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5 Common Sleep Problems and Celebrities who Suffer From Them

February 06, 2014

Last month we spoke quite a bit about how poor sleep can affect the growth and personality of teenagers, (, and it is certainly true for adults as well. If you don’t have the time to read our previous blogs, here are the basics of getting a good night’s sleep: 

  • Turn off cell phones

  • Make sure that your bedroom environment is conducive to sleep

  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine or energy drinks before sleep

  • Have a good bed

However. it seems that no matter who you are, sleep problems can affect you: around 40% of people experience a sleep problem almost every night. We take a look at five common sleep problems and the celebrities who suffer from them.  

1. Can’t sleep without white noise/light

Lots of people have difficulty sleeping if they don’t have some sort of “white noise” on. While white noise is technically the sound of static (think an untuned tv channel), it can also refer to any noise or even lights that can assist people to sleep. For some it is the sounds of nature, such as a rainforest or waves crashing, a desk fan, or even the tv left on soft. White noise is exceptionally popular amongst new mothers fro getting their infants to fall asleep. The most common theory about white noise for infants is that the womb is anything but a quiet place, and the white noise helps to mimic or block out other noises.

George Clooney claims that he needs to have a tv on to fall asleep. Although having a tv on or white noise generator might help you to fall asleep, there is still a chance that this sleep will be light and fitful: Clooney says that he often wakes up as many as five times a night.

2. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is characterised by pauses, shallow breathing or infrequent breathing while asleep. Often people who suffer from sleep apnea are completely unaware of breathing difficulties while they are asleep and it is their partners who notice it. Sleep apnea can cause a full range of lack-of-sleep related difficulties such as fatigue, irritability, decreased attention span and slower reaction times. While people suffering from sleep apnea may also snore, these are in fact two separate conditions.

Shaquille O'Neal, former basketball superstar, has sleep apnea. His girlfriend at the time had apparently noticed Shaq’s poor sleep patterns and made him get tested for sleep apnea.

Watch this video about how to combat sleep apnea:

3. Snoring

Snoring is caused by vibrations in the respiratory structures of the the mouth and throat. Snoring is not to be confused with sleep apnea, although snoring can be an early indicator of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) which is characterised by pauses in breathing of up to 40 seconds while asleep.

While many might think that snoring is merely annoying, there have been correlations found between snoring and heart disease and strokes. Less serious results are fatigue, inability to concentrate and irritability. Some causes of snoring can be combated with healthy diet and regular exercise.  

Kevin Jonas is apparently a terrible snorer which came as a surprise to his wife as they claim never to have slept together before they got married.

Take a look at this old blog for more information on snoring:

4. Staying awake for days

One of the most serious sleep problems is simply not sleeping for an extended period of time. Missing sleep can not only lead to a burnout, but can also have serious long term effects such as inability to focus, aggression and mood swings. The most serious cases of this is evident in insomnia which is characterised by not being able to get sufficient sleep for an extended period of time and can result in increased risk of heart disease, depression and memory problems.

Going without sleep for as little as 24 hours is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol content of 0.10 which is double the South African legal limit! Driving under the influence of fatigue is a serious problem especially in the professional driving industry.

While Lady Gaga might gather media attention for her outrageous antics, her claims that she can get so carried away by work that she stays awake for three days in worrying. Although it might explain a lot.

5. Cutting down on sleep

Perhaps one of the most common sleep problems, missing sleep because of deadlines, commitments, or too much on your plate can take a heavy toll on your health. Whether it is because of a new child in the house or an increase in work hours, cutting your sleep time down below seven hours a night for adults can have serious consequences.

When Sandra Bullock adopted her son, she claimed to have cut down her sleep time to only three hours of sleep a night.

There are no easy solutions for many of these problems, but healthy sleep habits, exercise and good diet can help with some. Remember, there is no substitute for a good eight hours of sleep on a quality mattress! If you are looking for a better night’s sleep, take a look at the Bed King’s range of comfortable and quality mattress:

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