Sleeping difficulty can involve difficulty falling asleep when you first go to bed at night, waking up too early in the morning, or waking up often during the night. It can also involve combinations of these patterns.
Inability to sleep; Dyssomnia; Sleeplessness; Wakefulness
Everyone has an occasional sleepless night, and this is not a problem for most people. However, as many as 25% of Americans report occasional sleeping problems. Chronic sleeping problems affect about 10% of people.
The lack of restful sleep can affect your ability to carry out daily responsibilities because you are too tired or have trouble concentrating. All types of insomnia can lead to daytime drowsiness, poor concentration, and the inability to feel refreshed and rested in the morning.
Most adults do best with about 8 hours of sleep each night until age 60, after which 6 hours may be enough. Even though the elderly need less sleep, almost one half of people over 60 experience some degree of insomnia.
The best measure of the amount of sleep needed is how you feel. If you awaken feeling refreshed, you are getting enough sleep. For some people, this may take only 4 hours. Others may need up to 10 hours to feel rested.
Review Date: 03/31/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Michelle Benger Merrill, MD, Instructor in Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.