Questioning your Sleep

Is it normal to sleep so much, so little, to snore, to scream, to walk, to kick, to punch during sleep?

What is the meaning of these nightmares coming back so often? Of these dreams disappearing as soon as you awaken? What does it mean to awake being paralyzed, confused, or having a big headache, or depressed, tired, anxious?


Is sleep the same for everybody? Do people of different cultures have the same sleeping habits? How does sleep change with age? What factors can improve or decrease sleep quality? What can help people to sleep? How many people use sleep drugs? For how long? With what results ?

More delicate is the question about why we need to sleep. Several theories have been developed to explain why we sleep: for example, consolidation of learning during the day, secretion of hormones, restorative function, but none of them have provided satisfactory answers. It is more likely that sleep has several functions. The truth is that Science has not yet answered this question.

We spend nearly one third of our life sleeping. It means that when we are 75 years old, 25 years of our life will have been spent sleeping! How well did you sleep this third part of your life?

We know that sleep is as necessary to the brain as food and water. However, how much sleep we need varies from one individual to another: one can be happy with seven hours night while another will be totally dissatisfied and moody all day with eight hours.

It is estimated that sleep disorders, sleep deprivation, and sleepiness added $16 billion to the U. S. national health care bill in the early 1990's. Other societal costs never have been calculated, but are considered to be substantial. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, sleepiness is considered to be responsible of about one third of accidents with truck drivers. What about the cost in term of social, professional and family impact of a bad night sleep?


Through a series of studies in the general population of different countries and in the clinical field, we tried to answer some of these questions. These studies are all done using the same methodology and the same instrument, the Sleep-EVAL system. This system offers the decisive advantage of being a standard tool allowing the comparison between countries.