Sleep – what’s the big deal?

Sleep. We can’t get through 24 hours without it. It’s an essential part of every one of our lives. So why don’t we give it the respect it deserves?

In recent years, it seems to have become a badge of honour of our busy lives to say things along the lines of:

“I can survive on 5 hours sleep a night”

“I don’t need much sleep”

“I’m too busy to go to bed early”

By neglecting our sleep, we are short changing ourselves in so many aspects of our lives.

Trying to lose weight? Lack of sleep increases our hunger hormone so we end up eating more.

Struggle to focus during the day? Increase your sleep quality to improve focus.

Irritable often during the day? You guessed it, increase your sleep to improve your mood.

As adults, we need 7-9 hours sleep per night to perform at our best. Yes, you read right, 7-9 hours sleep EVERY NIGHT.

Here are some simple steps you can implement to improve your sleep from tonight

  • Switch off all devices at least one hour before bed. Looking at devices up to bedtime keeps the brain active, making it harder to switch off when your head hits the pillow
  • Keep to the same schedule every night – including weekends! Granted, this won’t happen every night, you need to live too, but the aim should be to go to bed and wake up at the same time every night
  • Cut out caffeine after 2pm. Caffeine is a stimulant and can contribute to restless sleep or difficulty falling asleep. Get your caffeine fix before 2pm
  • Avoid alcohol before bed. It will help you fall asleep but doesn’t contribute to quality sleep. Avoid the nightcap if you are looking for a quality night’s sleep

It’s time we all begin to realise the importance of sleep – we couldn’t live without it!