Women Need More Sleep Than Men

Michael Asaly has lived in Orange Country for over thirty-five years.  Twenty of these years have been spent in medical and related sciences at major universities, including more than twelve years at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Over the years Michael has seen an increase in the number of people who suffer from sleep disorders each night.  One of the major sleep disorders being sleep apnea, which has become a significant health issue in the US.  In fact, recent statistics show that over 50 million Americans now suffer from sleep apnea each night. 

What’s even scarier is that over 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea go undiagnosed. OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea), which represents the great majority of the cases, when left untreated can lead to high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems; it is associated with type 2 diabetes and depression; and is a factor in many traffic accidents and accidents with heavy machinery, owing to the persistent drowsiness suffered by many OSA patients before the disease is recognized and treated.

In 2012, Michael combined his years of knowledge and experience, and founded Practical Sleep Solutions, with a mission to help the millions who suffer each night with sleep apnea.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael.

Faten Abdallah (FA: How many hours are actually required when it comes to sleep for women? men? children?   Who actually needs more sleep and why?
Michael Asaly (MA): An average adult needs between 7.5 and 8 hours of sleep per night. But many people can function with 6 hours' sleep, and there are also some who need 9 hours or more.  The amount of sleep needed to function well really varies from individual to individual, and is determined genetically and hereditarily.  The biggest, most dramatic change in our deep sleep and satisfaction with sleep takes place as we move from adolescence into young adulthood when slow-wave deep sleep is replaced by stage II middle sleep which is less restorative

Sleep is broadly split into two big categories: REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, when we’re dreaming, and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep moves through several, progressively deeper stages:

Stage I: a light doze, not very restorative
Stage II: middle sleep, restorative
Stage III: slow-wave deep sleep, the most restorative of all

Here's a breakdown of ages and the amount of recommended sleep:

Older adults, 65+ years: 7-8 hours
Adults, 26-64 years: 7-9 hours
Young adults, 18-25 years: 7-9 hours
Teenagers, 14-17 years: 8-10 hours
School-age children, 6-13 years: 9-11 hours
Preschool children, 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
Toddlers, 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
Infants, 4-11 months: 12-15 hours
Newborns, 0-3 months: 14-17 hours

FA: What are the benefits of getting enough sleep?  What happens when a person doesn't get enough sleep?
MA: Just like food and water, you need sleep to survive and thrive!  Good sleep = good health and getting a full night's rest can help you steer clear of major heart conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.  

In my 20 years of experience, one of the best immune boosters comes from having a proper night's sleep.  A full 8 hours is recommend for optimal immune system function.   Recent statistics share that insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic and that there are 50 million Americans who suffer from chronic sleep apnea, which leads to stress in everyday life.  A full night's sleep without wake-up interruptions or snoring is one of the best immune system boosters out there!

If you're not getting enough sleep you can also be prone to:

Lack of alertness: Even missing as little as 1.5 hours can have an impact, research shows.
Impaired memory: Lack of sleep can affect your ability to think and to remember and process information.
Relationship stress: It can make you feel moody, and you can become more likely to have conflicts with others.
Quality of life: You may become less likely to participate in normal daily activities or to exercise.
Greater likelihood for car accidents: Drowsy driving accounts for thousands of crashes, injuries and fatalities each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Lower sex drive: Your libido drops the more tired you are.

FA: What are some tips when having a hard time sleeping?  Can insomnia be prevented?
MA: Combat snoring

About 37 million American adults snore regularly. It certainly disturbs a bed partner's sleep, but "sawing logs" can disrupt the snorer's sleep, too, leading to more daytime sleepiness, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Some simple tips may help you keep it under control, like sleeping on your side instead of your back, avoiding alcohol before bed and even losing weight.  One fool proof solution is a simple free sleep quiz.  Which helps diagnose those with Sleep Apnea with an easy and cost effective solution being an APAP Machine from Practical Sleep Solutions.

Reserve the bed for sleep and sex only

Reading in bed or watching TV is a form of relaxation, right? Yes...and no. A page-turner, a mystery or any other book that demands your emotional and intellectual attention may be more distracting than relaxing. Opt for lighter reading before bed, and keep it to the couch or your favorite comfy chair.  That way you keep your bed only for the good things, like sleep and sex.

Get some sunlight first thing in the morning

There's nothing quite like bright light to trigger your brain to stay awake and alert. Getting some natural light -- you'll want to aim for about 15 minutes -- first thing in the morning can help night owls reset their biological clocks and ease into sleep a little earlier.

FA: What are some medical/alternative solutions in aiding sleep?

MA: Recent statistics share that over 50 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea.  My company, Practical Sleep Solutions, is a California based company that provides effective and affordable at home sleep solutions for those who suffer each night.  The process is made simple and affordable without the need for insurance.  As with most classified high-risk conditions, patients are expected to pay more for their life insurance premiums if they are diagnosed with sleep apnea.  This coupled with a long and painful process through the insurance system has resulted in patients taking their sleep issues into their own hands.

Practical Sleep Solutions is the one stop solution to sleep apnea and a perfect night’s sleep!  Our patients are offered a FREE online sleep quiz.  The next step is for patients to purchase an in home sleep test machine.  The recorded data from this machine is then scored and reviewed by a Practical Sleep technician and board certified sleep doctor.  If a patient is diagnosed with sleep apnea they can then purchase a top of the line APAP machine that provides a comfortable and easy at home solution for a full night of restful sleep.    

You can find more information on Practical Sleep Solutions: 


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