What Insomnia Statistics Tell Us
Insomnia statistics may not mean much if you can't sleep at night. It's cold comfort knowing that around a third of the population in America has bouts of insomnia in the course of a year, or that nearly half of those over 65 years of age have one kind of sleeping disorder or another.
A Costly Disorder - Insomnia statistics really aren't of all that much value to the individual, although the right statistics can sometimes offer a clue as to what an individual's reasons for having insomnia might be. Mostly, insomnia statistics are of value to health organizations which are looking into ways to reduce the numbers, and to business as a whole since insomnia, on a large scale, carries with it a substantial economic cost.
Consider the total cost of sleeping pills or other medications that are consistently used by 1 out of every 30 person in this country to try to get a good nights sleep, or the fact that industry-wide, billions of dollars have been lost in terms of productivity due to insomnia suffered by workers. There is a high emotional cost as well, as a lack of adequate sleep is estimated to contribute to approximately 1,500 traffic fatalities annually.
The United States has the highest rate of insomnia in the world, which might seem somewhat surprising given the fact that most Americans are quire well off relative to those living in many other countries. Our fast paced culture, the "rat race", no doubt plays a role, but insomnia has always been with us, affecting people from all walks of life. Both Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison suffered from insomnia, though both could also be described as being workaholics.
We Used To Sleep More - One insomnia statistic that seems to bear out the fact that our lifestyle plays a role is the estimate that one the average, we sleep 20% less that Americans did at the beginning of the 20th century. Given the fact that back then, America was still a largely agricultural society, and more of the workforce was involved in hard physical labor, one might be led to believe we should actually be able to set aside more time for sleep, but the opposite seems to be true. It could be that in today's somewhat more complex world, we have more to think about and more to worry about.
It Starts When We're Young - One of the more troubling insomnia statistics reveals that not much more than a third of all children get the amount of sleep every night they should have, which is between 9 and 10 hours. Homework might be somewhat to blame, but homework has almost always been with us. Once again the finger of blame seems to point to our hectic lifestyle, where there is so much to do and so little time to do it. For many sleep seems a waste of time, and the thought of spending a third of their life sleeping, which is they should be doing, seems almost shameful.
It's little wonder that if when children, we are not encouraged to get the amount of sleep our bodies need, we will somewhere along the line start having to pay a price, and that price is often in the form of sleep disorders or insomnia.
Insomnia can seldom be avoided completely. Even those who “sleep like a baby” every night, occasionally have worries regarding the family budget, or experience events that are either traumatic or stimulating, with the result they suddenly can't get a good night's sleep no matter how hard they try. As long as the situation is temporary there is usually little cause for concern, but if insomnia becomes chronic, getting medical help is far better than relying on pills or other medications. Natural sleep is the best kind of sleep.