How Can Sleep Impact Your Health?

Having the right amount of sleep on a regular basis is essential to everyday health and wellbeing. However, recent studies have also shown just how important sleep can be for your long term health, in particular your cognitive wellbeing.

Recent evidence has shown that specific treatments for poor sleep, or poor sleep itself, is causing an increase in dementia, whilst further research, has also reported that dementia, in turn, makes it more difficult to acquire a healthy amount of sleep.


10 fascinating facts about sleep:

1) Sleep has been found to be equally as important as exercise.

2) Due to our circadian rhythm, in general humans tend to feel tired at 2:00am & 2:00pm naturally.

3) New-borns spend a total of 14 - 17 hours of the day asleep.

4) We will most likely never be able to work out if other animals dream whilst in REM sleep.

5) Only 21% of Americans get the recommend 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

6) The average person falls asleep in 7 minutes.

7) Parents of new-born babies lose 6 months’ worth of sleep in the first 2 years of their child’s life.

8) A lack of sleep can affect your memory as when you sleep your brain triggers changes which solidify memories.

9) Two thirds of a cat’s life is spent asleep.

10) The world-record for the longest period awake is 11 day.

Before administering any treatments for lack of sleep, the NHS recommends introducing the following changes: a regular sleep routine, an increase in exercise and dietary changes. It is imperative to try and live a balanced lifestyle, whilst giving your body and brain enough time to rest, recover and de-stress on a regular basis. An interesting fact surrounding this is that humans are the only mammals who willingly delay sleep.

 

Tips and tricks which can help you get that all important good night’s sleep -

  • Increase bright light exposure in the daytime - this will keep your natural body clock in tune.
  • Try not to consume any caffeine after lunchtime.
  • Get into a regular sleeping pattern (and stop having those post-work naps!)
  • Ensure you have both a comfortable bed and pillows. A bed is one of the best investments you can make, so don’t be afraid to spend more in search of better health.
  • Team player - as you will often be working as part of a team, it is important to be able to work well with others whilst encouraging and supporting your colleagues.