The annual healthcare budget in the U.S includes treatment and recovery costs related to poor sleep, and these costs have soared to $16 billion on an annual basis.
Illnesses caused by lack of sleep include diabetes, heart disease, depression, stroke and high blood pressure. Poor sleep is also known to negatively impact the mood and alertness of individuals throughout the day.
With so many daily functions dependent on proper sleeping cycles, researchers have uncovered five important patterns of sleep:
The beginning of sleep always begins with the transitional phase of wakefulness to light sleep that is followed by the light sleep stage. Individuals then move to the stage of light sleep followed by a transitional stage of light to heavy sleeping. Finally, the person will begin to move into the deep sleep stage, and will intermittently experience the Rapid Eye Movement stage or REM. The Rapid Eye Movement stage increases in length during each of the other repeated stages of sleep.
One out of every three people within the United States experiences some form of sleep disruption due to chronic sleep disorders, sleep apnea, intermittent sleep disorders and restless leg syndrome. Drowsiness can account for more than 16% of road accidents, 3% of car related injuries and 5% of deaths in America. However, keeping a sleep-wake schedule, removing distracting objects and taking power naps of no more than one hour can improve an individual’s sleep hygiene and overall health.
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