From: Treatwell Expert Panel ,
Sleep is something we all take for granted. It’s what we do at the end of every day. It’s natural - isn’t it?
Well, not anymore, to judge from the conversations we are all having at work and with our friends, or from snatches overheard on the bus. Lack of sleep is the new dinner party conversation - it has overtaken property prices, school fees and downsizing. It is, in fact, the new sex - it seems no one is getting enough.
Why, at a time when more of us are fitter and healthier than our forbears, are we suddenly shying away from sleep? We eat a healthier diet, we take more exercise, we do yoga, Pilates, deep breathing...we even meditate - and yet sleep is evading us as never before. The reasons could be many – stress, worry, exhaustion, change of diet, small babies or jet lag.
The good news, though, is that whatever has upset our circadian rhythm is fixable. Very few of us, even with irregular sleep patterns, are insomniacs. However, sleep is vital to our health and wellbeing - it is the time when the body refurbishes itself. Sleep enhances performance and energy levels, aids the renewal of cells and helps strengthen the immune system. It is a powerful anti-ageing tool and it can help keep you slim - as the disruption of normal sleep patterns can increase hunger, which can in turn lead to weight gain.
Remove all electrical equipment from the bedroom – TV, iPad, telephone, iPod? Samani says you will pick up more electro-magnetic waves from simply walking down the street.
Count sheep? You may eventually fall asleep through exhaustion, but it’s not an ideal therapy, as it involves a part of your brain that needs to switch off – the pre-frontal cortex.
Ideal number of hours? There are no hard and fast rules on how long you sleep, provided you feel well rested. You can, however, have too much sleep – research is still ongoing.
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