Almost 25% of the Dutch population experiences sleep problems. An even bigger percentage indicates that sleep quality is poor. In the UK 36% of the people struggle to get to sleep at least on a weakly basis and nearly half of the people in the UK have trouble falling asleep at least once a month.
There are two types of sleep: Deep sleep (non-REM), particularly at the beginning of the night. And REM-sleep (dreamsleep). We experience several sleep cycles during the night, transitioning to and from deep sleep and REM sleep.
As we get older, we experience a decrease in sleep duration. Moreover, our deep sleep stages decrease as our superficial sleep stages increase. The quality of sleep is often compromised because we wake up more often because we have to use the bathroom or because we are quicker awakened by noise.
Healthy sleep tends to be underrated in today's society. We are going to bed much later due to busy social schedules, work stress, caring for children and distractions in the form of television and social media. These stressors are also keeping us awake for longer. Poor sleep quality means the body doesn't have time to repair itself.
Poor sleep also leads to fluctuations in circadian rhythm, resulting in poorer performance during the day. Did you know that healthy sleep patterns and dreams can improve academic performance and memory?