Age, lifestyle, environment and diet all play a part in influencing the amount of sleep a person needs. Most healthy adults sleep for about seven to nine hours a night. As a person gets older, it becomes more difficult to maintain that amount of sleep even though it might still be needed. Sleep problems are very common and affect people in different ways. There isn’t a ‘right’ amount of sleep as everyone is different – some people need a bit more and others need a bit less. Whilst it is normal to dream and sometimes suffer disturbed sleep, some people have problems with sleep that last for weeks, months or even years. This can have an impact on daily life, including energy levels, mood and concentration. Disturbed sleep also impacts on relationships and social life, as well as on carrying out day-to-day tasks. There is a close relationship between sleep and mental health – many people who experience mental health problems also experience sleep problems.
Read the NHS self-help guide to Sleeping Problems.