The Power of Sleep: Why do we resist it?
“Science has shown that sleep is the most important factor to our physical and mental wellbeing” Prof Matthew Walker, neuroscientist, renowned sleep researcher and author of Why We Sleep.
Yet a third of Brits are sleep deprived and a study from Oxford University claims we are getting 1-2 hours less sleep per night than we did 60 years ago. That adds up to a whopping 25% less in an 8 hr sleep cycle.
So, what’s driving this sleep crisis?
Phones always turned on
It will come as no surprise that our ‘switched on culture’ means the last thing many of us do before our head hits the pillow is check our phones one last time. Many of us use our phones as an alarm clock too, but why is this an issue for a good nights sleep?
Those who do one last check of work emails and keep on top of endless life admin may go to sleep feeling stressed and agitated, resulting in a disrupted nights sleep.
Studies have shown that engaging with social media before bed, particularly for teens can also have a detrimental impact on your quality of sleep.
19% of workers in Europe are involved in shift work that goes into the night, with fatigue being one of the most common complaints in the work force. These irregular sleep patterns can cause chaos with getting regular and restful sleep.
Parenting worries and stress
A recent study found new parents face six years of disrupted sleep. It’s not just those early days of newborn waking and feeding, but the years of interrupted nights due to sickness, nightmares as well as general stress and worry. Does it ever end we ask ourselves?
The “cool” factor.
We live in a society where we are quick to tell everyone how “busy” we are juggling so many different things. Longer working hours, burning the candle at both ends, taking on additional responsibilities to broaden our experiences.
Yet if we were to treat sleep with the same importance as eating healthily and keeping fit perhaps we would see greater benefits to our overall health and wellbeing.
Sleep deprivation comes at a cost:
The NHS estimates sleep deprivation is costing them £40 bn a year.
It’s about time sleep gets the attention it deserves.
After all, it’s as important as keeping active and eating healthy.
Simple steps to improve your sleep
Try taking some small consistent steps to help you sleep better:
- Don’t take your phone to bed with you
- Buy an alarm clock so you don’t rely on your phone
- Aim to get to bed and wake up at roughly the same time every night to help your “internal clock” keep a regular pattern
- Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night, shown to be the optimal sleep level for adults
- Limit caffeine intake, whilst some manage to get to sleep, it may affect your quality of sleep
- Try 100% natural and non-addictive drops of slumber . Melt in to bed and let drops of slumber do the rest. After all a great day starts with a solid rest.