Sleep is fundamentally important to our health and wellbeing. Our physical, emotional and cognitive faculties rely upon sufficient quantity and quality of sleep. This is true both in the short and the long term. Consider a time when you have been sleep deprived, perhaps with a new-born in the house or when the neighbours have had an ‘all-nighter’. How difficult were the simplest of functions, such as making a hot drink?  You forget to boil the kettle or where you put the milk.  You pour the hot water on your cereal instead of into your cup.  You manage to make the damn thing only to find it half an hour later, cold at the side of the couch.  What about emotionally? Have you found yourself overreacting to the most innocuous of comments the next day. And how about the uncontrollable desire to eat? Food cravings are common after a night of poor sleep and food choices are often emotionally led, meaning not often healthy. These may be quite flippant examples but we all know how devastating the effects of falling asleep at the steering wheel can be.

We don’t appreciate how important sleep is to us partly because we don’t really experience sleep except for remembering the occasional dream.   It is often only when good quality sleep is lacking in our lives that we consciously consider it.  In our busy modern lives it can be seen as wasted time and is often intentionally or unintentionally reduced in order to fit in more ‘productive’ daily activities. There are so many articles by successful business people or sports stars stating that they start their day at 4am to add crucial extra hours in.  But for most people, the most effective use of those hours might actually be to remain sleeping for both health and wellbeing.  The best way to start analysing your sleep is simply to ask yourself “Do I get enough sleep?” and “Do I feel rested when waking in the morning?”.

Adapted Sleep Principles:

Understanding ‘why we sleep’.

Awareness of the many lifestyle and environmental factors that interrupt/prevent sleep: Light, Temperature, Dietary factors & Physical, emotional or cognitive stress.

Promoting and maintaining good sleep hygiene.

ADAPTED for modern life, for a healthier life and for a longer life!