the health consequences, also affect our productivity at work or in education. We can no longer just ignore the impact of sleep problems in this country. They are affecting our health, our economy, and our everyday happiness."
To help people sleep better, the Mental Health Foundation has produced a booklet, called Sleep Well, and set up a website that offers advice and information about sleep.
You can expand your knowledge of vocabulary used to talk about sleep in our exercise on the next page. It's so easy, you'll be able to do it in your sleep. I only hope it doesn't send you to sleep!
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