Today is World Sleep Day, a day created to celebrate sleep and to bring awareness to important issues related to sleep. Word Sleep Day began over a decade ago when sleep medicine professionals and researchers organised to promote the importance of sleep for personal health and wellbeing. In the UK, 1 in 3 people are believed to suffer from poor sleep, with the NHS citing factors such as stress, computer use and taking work home with us as being to blame.
Why getting a good night’s sleep is important:
Sleep can make you happier.
Sleep and mood are closely connected with chronic sleep debt leading to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Once you get a good night’s sleep you feel happier and more able to cope with the stresses and strains of life.
Sleep can keep you healthier.
Regularly having a bad night’s sleep causes physical changes in the body including the immune system becoming less effective. These changes mean that people who aren’t regularly getting a good night’s sleep are more likely to contract Type II diabetes and become obese. There is also recent research that shows that sleep loss causes a build up of the types of proteins in the brain that are linked to the acceleration of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Sleep can help you lose weight.
The International Journal of Obesity recently published a study on sleep which found that people who had less than six hours sleep or more than eight hours per day were less likely to achieve weight loss than those who had between six and eight hours.
Sleep keeps you safer.
Drowsy driving is dangerous because sleep deprivation can have similar effects on your body as drinking alcohol. When you’re tired your reactions are delayed and you’re also more likely to be impulsive, which can mean you make decisions that are risky.
Need help in sleeping?
Are you creating an environment which is conducive for sleeping? Limit exposure to blue light (from TVs, phones and other electronics), allow yourself enough time to wind down after exercise or socialising and make sure your sleeping area is comfortable, dark and quiet.
If you have tried all this and are still struggling to consistently have a good night’s sleep it is important to speak to your doctor to eliminate any physical causes. Your doctor may prescribe a range of interventions aimed at helping you sleep, including suggesting hypnotherapy. “Hypnotherapy and hypnosis can help us overcome patterns of sleep disturbance” says the NCH including finding and removing the root causes for your poor sleep or insomnia.
Need help in sleeping? Find a hypnotherapist near you by using the NCH’s directory.