Problems Sleeping? Insights into Statistics, Stages, and Solutions for Restful Nights

Sleep is essential, yet many struggle with sleep deprivation. According to statistics, 34% of children, 33% of adults, and 75% of high school students do not receive adequate sleep. Women, in particular, are more likely to suffer from sleep deprivation than men.

Understanding the Stages of Sleep

How many stages does the sleep have?

In general, there are four stages of sleep. And the average person cycles through about four to six cycles every night.  So if you think about each cycle being about 90 minutes, and then you cycle through four to six times per night, that usually ranges between six to 9 hours a night.

What happens in these stages?

  • Stage 1: you’re thinking about going to bed, and then you’re actually getting in the bed and you’re going to sleep.
  • Stage 2 to 3: your body begins to relax, your vital signs begin to change, your blood pressure goes down, your heart rate goes down, your respiration goes down, you’re getting into that more relaxed state.
  • Stage 3: this is your deep sleep. This is one of the most critical stages of sleep, simply because this is where your body begins to heal. This is where your body. You have tissue repair. This is also where your body builds its immune system.
  • Stage 4: is equally as critical. And one of the reasons why this stage is considered more of a paradox is because, and they actually call it a paradoxical stage, is because on brainwaves, it appears like you are awake, but actually your body is asleep. And this stage is where you have your dreams. This is cognitive and learning development occur at this stage. This is also the stage where you develop and you foster emotional regulation.

Common Sleep Disorders

Sleep disturbances include a variety of conditions:

  • Insomnia Disorders: this is actually the most common sleep disorder. And this is where you have difficulty falling asleep, maybe staying asleep. You have poor quality and quantity of sleep. Sometimes you can actually sleep too much or too little.
  • Parasomnias: this is where there’s unwanted behaviors that might occur in your sleep. Maybe you sleepwalk or your teeth are grinding, or maybe you’re talking in your sleep. Something like that occurs.
  • Sleep Related Breathing Disorders: many of you have heard of sleep apnea, and this is where you have breathing disruptions while you’re resting, which ultimately, if not addressed, can really be very dangerous.
  • Hypersomnolence: when you have difficulty staying awake during waking hours, you are feeling sleepy all the time.
  • Circadian Rhythm Sleep: if you ever hear people say like “my clock is off”, or “it feels like I’m off rhythm”, this is often caused by double shift work or jet lag.
  • Movement related sleep disorders: such as the restless leg syndrome. You have involuntary movement while you’re sleeping, which can actually disrupt the quality and the quantity of sleep. Impact of Inadequate and

The Impact of Lack of Sleep

Lack of sleep and its side effects can be profound, leading to:

  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Mood instability and heightened risk of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
  • Greater likelihood of substance use
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Elevated risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Higher incidence of accidents and injuries
  • Increased risk of severe outcomes like suicide or homicide
  • Cognitive impairments affecting attention, memory, and decision-making
  • Overall decreased quality of life

Treatment and Tips for Improving Sleep

Can sleep disturbance or Insomnia be treated?

The occupational therapists play a major role in the improvement of functional outcomes when it comes to areas of occupation such as sleeping. You have to get quality sleep in order to function properly.

While visiting Talking Brains Center, our occupational/psychomotor therapist in Dubai, UAE, will assess you through an interview and formal questionnaires to understand more the reasons of the sleep disorder.

Then, through educating and using cognitive behavioral approach (CBT-Insomnia), you will be able to identify and address the negative and dysfunctional thoughts surrounding your sleep.

Some tips to Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Avoid exercise before bed

  • Avoid showering directly before bed.
  • Avoid caffeine/sugar
  • Set a bedtime routine
  • Use bed only for sleeping/intimacy
  • Stretch, meditate, relax before bed
  • Satisfy your sensory needs by: covering yourself with weighted blanket, listening to calming sounds, relaxing with deep breathing, visualization, guided meditation.
  • Use a comfortable mattress/pillow
  • Set an adequate temperature
  • Make sure that you room is organized before sleeping.


Sleep is fundamental to our well-being. Understanding and addressing sleep problems through medical guidance and improved sleep practices can lead to better health outcomes and a higher quality of life.

At TBC, our Lebanese therapists in Dubai specialize in speech therapy, along with occupational and psychomotor therapy, offering sessions in Arabic, French, and English to assist patients in overcoming their challenges.