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We spend a third of our lives asleep – but did you know that sleep is vital for normal physical and mental health? 1 Sleep is needed to: 1

  • Repair and restore our brains and body
  • Consolidate memory
  • Process information
  • Optimise our performance and mood
  • Ensure proper functioning of our immune system

We all need different amounts of sleep and this often depends on our age. 1 Newborns need 16-18 hours of sleep a day, whereas adults usually only need 7-8 hours of sleep a day. 1

Sleeplessness or insomnia is a condition of unsatisfactory sleep, either in terms of: 2

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Trouble staying asleep i.e. waking up several times in the night and then struggling to fall back to sleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning

Insomnia is a 24-hour problem

Insomnia can lead to other health problems

Improve your sleep hygiene

References: 1.  Mental Health Foundation. Sleep Matters: The impact of sleep on health and wellbeing. Mental Health Awareness Week 2011. [Online] 2011 [cited 2015 Aug 7. Available from: URL: 2. Wilson SJ, Nutt DJ, Alford C, Argyropoulos SV, Baldwin DS, Bateson AN, et al. British Association for Psychopharmacology concensus statement on evidence-based treatment of insomnia, parasomnias and circadian rhythm disorders. J Psychopharmacol 2010;24(11):1577-1600.

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