Sleep is important to our body recovering and healing itself. We sometimes think that we’re invincible and can carry on without sleep to complete a project, or sooth a child, or party with friends. It soon catches up with us doesn’t it?
“Poor sleep is linked to physical problems such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression”, Mental Health Foundation.
How much sleep you need to replenish your body will vary, but, “Simply put, you need enough to make you refreshed and able to function efficiently the next day,” says Professor Morgan, for NHS Choices.
Newborn babies can sleep for 16 hours a day, while school age children need an average of 10 hours. Most people over the age of 70 tend to be light sleepers and need less than six hours a night. Most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep each night. Some people can feel perfectly rested with a lower amount.
The phrase, “You can’t help someone else if you are not taking care of yourself”, has come up a lot in my life these last few months. Sleep is one of the easiest things you can do to take care of yourself and let your body heal itself.
Our sleep patterns are dictated by light and hormones. When light dims in the evening, we produce a chemical called melatonin, which gives the body clock its cue, telling us it’s time to sleep.
“Artificial light has disrupted our sleep patterns. Bright room lighting, TVs, games consoles, mobiles, tablets and PCs can all emit enough light to stop the natural production of melatonin.” says Professor Paul Gringras, consultant paediatrician and director of the Evelina Paediatric Sleep Disorder Service at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London.
Sleep is our body’s best healer
Do you have a good sleep every night? Do you think your health, physical and mental, would improve if you have more, or better sleep? Could more, or better sleep help your body and mind heal to prepare you for tomorrow better?
Let us know what you do to have a good sleep below.