Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Stress, anxiety and sleep

Experts recommend that adults get seven or eight hours sleep a night ; adolescents need nine hours, school-aged children 10-11 and pre-school children 11-13. However, a Finnish study of 19,199 people has found that stressful life situations can disturb an individual's sleep for at least six months after the event. For people sensitive to anxiety the chances for sleep disturbances were 2-3 times greater following a stressful event. The five-year study measured people's propensity for anxiety at the start and monitored their sleep patterns, and any stressful life events that may have occured, over the course of the study. After 'severe' life events men with anxiety were 3.11 times as likely to suffer from sleep disturbances compared with 1.13 times for men without anxiety. After divorce anxious men and women were 2.05 times as likely to have disturbed sleep compared to 1.47 times for non-anxious people.

You can find out more about the study at

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