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Sleep health centre

Sleep overview

Sleep problems, including snoring, sleep apnoea, insomnia, sleep deprivation and restless legs syndrome, affect millions of people in Britain. It's important to understand why sleep is necessary for optimal health, how the natural hormone melatonin affects sleep, and how the different states and stages of sleep impact our sleep quality, quantity and dreams.

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Lack of sleep 'increases the risk of dying early'

Getting fewer than 6 hours sleep on average each night can increase your chances of dying early, a study has concluded.

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Sleep problems - the basics

Sleep disorders describe problems people have getting to sleep, staying asleep, getting enough sleep and disturbances during sleep.



Insomnia is the most common sleep problem. Others include sleep apnoea and narcolepsy.



Getting enough sleep is important for our overall health, so seek medical advice if you have a sleep problem.

Stages of sleep

Sleep can be divided into two types: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM (NREM) sleep. NREM sleep has four stages of increasingly deep sleep. Stage 1 sleep is the lightest, while stage 4 is the deepest.

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