How important is sleep to our health?

Today, we have a topic that I'm sure everyone will be willing to discuss, sleep! We are all guilty of staying up too late or hitting that snooze button on a Monday morning, but what are the benefits of getting a good night’s kip? Are we damaging our health by binge watching Netflix series until 3am? This blog post will tell you all you need to know about everyone's favourite activity…sleep!

 According to The Sleep Council, the average adult (aged 18-65) needs between 7-9 hours of sleep per day. Shockingly, the Independent reported in 2018 that the average Brit was only getting around 6 hours of sleep per night. The reasons behind this sleep deprivation was found to be technology, a lack of daily exercise and eating too late in the day. Did you know that 1 in 10 of us check our emails in bed? Ok ok, here at PHL we are guilty of doing this too, but do we realize the detrimental effects we are having on our poor bodies? We have listed a few ways we could be hindering ourselves by not getting enough shut eye.

 

NO SLEEP? HERE’S A FEW EXTRA POUNDS

…and no we don’t mean financially. Not getting enough sleep doesn’t just mean you’re unapproachable before your first cup of coffee, it means you’re in danger of becoming obese.

Now that statement may seem extreme, but lack of sleep has been linked to hormone imbalances and a lack of motivation to exercise. So getting a good night’s sleep can help you maintain a healthy weight.

 

TIRED AND FANCY A MCDONALD’S?

That above sentence is pretty likely if you’ve sacrificed a couple of hours sleep for a few more episodes of Game of Thrones. Being tired makes you crave fatty foods and there’s scientific evidence to back it up.

In layman’s terms, sleep deficiency effects hormones that control your appetite, which then leads to poor appetite regulation. Not enough sleep means you’ll have too much of a hormone called ghrelin, a hormone responsible for stimulating your appetite and not enough of a hormone called leptin, responsible for suppressing your appetite.

 

GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP = GOOD CONCENTRATION AND PRODUCTIVITY

This one is pretty obvious…but if you sleep well your brain can function better.

We sometimes forget that our brain is also an organ which needs tender love and care. We need to allow our brain to rest in order to perform at its best. Your brain needs sleep to be able to perform the simplest of task!

 

HEART DISEASE AND STROKE RISK

By not giving your body the rest it needs, you are putting it at risk in the future. Chronic diseases such as heart disease can be a negative result of not sleeping enough.

Getting your 7-9 hours per night is crucial for the future health of our bodies!

Don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you on a negative note. Here are 5 top tips you can practice to get a better night’s sleep and improve your overall health!

  • Don’t sleep with your smartphone

 The blue light exposure from devices has been proved to disrupt sleep, so make sure your phone, laptop and tablets are in a different room whilst you sleep.          

  • Lay off the coffee before bedtime

If you’re having trouble sleeping and consume a lot of coffee throughout the day, make sure you’re not drinking caffeinated drinks after 3-4pm each day. Too much caffeine can really impact your sleep.

  • Don’t nap too much

Short naps during the day have been proven to be beneficial to the body, but sleeping in the day can mess with your internal body clock, making it difficult to sleep at night.

  • Avoid ‘lie-ins’….

Ok, we know this one could be difficult for a lot of us, but hear us out. We know that a Sunday morning lie-in is what dreams are made of, but going to bed and waking up at irregular times can be really confusing for the body. Going to sleep and getting up at similar times every day will improve your long term sleep quality. 

  • Cut the night cap

After a long day at the office, a cold glass of wine may be the only thing getting you to 5pm, but we’re sorry to inform you that you may need to skip it if you want a good night’s sleep. If you suffer from sleep apnea, are a big snorer or wake up throughout the night, your choice of alcoholic beverage may be to blame.


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