Importance of sleep

On average we need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for it to be considered as a good night’s sleep. In addition, going to sleep between 8 pm and midnight is seen as the best time to fall asleep. Personally, I NEED 8 hours of sleep and struggle to stay awake past 11 pm, even on a weekend; however, some people work best at night and some genuinely have no choice but to work during the night. I’ve done a few night shifts during the past and can very much confirm it isn’t for me. Regardless of when you go to sleep, do you understand the importance of sleep?

For mental health reasons sleep is a good way to detox/unwind the brain. Your brain goes through so much during the day (remembering, learning, adapting) and still works at night but it’s the sleep that gives your body a break and allows your brain to restore. Sleep is a good stress reliever; with less sleep, your energy levels, mood, sharpness, and movement reduces.

With less sleep, you could wake up and drag yourself out of bed to start the day but with the average amount of sleep you will have more ‘up and go’. Basically, you’ll have more of a productive day.

During lockdown I can say my sleeping pattern slightly shifted; I was still working but working from home so didn’t care so much about staying up late and waking up early however, I struggled to keep my eyes open during the day. It took a few weeks to get my body back into the correct sleeping pattern for me and by the end, I was more alert, able to concentrate, and work to my full ability.

In terms of health, sleep is important to help your immune system and reduce other illnesses (eg. The common coat, flu, etc) but overall I think you have gathered how essential sleep is. If you struggle to sleep or need 7-9 hours work on slowly adapting your routine. Put your phone on silent, put it aside 40 mins before you go to bed, have a bath, do things that help you unwind.