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Report: The Impact Of Sleep On Health And Wellbeing

January 28, 2011

According to a report published by the Mental Health Foundation, researchers say that lack of sleep needs to be treated as a major health issue, suggesting that there is a link between insomnia and poor relationships, low energy levels and inability to concentrate.

Poor sleep has already been linked to depression, immune deficiency and heart disease.

The report, titled “ËœSleep Matters’, calls for general practitioners to have more training to recognize and diagnose the symptoms.

BBC eports that in the United Kingdom, the number of adults suffering from insomnia has been estimated at around 30 percent in the past.

Nearly 6,800 people took part in an online survey for the report.

Researchers said it was more likely to attract participants concerned about their sleep and is not representative of the whole of the UK. However, it does show a gap in the experiences of good sleepers and insomniacs.

The survey showed people with insomnia were four times as likely to have relationship woes, three times as likely to feel depressed and three times as likely to suffer from a lack of concentration.

Dr Dan Robotham, senior researcher at the Mental Health Foundation and lead author of the report, believes people can get stuck in a spiral where poor sleep leads to mental health problems which then leads to even worse sleep.

“It is crucial that people are aware of the effective ways of breaking that spiral by improving the quality of their sleep,” Robotham told BBC News. “Employers, schools and public health bodies also need to know how they can identify and support people suffering from sleep disorders.”

“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,” added Professor Colin Espie, director of the Glasgow University Sleep Center.

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