Very recent research from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Manchester and Surrey universities have found that people are sleeping between one and two hours less than they did in the 1960s.
The primary reason for this lack of sleep? Increased pressure of life and modern technology which makes it hard to switch off.
To fit everything in (job, email, family, “to do list”, etc.), sleep is often sacrificed.
But sleep affects both mental and physical health. It’s vital to overall well-being.
- Sleep helps the brain function: sleeps enhances clarity, quicker reflexes and better focus. While loss of sleep can impair higher levels of reasoning, problem-solving and attention to detail.
- Tired people tend to be less productive at work.
- Lack of sleep also influences mood, which can affect interactions with others.
- Prolonged lack of sleep negatively affects the immune system, blood pressure and even cardiovascular health.
- Researchers have also found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. They believe lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite.
Good sleep is critical to your health. Don’t be a hero and try to take on more than you can handle and forego sleep.
To make each day a safe, productive one, try these three key steps to make sure you regularly get a good night’s sleep.
- Stick to a consistent sleep schedule - Do your best to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night.
- No. 2: Pay attention to what you eat and drink - Don't go to bed either hungry or stuffed. The digestive discomfort will likely make sleep more difficult.
- No. 3: Create a bedtime ritual - Do the same things each night to tell the body it's time to slow down. Condisder taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music. Television and other electronic devices used before bedtime often interfere with sleep.