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How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Sleep schedule

While most people need seven to nine hours of sleep a day, a large section of the population suffers from sleep disorders and sleep deprivation. Sleep disorders and sleep deprivation result in a lower quality of life for the individual. The consequences also spill over into the workplace in the form of lower productivity. Choosing the right bed is the first step in getting the sleep you need to function at your peak.

Sleep disorders are commoner than you think
It’s doesn’t sound so complicated. The National Sleep Foundation reports that most adults need on average seven to nine hours of sleep a day. And yet this simple goal can be very difficult to achieve. Not only do large sections of the population suffer from sleep deprivation, there are also sleep disorders to contend with. In fact as many as 50 to 70 million adults in the U. S. suffer from chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How sleep deprived are you?
In 2011, CDC published a survey which talked to over 74,000 people about their sleep habits. More than one third or 35% of the responders said that they slept on average less than 7 hours a night. While just over half, or 56% of Americans believe they get enough sleep, another 43% feel that they could do with more, according to a Gallup poll conducted in 2013.
Parents of small children are a notoriously sleep-deprived group, with less than half or 46% saying that they get as much sleep as they need. The vast majority, or 91% of American adults report that they wake up in the middle of night, at least on some nights.

What keeps you awake?
An uncomfortable bed, anxiety, snoring, sleep position, the wrong room temperature – there’s no shortage of reasons why people can’t get to sleep or keep waking up in the middle of the night. For individuals suffering from insomnia, the consequences are immediate and obvious. They’re always feeling tired, unable to focus, irritable, and their health begins to suffer. But for employers too, insomnia is a problem. A study by the Harvard Medical School found that one fourth of all American workers suffer from insomnia. Apart from the impact it has on their lives, the costs for employers due to lower productivity are estimated to be around $63 billion.

Sleeping well is half the battle
On the other side of the coin, a good night’s sleep can make all the difference to your health and to your outlook on the world. It’s not actually the number of hours you sleep but the quality of your sleep that matters. Among Americans who responded to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2015 Sleep and Pain Poll, those who slept just 18 to 23 minutes more said that they enjoyed very good or excellent health and quality of life as compared to those who slept less. The second group felt that their health and quality of life were just good, fair or poor.

An undisturbed night’s sleep is actually the foundation for the following day. The type of bed you choose can make a big difference, allowing you to control comfort, sleeping position, and even temperature. A comfortable bed is the first prerequisite for a good night’s sleep.

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