The Sleep issue: What?

Health & Wellbeing April 16 2014

Ahhhhh. Sleep. When was the last time you woke before the alarm, jumped out of bed, dashed off for a morning run, sang in the shower and spent the whole day feeling like someone gave you a guarana shot without you knowing it?

We know we need those precious zzz’s to be productive and feel fresh each day, but just how important is sleep for our health and could a lack of snooze time be affecting our overall wellbeing?

The Who’s Your? team has pulled together all the must-knows from the Sleep Health Foundation to give you the low down on the benefits of a good night’s sleep and the consequences of not getting enough. There is no substitute for a good night’s rest; our productivity, performance, outlook on life and general health depends on it…

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Benefits of Sleep

We know that going without sleep makes us feel terrible and that getting a good night’s sleep can make us feel ready to take on the world. For this reason, scientists have gone to great lengths to understand sleep’s benefits on a deeper level. Through years of research and clinical trials it has been well documented that adequate sleep improves memory, assists with concentration levels and the ability to problem solve, strengthens the immune system and helps regulate our metabolism…and that’s only scratching the surface!

Consequences of Insufficient Sleep

It’s not just our cognitive function, physical appearance and overall health that suffers when we’re sleep deprived (insert big black panda eyes), our sense of wellbeing can take a serious turn…

Interrupted and reduced sleep schedules can affect mood, your outlook on life and in some on-going cases can lead to anxiety and depression.

Chronic health problems such as hypertension, weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, bipolar disorder and even psychosis have all been linked to lack of sleep. Sleep also plays a vital role in the regulation of hormones like dopamine, epinephrine and serotonin, and therefore has the ability to impact our emotional wellbeing.

For many of us sleeping for six to eight hours each night has become a precious and somewhat unattainable commodity but it’s time to up your sleep game. The next time you think about foregoing sleep for something “more important”, remind yourself about both the short and long term consequences of reduced shut eye and make snooze time a top priority. You’ll love that you made such a smart decision come sunrise.

Sweet dreams….