Wake up to these facts about not getting enough sleep
03.12.2019
Dr Sula Windgassen
The average Brit gets just 6 hours and 19 minutes sleep per night. Let’s beat the stigma of laziness and embrace that snooze button

Our perception of ‘healthy’ usually involves green smoothies and the latest workout class… but could that early morning workout or those late nights spent meal prepping actually be doing your health more harm than good?...

I’m here to share with you something far more superior in terms of health… and it doesn’t even require you to get out of bed!   

Sleep is the most neglected fundamental pillar of health. It’s advised to get 8 hours sleep per night, but this recommendation is based on far more reasons than you might think!

Here’s 4 reasons you need to get more sleep:

  1. Making memories – while you sleep, your brain makes memories by forming new nerve connections in the brain. MRI brain studies have shown that an all-nighter actually reduces your ability to learn new things the next day by a whopping 40%![1]
  2. Improving relationships – studies show that sleep deprivation reduces your ability to recognise facial expressions and tone of voice.[2] That’s why when you’ve not had enough sleep you feel snappy and find people more irritating. In a world where most of our communication is via WhatsApp this means you’re more likely to interpret someone’s message negatively and get into arguments.
  3. Better cardiovascular health – you can spend as long as you want sweating it out on the stair master, but sleep has a big impact on your heart health. Shockingly, in spring when the clocks go back and we lose an hour of sleep, there is a 24% increase in heart attacks that day![3]
  4. Fewer coughs and colds – Margaret Thatcher claims she only slept 4 hours a night, but studies have shown sleeping just 4 hours a night reduces the function of your immune system by 70%![4]

The average Brit gets just 6 hours and 19 minutes sleep per night. Let’s beat the stigma of laziness and embrace that snooze button!

 

[1] Yoo, S. Walker, M. (2007) 'A deficit in the ability to form new human memories without sleep', Nature Neuroscience, 10(3), pp. 385-392 [Online]. Available at: https://walkerlab.berkeley.edu/reprints/Walker_NatureNeurosci_2007.pdf

[2] Killgore, W. (2017) 'Sleep deprivation impairs recognition of specific emotions', Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, 3(), pp. 10-16 [Online]. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2451994416300219  

[3] Sandhu, A. (2013) 'Daylight savings time and myocardial infarction ', BMJ Open Heart, 1(1), pp. [Online]. Available at: https://openheart.bmj.com/content/1/1/e000019(Accessed: 3rd November 2019)

[4] Walker, M (2017) A sleep expert explains what happens to your body and brain if you don't get enough sleep, Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/sleep-what-happens-not-enough-stay-up-late-brain-body-science-health-a8133161.html 

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