NewsMail - - WEEKEND -

Whether it’s kids, a big week­end or just your brain think­ing 3am is a good time to run through your to-do list, chances are you’re pretty tired.

Ac­cord­ing to neu­ro­sci­en­tist Matthew Walker, two-thirds of adults in de­vel­oped na­tions don’t get the rec­om­mended eight hours’ sleep a night.

And the dam­age is far worse than any­thing cof­fee or con­cealer can fix. “Insufficient sleep de­mol­ishes your im­mune sys­tem, more than dou­bling your risk of can­cer,” says Matthew.

Even mod­er­ate sleep re­duc­tion for a week dis­rupts blood sugar lev­els so pro­foundly you’d be clas­si­fied as pre-di­a­betic, and a lack of ZZZs in­creases your risk of stroke, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and heart fail­ure.

It also con­trib­utes to psy­chi­atric con­di­tions in­clud­ing de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety, while fur­ther stud­ies have found lack of sleep can jeop­ar­dise re­la­tion­ships and that “beauty sleep” is real – sleep-de­prived peo­ple were per­ceived as less at­trac­tive by oth­ers. In short, sleep = good.

Not sleep­ing = pretty darn bad. So here’s how to cre­ate the per­fect bed­time. Sleepy smooth­ies

Pin­ter­est re­ports that searches for “moon milk” – think a more pho­to­genic ver­sion of your nan’s night-time Hor­licks – are up 115% since Jan­uary.

Based on an Ayurvedic rem­edy, the pas­tel-hued blend of warm milk, spices, herbs and honey is be­lieved to in­duce sleep.

“Try adding ash­wa­gandha – thought to lower anx­i­ety – to warm al­mond milk,” sug­gests Sasha Saba­p­a­thy, founder of Glow Bar. “Al­monds con­tain tryp­to­phan, which helps the body make mela­tonin, and mag­ne­sium, which pro­motes re­lax­ation.” Cof­fee break

A flat white might feel like your friend af­ter a bad night’s sleep, but don’t drink any af­ter mid­day.

“Caf­feine has an av­er­age half-life of 5-7 hours, mean­ing if you drink a cof­fee with din­ner at 7.30pm, 50 per cent of that may still be cir­cu­lat­ing through your brain tis­sue at 1.30am,” Matthew said.

And know that de­caf isn’t re­ally de­caf – it ac­tu­ally con­tains 15-30 per cent of the caf­feine of reg­u­lar cof­fee. Quan­tity and qual­ity

“The min­i­mum sleep needed varies by per­son – some stud­ies say it’s hered­i­tary – but most of us need seven to nine hours a night,” says sleep coach Nick Lit­tle­hales. “How­ever, it’s more help­ful to think in cy­cles of 90 min­utes. This is the length of one full sleep cy­cle, so aim for seven and a half or nine hours rather than be­ing ob­sessed with eight.” And more isn’t al­ways bet­ter – a study by Keele Univer­sity found that peo­ple who sleep 10 hours a night are more likely to die early. – The Sun

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