June 05, 2019 3 min read
We need sleep like the desert needs the rain. Seriously, a good night's slumber is so important to our health. It is also massively underestimated by hoards of people world wide. In fact, we would go as far as to say that we need our kip more than we need food and exercise. If you're one of the many that prides themselves on their ability to operate on a minimum amount of kip then you need to think again. The health consequences of lack of slumber are profound and far reaching. Therefore, the adage 'I'll sleep when I'm dead' is a misguided one.
Interestingly human beings are the only species that purposefully deprive themselves of a restful night's slumber. Indeed it seems lack of sleep has become so pandemic that the World Health Organisation has declared it as hazard to our health. So the million dollar question is...why do we really need sleep? Here we will try to breakdown just how important hitting the sack is.
We don't want to sound dramatic but we need our kip so much that a lack of it will compromise health dramatically. In fact, a total absence will actually kill you. For example, there is a rare genetic disorder were insomnia gets gradually worse. In this condition, after twelve to eighteen months the individual will die.
That's not all, millions of people get behind a wheel with insufficient kip. This can result in traffic incidents with the worst outcome being death of innocent individuals. In fact, deaths caused by a lack of kip actually exceed those caused by alcohol or drugs. If that isn't a prescription for getting some serious kip then we don't know what is.
You might be a natural born Einstein but without sleep you might find yourself at the bottom of the class. Indeed a restful night's slumber enhances a multitude of functions. These include our capacity to learn, memorise and make decisions that are healthy.
Whilst exercise and diet are vital for good health, it is now recognised that sleep trumps both of these. A lack of shut eye has been linked to the development of Alzheimer's, mental health conditions, diabetes and many more conditions that can disrupt or shorten your life. Indeed, a lack of kip has even been linked to obesity. For example, have you ever noticed that you get the munchies when you've had a restless night fighting with the duvet covers?
So we know we need to sleep and and we're aware of the devastating effects that lack of kip can cause. However, millions of us still struggle with sleeping on a daily basis. Some of the things that we can do to get a better kip are as follows:-
Stick to regular sleeping hours
Turn technology off an hour before we go to bed
Keep your bedroom cool
Avoid using sleeping tablets
Start journaling to soothe your mind
Get a better mattress