04 Feb The Benefits Of A Good Night’s Sleep
When it comes to keeping yourself in good health, there are three main areas of focus – diet, exercise and sleep.
When all these are working well in tandem, you really do feel amazing, full of energy and vitality, ready to tackle everything the world has to throw at you… and, as we’ve all learned over the last 12 months or so, the world can throw an awful lot at us at a moment’s notice, so it’s essential we do all we can to build resilience, mentally, physically and emotionally.
Research from the Royal Society for Public Health shows that many people may be under-sleeping each night by up to an hour, which means they’re losing nearly a full night’s sleep every week. Evidence also shows that lack of sleep and poor sleep are linked to a range of different conditions, including heart attack, cancer, obesity, depression and diabetes (Royal Society of Public Health, Waking Up to the Health Benefits of Sleep report).
So, what are the benefits of a good night’s sleep?
There are all sorts of benefits associated with sleeping well and it can affect our physical, mental and emotional health, so if you are struggling it could be because you’re not getting the rest you need.
For example, young children who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be obese as older children and adults, because shortened sleep affects the hormones that regulate appetite and hunger, which leads to increased food intake.
Research also shows that prolonged short sleep durations can result in hypertension (high blood pressure), while the combination of insomnia and short sleep has been linked to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
From a mental health perspective, nearly four out of five long-term poor sleepers suffer from low mood, which can eventually lead to a cycle of behaviour where stress, depression and anxiety contribute to difficulties sleeping.
Our cognitive ability can also be affected if we don’t get enough sleep, reducing our decision making, having an impact on our memory and reducing our overall performance… so it’s vital that we do make sure we prioritise sleep wherever and whenever we can.
What is sleep hygiene?
There’s a lot you can do to help make sure you do get a good night’s sleep each night and this is a process known as sleep hygiene, ensuring that your nighttime routine and bedroom environment is set up in such a way as to promote good quality rest.
This can include having a fixed wakeup time so you can get into a rhythm with your sleep patterns, giving yourself a targeted bedtime and sticking to it, staying away from screens for at least two hours before you go to bed, reducing alcohol consumption, getting more exercise and making sure your bedroom environment is conducive to sleep.
You can do this by regulating the temperature of your bedroom, ensuring your bed and pillows are comfortable, that your sheets and blankets are good quality and that it’s dark enough to stop light from interrupting your sleep.
Come and see us at Camberley osteopath clinic OsteoVision if you need any further help with sleep.