What do you know about getting enough sleep?

Posted March 2nd, 2015 by

That’s what the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is asking during Sleep Awareness Week to help everyone better understand why sleep matters. And what you know probably depends on your own experiences. Are you living with insomnia or a chronic condition that impacts your sleep? Or do you just have a restless night every once in a while?

Back in 2013, more than 5,000 PatientsLikeMe members participated in a survey about their sleeping habits, and we shared what the community helped to uncover (get it!?) in a series of infographics on the blog. Nearly a third of respondents never (5%) or rarely (25%) got a good night’s sleep, and almost half (44%) frequently woke up during the night. Poor sleep is the norm for people living with life-changing health conditions, and it affects everything from driving to relationships and sex – view the infographics here.

To help launch Sleep Awareness Week, the NSF released their “Sleep in America” poll results today, including the 2015 Sleep and Pain survey, which looked to find if stress and poor health were related to shorter sleep durations and lower quality sleep. The poll found that:

  • Greater stress was associated with less sleep and worse sleep quality
  • Pain was related to greater sleep debt – the gap between how much people say they need and the amount they’re actually getting1

For everyone living with these sleep issues, you can help raise awareness this week on social media through the #SleepWeek hashtag. And if you’d like to share any PatientsLikeMe infographics or results, please use the #areyousleeping hashtag.

If you’ve been struggling with sleep, read what PatientsLikeMe members Lori (living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) and Marcia (living with multiple sclerosis) had to say about their insomnia. And don’t forget to reach out to the community in the Sleep Issues forum on PatientsLikeMe – over 40,000 members are sharing about everything related to their sleep.

Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word for Sleep Awareness Week.


1 http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-polls-data/2015-sleep-and-pain


One Comment

  1. The first thing that needs to be established is: What is sleep? The definition of sleep needs to be clearly understood by everyone. If sleep is not clearly defined, then everyone making a comment will be all over the place with their own perspective of what sleep really is, by definition.

    I would like to make a comment right now, but if a reader does not know what sleep really is, or has his or her own version of what sleep is, then my point (or anyone else’s) will have no true relevance. Most of the problem lies with doctors’ impression of sleep and their own understanding of it (which is not much I’ve discovered), and a person suffering from a sleep disorder. Many people suffering with “a sleep problem”, actually are not. The only thing they are suffering from is “other people’s expectations” of what they SHOULD be getting, as far as sleep is concerned. Such as, how much sleep a person should get, or how deep of a sleep a person should reach during a sleep period. Those kinds of things are what creates anxiety about a person’s sleep. Then that anxiety creates more anxiety, which hinder’s a person from getting the correct amount of sleep needed “for them”.

    I could go on forever about sleep. I know what it is, and know what it is not. I know that doctors and authorities in the field of sleep, PUSH their expectations on people and create more problems than help people. I would like an opportunity to stand in an auditorium, before a full house of professionals in the field of sleep, and have them listen to me speak on the subject.

    I am not “full of myself”. I am not a proclaimed, or self entitled expert on sleep. I am a person who has been through years of every kind of disorder known to have a name attached to it. I have been told that I have a sleep problem from the best of them. They all had me convinced that I needed medication, and that bad things were going to happen. I was warned; I was frightened, I became a subject of myself for decades. I was psycho-anlalyized, self analyzed, tested, referred to as having this name, or that name. They were all wrong. The medical community needs a wake-up call. I welcome any and all questions. I want to apologize if my comments seem a little abrasive, but when I come across people claiming to have authority in the field of sleep, and can’t even tell me what sleep is, it kills me.

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