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Why is sleep so important?

Why is sleep important

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We all know it is, however why is sleep so important, and what impact can it have if we don’t have enough?

We all know that a lack of sleep can cause someone to be grumpy, irritable and fall asleep at their desk, and that is before we even start thinking about the impact on children. If you are reading this – you probably don’t need me to list these!

This blog looks into some of the reasons that you probably already know, but also some you may not!

Relationships

Many of us have been there, we are tired, less tolerant and the small things seem huge. However it doesn’t just link to our ability to avoid an argument.

If you are a parent, it is likely that there has been a time when you haven’t slept well because of children. In the early days, multiple night waking’s are normal, and there are times in all children’s lives where they are a bit more tricky at night. Evenings may be spent apart because one of you is trying to get a child into bed. You sleep in separate rooms because a child is in your bed (invariable with a foot in your back or face!)

Whilst short term, we all know it happens. But when it becomes the normal, you realise how much you miss those evening hours together as well as why sleep is so important.

Health and Wellbeing

Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining good health and well-being. The human body requires sleep to repair and regenerate tissues, consolidate memory and learning, and regulate mood and appetite. Lack of sleep can lead to a host of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.

Research has shown that getting enough sleep can lower the risk of developing chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. A good night’s rest also boosts the immune system, helping to fight off infections and illnesses.

Sleep also plays a crucial role in maintaining mental health. Getting enough sleep can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function. It can also help to improve memory consolidation, making it easier to learn and retain new information.

Productivity

Did you know that it is estimated that 16 billion pounds is lost in the UK due to reduced productivity because of reduced sleep. That is huge! Now not all of it is because of children, there are so many other reasons that people dont have a full night’s rest.

It can also reduce our ability to focus and be productive. This isn’t just at work, but also in our daily lives. We are less likely to exercise or eat well. Arranging social occasions or meeting up with friends is always something to do tomorrow and this ability to be with our friends can have a huge impact.

Beauty sleep is more than an expression

We have all heard the phrase, but does it have any truth behind it!

Dr Guy Meadows studied the ‘impact of sleep on skin’. Participants were asked to sleep for the recommended 8 hours a night and then asked to sleep for just six hours for the next five nights, before having tests carried out again.

  • On average, participants’ fine lines and wrinkles increased in number by 45%.
  • Spots also increased by 13% in number and by 7% in visibility, while red areas on the skin increased by 8% and became 5% more visible.

So whilst we joke about beauty sleep, there appears to be research that confirms it!

As parents, we prioritise our children, but it is also really important to make sure we look after ourselves as well. If you are struggling with your sleep, and it isn’t because of a little person, make an appointment with a GP or health visitor to discuss it.

If it is you little one who is causing the problems, book in a call. I am sure I can help.

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