According to a new Wilke survey compiled on behalf of Jyllands-Posten newspaper, about 20 percent of Danes have trouble sleeping at least one night per week.
Poul Jennum, a professor and doctor at Rigshospitalet, said that sleep deprivation has developed into a lifestyle illness on a par with obesity, and that the area should be prioritised more than it is now.
“There has been too little focus on the health issues associated with a lack of sleep,” Jennum told Jyllands-Posten.
“So we have developed some good advice for people who suffer from insomnia. There is actually a lot people can do themselves to fight the problem.”
Associated health issues
According to the report, the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes is increased by about 50 percent for people who have trouble sleeping.
Additionally, people who sleep less than 7-8 hours a night have a 50 percent higher chance of getting cardiovascular diseases and a 15 percent higher risk of a stroke.
There are over 80 diagnoses within the area of sleep, so even though the insomnia can be sparked by physiological issues, like sleep apnoea, it can quickly develop into a psychological problem.
“It’s actually natural that people wake up 25-30 times a night on average,” said Jennum. “It’s part of our arousal system, without which we would be unable to survive.”
“The problem arises when there are outer or inner disturbances, such as in the form of stress or worrying. Then you wake up and can’t fall back to sleep.”