Many of us have been up all night tossing and turning, unable to sleep. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling fuzzy, unable to concentrate and a general feeling of being unwell. It’s safe to say that a consistent lack of sleep can seriously impact your health and well being.

What does the NHS say?

The NHS states that lack of sleep is bad for your health. The NHS explains the physical impact of sleep deprivation. Aside from the obvious effects sleep deprivation can cause serious medical conditions. Regular poor sleep can put you at risk of:

  • Obesity
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes

These medical conditions can shorten your life expectancy and impact your daily living. Additionally, lack of sleep can cause you to be a risk of falling, injuries or accidents when at home or work. It’s risky to drive when you’ve experienced poor sleep. You could potentially fall asleep at the wheel, causing a car accident.

The NHS advocates sleep to prolong your life and improve various aspects of your health. This includes:

  • Boosting your immune system
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Prevention of disease
  • Increases sex drive
  • Increases fertility

What does the Mental Health Foundation say?

The Mental Health Foundation states that ‘sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking and breathing’. This is because it helps our brain to merge memories and process information. Poor sleep can be linked to various mental health problems, most commonly:

  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Affective Disorder

Insomnia is a common symptom reported by patients suffering from mental health disorders. In contrast, sleep deprivation may have increased the severity or risk of a patient developing a mental health disorder.

How can I Improve my Sleep?

There are lifestyle changes you can make to improve your quality of sleep. Substances such as caffeine, alcohol and nicotine should be avoided before bed. If possible stop them all together. Increasing your physical activity levels will allow a better nights sleep due.

You can take general steps in your sleep environment to improve your quality of sleep. By ensuring your room is dark and free of distractions you can allow your brain to rest. Things such as the television, computer and steering clear of your phone will all help.

Try to avoid anything that will stimulate your brain or cause stress before bed. If you’re thinking too much then you’ll be unable to fall asleep. You can try taking a nice relaxing bath with soothing scents such as lavender to help you relax.

Evaluate where you are sleeping, is your bed comfortable? Anything from your mattress to your pillow can impact your sleep quality, hygiene and health. Get a pillow that’s going to support your neck to avoid disturbance during the night from aches and pains. Additionally, a pillow with a good airflow will keep you cool through the night. This will avoid you waking drenched in sweat.

Conclusion

As you can see, sleep is a vital aspect of our everyday life. By taking steps to improve your sleep quality you’ll improve your health and quality of life. Why not take a look at your current situation and see if you can make improvements for a better nights sleep.

 

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