A restful night's sleep is not a luxury – it's an absolute necessity for good health. Inadequate sleep causes a variety of problems, from the obvious symptoms such as daytime drowsiness, to hidden risks such as increased chances of developing heart disease. Causes of poor sleep vary widely, including snoring, sleep apnea (interrupted breathing), restless leg syndrome, or even poor habits regarding your sleep routine, such as eating late at night, or watching TV in bed.
The need for sleep varies throughout the lifecycle. Most people realize that infants and children need significantly more sleep than adults. Teenagers, on the other hand, may not need as much sleep as children, but their sleep cycle may shift, causing them to feel wakeful late at night, while wanting to "sleep in" rather than bounding out of bed in the morning to prepare for school.
Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each day. The elderly may spend less time in deep sleep, and find they are easily awakened, however they often offset this by taking naps during the day. Average total sleep time for those over 65 actually increases.