Sleep, eat, drink, work, repeat. We all do these just about every day but how good at you at the sleeping and how much do you value your rest?
‘We know it’s vital to our wellbeing yet we convince ourselves we can manage with less. Take our test to check how your rest rates.
- Consider your optimum number of hours sleep per night. How many nights a week do you get your optimum amount of sleep?
A – Every night B – 3-4 nights per week C – 2 or less, if I’m lucky
- How many times do you wake during the night?
A – Rarely B – Usually once for the loo C - Twice, maybe more
- Once you wake up, how do feel?
A – I’m OK, I normally feel pretty refreshed B – It takes me a while to get going with brew C – I’m soooo tired and want to stay in my PJs all day.
Mostly As: The five-star slumber cat
Your body clock loves you because you value your sleep and prioritise it as much as good food and your life/work balance. Your body and mind has every chance of optimum performance because it’s well rested and fully recovered from the previous day’s exertions.
Mostly Bs: The casual napper
You feel that you get most of the sleep you need but know that you often have a sleep debt to repay and try to catch up. Your body experiences high and lows of energy and you frequently dream of your duvet. Don’t be complacent about the real amount of sleep you need each night.
Mostly Cs: Sleep zombie
The face you stare at in the mirror looks like it should belong to someone much older and your body is working overtime to keep going with inadequate sleep. You are suffering from sleep arrogance having convinced yourself that you can operate perfectly on less sleep than you need. Your body is about to let you know that you are mistaken. Get to bed!
5 good reasons to get all the sleep you need
- Think straight every day
Studies have shown that a good night’s rest can improve memory and problem-solving skills as well your ability with decision-making. A good quality sleep is imperative for helping you ‘think straight’. It can benefit your productivity and enable you to concentrate better when completing tasks at work or in the home.
- Athletic performance
Want to improve your parkrun time or endurance at your spin class? Sleep can help. For athletes of all abilities, sleep plays a significant role within performance. Not enough sleeping can lead to a lack of motivation and slower reaction times. Studies have shown that a late night can reduce cardiovascular performance
by as much as 11%.
- Injury avoidance/recovery
Tiredness can cause injuries in everyday life. You wouldn’t drive if you were drunk but how many of us have driven when we’re tired? Insufficient sleep can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink.
Sporting injuries can also benefit from sleep. A good night’s rest enables the body to repair torn muscle tissues and can help the body recover more efficiently. Studies have also found that not enough sleep is actually the greatest reason for injuries
in school athletes.
- Sleep more, lose weight
Sleep yourself slim. Research
has claimed that those who get around eight hours a night and reduce their stress levels have double the chance of slimming down.
Not only does sleep deprivation mean that you have less energy to exercise, but your body can mistake tiredness for hunger. Tiredness can also encourage the production of endocannabinoid
, a lipid that increases your enjoyment when eating and reduces your ability to hold back on the snacks.
- Give your immune system a fighting chance
If you find that you seem to catch every cold that goes around, your bedtime may be responsible. Recent research
shows how a lack of sleep can disrupt the immune system and impact on its ability to protect itself.
While we sleep, certain disease-fighting substances are created and released
to help fend off the infection. So, while sleep deprivation can leave us more vulnerable to catching a cough and cold, it can also take longer to recover as the body won’t have the right resources to fight effectively.
It was discovered that people
who got seven hours of sleep or less a night were found to be almost three times as likely to get sick as those who got eight!
Recommended bedtime reading/listening:
Why we sleep
by Matthew Walker
Interview with Dr Kirk Parsley, sleep scientist to the US Navy Seals
Find out more about the proto-col nutrition range for every day wellbeing and immune system care here.