The Importance of Sleep

Beauty sleep.

The #1 thing I look forward to when the clock strikes 22:00.

I love sleep, and I am proud to say that getting quality sleep is one of my favourite activities I partake in.

Around 1 in 5 Americans are reported to be sleep deprived.

Looking at the way the body functions, along with its need for vital vitamins and nutrients, I am not surprised the body requires us to spend 25-33% of our lifetime sleeping.

Try This Fun Exercise

To find out how many years you should have been sleeping, take your age and divide it by 3.

That is the number of years you have been sleeping for – assuming you’ve been getting quality sleep nearly every single day.

Now take your age, and subtract the number of years you have been sleeping for – this number is the number of years you have been awake for.

It should be roughly double that of your sleeping years.

Quite rightly proves that life really is short!

The Real Importance of Sleep

Any form of exercise: walking, playing football, sex, food consumption, mental processing and absorption of information, making intelligent business decisions and taking educated risks – all require energy from the cells in our body to carry out effectively.

This is all basic knowledge most people understand.

Sleep is necessary and crucial to our health and development. We get that!

However I’d like to push a little further and explain why sleep is far more important than you realise.

Detrimental Effects of Poor Sleep

Beyond the many complaints of tiredness, sleep affects every single facet of human life.

And being a balanced life practitioner, it is my job to highlight these effects and to raise concerns and awareness.

Just to give you a few interesting facts about sleep and how it can affect your body and life. Getting between 0-5 hours of sleep per night consistently will make you…

  • 2.5 x more likely to get diabetes.
  • 45% more likely to suffer from a heart attack.
  • 12% higher risk of death. (Under any circumstance)

Poor sleep can have damaging effects with regards to the way you behave and treat other people around you.

You have probably experienced the feeling of irritability as a symptom from a lack of sleep over a 24-hour period.

Now multiply that feeling and imagine how it would feel to suffer from such low levels of energy over a long period of time.

I have a friend who has been suffering from sleep deprivation for over two-years now.

In many cases, the individual will begin to ‘think’ about the process of how sleep occurs.

It gets to a point where your body and mind loses the ability to sleep naturally without the anxiety and thought process of trying to set up an environment for efficient sleep.

How Sleep Affects Our Physical and Mental Health

  • Getting quality sleep consistently will make your thought processes clearer and faster. Making it easier to form logical conclusions to problems.
  • You’re able to learn new skills quickly and more efficiently.
  • Vision is at it’s optimal levels, and the rest of your senses are working well.
  • Lack of sleep activates your body’s ‘fight or flight’ response mode causing it to store fat and releasing even more hormones preventing you from sleeping. Vicious cycle!
  • Poor sleep also causes parts of your brain to shut down from the parietal lobe to the prefontal cortex.

Both the positive and negative effects of sleep affects many other facets of life.

Our relationships and love lives become the first external target of sleep deprivation.

A study constructed by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley claims that the quality of sleep you get each night affects how you treat others that are close to you.

“Poor sleep may make us more selfish as we prioritize our needs over our partners.”

Now this is just our relationships here.

If I tried, I’m sure I could find more evidence and research which suggests a lack of sleep also negatively impacts the state of our environment (our personal surroundings) and our happiness levels at work.

Not to mention, there must be some link between beliefs about money and sleep quality.

Sleepio To The Rescue!

However let’s not fret.

There are many organisations and individuals our there who are striving to kick-back the concept of quality sleep into the minds and bodies of as many people as possible.

Such a company is Sleepio – an online programme clinically proven to help people overcome poor sleep, all without pills and potions.

Sleepio uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), to help revitalise and re-align your body and mind’s approach to sleep through 4 key areas:

  • Your thoughts and worries.
  • Your daily schedule.
  • Your lifestyle.
  • Your bedroom.