This could be for you if:
- You're not sure if you're getting enough sleep
- You want to know possible reasons you're having sleep issues
- You're looking for tactics to help you sleep
Sleeping – what's normal?
Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night to function properly. Different people need different amounts of sleep to feel refreshed, but if you're not getting seven hours or more, there's a good chance you're not at the top of your game during waking hours. Your energy and concentration levels, and your memory, could suffer.
Why am I having trouble sleeping?
There are a lot of things that can mess with your sleep patterns. They include:
- Depression or anxiety
- If you're stressing out over something
- Breathing problems like asthma and apnoea
- Trauma in your life (major and minor)
- Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol and other drugs
- Some contraceptives
- Jet-lag (see our fact sheet on 'circadian rhythms' for more info)
- Cold and flu medicine
If you're having trouble sleeping it can have a big impact on your everyday life, including:
- Drowsiness, falling asleep during the day
- Not being able to focus
- Having trouble concentrating
- Having trouble staying mentally alert
- Being irritable or angry
- Feeling anxious and stressed
- Feeling depressed or down
- Impacts on your physical performance
Sleeping problems can have pretty negative impacts but there are things you can do to overcome them.
What to do about sleep problems?
There are a lot of strategies you can try to help you overcome sleeping issues. Read more about how to get a good night's sleep and getting into a sleeping routine for more info. If your problems with sleep are causing you serious distress, there might be something more serious going on, so it's worth visiting your GP for a consultation. Managing your sleeping issues will be much easier and quicker with a doctor's help.