....... Divertimento: Insomnia in Hong Kong

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Insomnia in Hong Kong

Who has time for sleep?

Whilst sleep requirements can vary between adults, it is generally agreed amongst the medical profession that healthy adults need 7.5 to 9 hours sleep per night. In our busy lives, it seems that sleep gets the lowest priority. There is the never-ending to-do list and then surely, we must make time for friends and the ever important ME time. Eight hours sleep a night sounds good, but when are we ever going to find time to do that?

In an article ‘Prevalence of insomnia among Chinese adults in Hong Kong: a population-based study’ published in the Journal of Sleep Research (March 2011), the authors reported that insomnia affected a staggering 39.4%. That is equivalent to 2.2million affected adults in Hong Kong. Sleep deprivation can impair the human brain as much as alcohol can. Did you know that not sleeping for 24 hours causes impairment that is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol level of 0.1? That is above the Hong Kong drink driving limit of 0.05! Poor sleep can contribute to confusion, memory lapses or loss, “bags under the eyes”, irritability, temper tantrums in children, weight gain, headaches, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, an impaired immune system and symptoms similar to attention deficit disorder. Numerous deaths are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, 250,000 drivers fall asleep at the wheel every day in the United States.

There has even been studies that support the finding that sleep deprivation can suppress growth hormones thus affecting growth.

Truth is, we should make getting sufficient sleep a priority. Just as good nutrition and exercise are essential for health, so is sleep. The quantity and quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your day - your concentration, creativity, mood and over a longer period, your emotional balance, physical fitness, immunity to infections and weight.

When you stop and think about it - is there a more effortless way to achieve good health than getting a good night's sleep? So come on, stop feeling guilty about not getting through the week’s household chores or reading a report from work. You’d feel a lot better and function more efficiently if you go to bed early and wake up refreshed the next day.

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