One of the most overlooked factors in mental health is sleep.
Many believe that as long as you get 6-8 hours of sleep per night, it can be ruled out as a factor contributing to chronic stress, inattention and focus, depression, and other issues. Quality of sleep is the most important thing to consider especially for people in high stress environments and active lifestyles.
Insomnia and hypersomnia are two issues that can impact people of all ages.
Insomnia is defined by difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
Many people that suffer from anxiety report that they can fall asleep without issue but wake up multiple times throughout the night which prevents them from getting restful and restorative sleep.
Hypersomnia is defined by the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, but sleep quality is very poor.
Individuals suffering from hypersomnia report sleeping an average of 8 hours per night but do not feel rested when they wake up.
In both cases, the issue is sleep quality and without consistent quality sleep, we are at risk for several health issues including increased stress, higher risk of depression, inability to focus, increased irritability, and a slew of medical issues.
Question 1: What age groups are mostly affected by sleep disorders?
Answer: Sleeping disorders can affect all ages. The younger we are, the more quality sleep we need. Older individuals commonly report sleeping 6-8 hours per night but struggle with getting good sleep quality each night.
Question 2: How much sleep should adolescents be getting each night?
Answer: At least 8 hours per night. Today, adolescents commonly get 4-6 hours of sleep per night due to various reasons. During adolescents, the body grows and the immune system is strengthen. When adolescents sleep 8-10 hours per night, they are more likely to have a higher stress tolerance, better focus, and capable of handling a more active lifestyle.
Question 3: What are the most common factors contributing to insomnia in adolescents?
Answer: Today, it is common for adolescents to spend an extended amount of time on their smart phones, watching television, or in front of their computers prior to bed. Other factors include staying up late doing homework, pervasive anxiety, and depression. Adolescents may fall asleep eventually but are expected to wake up a few hours later for school.
Question 4: What are the most common factors contributing to insomnia/hypersomnia in adults?
Answer: Adults suffering from sleeping disorders report chronic life stress, depression, and poor sleep hygiene as major factors affecting sleep.
Question 5: How can therapy help me with my sleeping problems?
Answer: Therapy can often uncover any underlying emotional issues that may be contributing to sleep quality. Additionally, individuals of all ages report poor organizational skills that lead to late nights and early mornings. Therapy can help with the development of a skill set that can address sleep issues as well as issues with stress, depression, and issues with focus.