Why sleep is critical to your health?

June 4, 2024
minute read

Sleep has one of the biggest impacts on our health and longevity. A lack of sleep has been associated with many age related diseases, most well publicised of these is dementia. It also impacts your ability to eat well and exercise so is really the bedrock of a healthy routine. 

If you occasionally can’t sleep or it takes you a while to get to sleep do not worry too much as this will happen to many of us.  If however you rarely get a good nights sleep try and follow some of the tips below.

What happens when we sleep?

Sleep has multiple purposes and not only rests our physical body, but has a big effect on our mental health too.

  1. To process the emotions from the day; there is an interplay between your ability to regulate your emotions and the quality of sleep.
  2. At night you are able to get rid of toxins in the body which we accumulate during the day.
  3. During your sleep you repeatedly go through problems and find solutions  
What is the impact of poor sleep?
How do I know I’ve had good quality sleep?

When you wake up do you feel refreshed and ready for the day ahead? Do you need an alarm to wake in the morning?.  If you are waking naturally your body is indicating it has had enough sleep. Another indication of a lack of sleep is if you fall asleep quickly  when resting during the day. 

You can track your sleep using technology, see resources below for different products. There is however a debate on how accurate these are, bu they will give you an indication of your sleep however there is a risk you can become too fixated on how much sleep you get and this leads to anxiety and less sleep.

Your partner maybe able to tell you. If they suffer from your snoring this could an indication that you have or are developing sleep apnea where your breathing stops and starts. If you sleep alone there are apps that can track this.

How to improve your sleep?

There are some general tips you can follow that are widely used, however every person is different so try and establish a sleep diary or add to your current journal when you have slept well. Look at what you did that day; exercise, diet, time outside, what social interactions you had. This could unlock what works for you. However be mindful that as we age what worked once might not always work.   Do not worry too much if you have a night of insomnia as it is common for everyone to have trouble sleeping occasionally. 

Tips for sleeping:

Always consult your doctor if you are concerned about your sleep.


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