Today is World Sleep Day. Are you getting enough sleep? Sleep is very important and essential in our lives. It is as important as making sure you drink enough water, feed your body the correct nutrients and breathing.
Poor sleep affects your mental and physical health which is why it is important you get a good night’s sleep so you can function correctly. Sleep deficiency will increase the risk of high blood pressure, obesity, depression, stroke, heart disease and kidney disease.
We all lead extremely busy lives. If you work in a big city like London where everything is pretty fast paced, it is easy to become stressed due to work. Stress causes lack of sleep. In order to sleep well you need to be in a relaxed environment.
I divide my time between London and Italy and my life in these two countries is very different. When I’m in London there are never enough hours in the day to achieve everything that I want to do. I am constantly rushing, running from the gym to work. Work often stresses me causing me to stay up at night over-thinking. I never seem to switch off and I often struggle to fall asleep.
In Italy however it is the complete opposite. I am much more relaxed and therefore sleep really well. I will often fall asleep in front of the TV at around 10pm and the minute my head hits the pillow I instantly fall asleep.
How many hours of sleep do you need?
Everyone is different. No shoe fits all. Personally 6 hours a night works well for me. Others may require 8 hours sleep. The important thing is that you are getting good quality sleep. If you wake up early, go to bed early so you can rest your brain and body.
Sleep Improves concentration
Sleep is vital in brain function. If you sleep well cognitive function will improve greatly. You will be more focused and sharper in tackling your daily job as you will be able to concentrate properly, as good sleep enhances memory.
Good quality sleep improves athletic performance
A good night’s sleep means that not only your brain will be sharper but your body too. When the body is rested it will perform better in physical activities as you will have more energy. Lack of sleep will make you feel exhausted even before you begin to exercise.
Lack of sleep can cause diseases
If you go for long periods without proper sleep, you are seriously putting your health at risk. You are greatly increasing your chances of getting a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and adrenal fatigue. Lack of sleep will eventually cause your body to break down.
Lack of sleep can cause depression
Not getting enough sleep can bring on depression which can become a serious illness. Most people that suffer from insomnia have also complained of depression.
Poor sleep impacts your immune system
Poor sleep puts a stress on the body and when this happens it compromises your immune system. If your immune system is strong you are less likely to catch a cold or flu. However a weak immune system means that you will fall ill frequently.
6 ways to improve your sleep
Here are the best ways to improve your sleep:
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time. The body likes routine.
- Do not exercise late at night before going to bed.
- Have a relaxing bath listening to classical music before bedtime.
- Switch off all mobile phones, laptops and TV. Read a book instead. You want to create a relaxing environment.
- Avoid stimulants like alcohol, caffeine and sugar 3-4 hours before going to sleep.
- Try yoga and meditation that are very good at relaxing both the body and mind.
I hope you have found the above advice useful and will try to get a good night’s sleep. Enjoy World Sleep Day everyone!