Published Tue, 2011-01-11 11:19; updated 34 weeks ago.
All of us need sleep. We sleep to rest our minds and bodies and restore our energy for the following day.
Some people need more sleep than others but on average we need between six to nine hours of sleep per night in order to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
No matter how hard we try all of us will feely sleepy at one time or another. Simply staying up late to watch a film and then getting up early the next day for work can mean we end up feeling sleepy and over time we can build up a large sleep debt.
Another cause of poor sleep is sleep fragmentation or broken sleep.
A lack of sleep during the night can make a big impact on how you feel during the day and the consequences can be dangerous.
Broken sleep can be caused by many things such as back pain or needing to go to the bathroom, ensuring you take any relevant pain management and emptying your bladder before sleep can sometimes help with this.
We’ve all heard of sleep walking and nearly a quarter of us will have one episode of sleep walking, or similar behaviour in our sleep.
These incidents tend to occur during the earlier part of the night during a phase of sleep called Slow Wave Sleep and it’s unlikely that we’ll recall these events ourselves.
To reduce the chance of sleep walking it is important to maintain a regular sleep routine to avoid late nights.
Avoid excessive alcohol intake. Bed partners should avoid trying to wake up a sleep walker as they can get aggressive. If the sleep walking or night terrors remain problematic then treatment is available and a referral to a sleep specialist would be recommended. Most sleep walkers will grow out of this activity, but it is difficult to determine when.
Due for review October 2013