Sleep is a natural process but, more often than not ,our natural sleep patterns are disturbed by stress, shift work, diet or overstimulated minds. Most adults need 7-9 hours of good quality sleep a night but this is is often overlooked due to modern lifestyles; however sleep should be considered an essential part of looking after our health, just like exercise and a healthy diet.
We all recognise that sleep deprivation or disturbed sleep can leave us feeling lethargic, irritable and struggling to concentrate throughout the day, so it’s important to try to maintain a regular sleep pattern to help us maintain our physical health and emotional wellbeing and avoid long term sleep problems such as insomnia, narcolepsy or sleep apnea.
Here are 5 reasons for why you should be prioritising your sleep:
1. Better Focus and Concentration
When we’re tired, we find it more difficult to take in vast amounts of information. A good nights sleep can help to increase concentration and productivity levels so we can stay sharp and focused throughout the day.
2. Improves The Memory
Sleep plays a vital role in memory retention; when we sleep, the brain processes the events of the day and consolidates our short term memories into long term memories.
3. Weight Management
Lack of sleep imbalances the hormones that regulate your appetite, so it’s more likely that you’ll be reaching for the calorific foods and sugary drinks for a quick energy boost and will find it more difficult to control a balanced diet and weight gain. When you’re fatigued, you’re also less likely to want to start moving and burn those calories.
4. Lowers Stress
When we’re feeling stressed, our body releases stress hormones such as cortisol which can negatively impact our sleep patterns, while a good nights sleep can increase the release of melatonin hormones and relax our bodies.
5. Boosts the Immune System
Not getting enough sleep can suppress the immune system function and make us more susceptible to illness. When we sleep, we’re giving the body the time to repair and restore itself and strengthen the immune system's defence against anything harmful.
If you're finding yourself counting sheep more often than not, then why not check out our top tips on how to get a good nights sleep here.