best sleep ever! HOW TO HAVE YOUR

It’s of­fi­cial – most of us need more shut-eye… so here’s how

My Weekly Special - - Front Page -

Even though re­search shows how dam­ag­ing a lack of sleep can be, a re­cent sur­vey by Premier Inn found many adults are get­ting far less sleep each year than we did even a decade ago.

Big Health, the cre­ators of the CBT sleep im­prove­ment app, Sleepio ( www.

sleepio.com) have re­leased some pre­lim­i­nary in­for­ma­tion from the first World Sleep Sur­vey.

They found that 46% of the Bri­tish re­spon­dents strug­gled to con­cen­trate; 38% to com­plete work; 27% found it hard to even make it through the day at work; 60% no­ticed an im­pact on en­ergy lev­els and 48% on mood. 35% saw their re­la­tion­ships with oth­ers suf­fer and 28% saw an ef­fect on phys­i­cal health.

Most alarm­ingly, one in five re­spon­dents had fallen asleep while driv­ing in the past year due to sleep debt.

Drs Peter Hauri and Shirley Linde, au­thors of No More Sleep­less Nights, write that, as well as road ac­ci­dents, in­som­nia is to blame for some air and train crashes as well as in­dus­trial ac­ci­dents.

Sleep debt is the cu­mu­la­tive ef­fect on our minds and bod­ies of not get­ting enough sleep. It makes it harder to deal with stress, af­fects im­mune func­tion and leaves us more vul­ner­a­ble to in­fec­tions.

Many older peo­ple sleep more lightly, feel­ing less rested when awake. Older peo­ple also tend to be more un­set­tled by noise and other dis­tur­bance. This means pay­ing closer at­ten­tion to our sleep hygiene and other habits that can help us get the rest we need.

Sleep debt also has an im­pact on pro­duc­tiv­ity and so­cial lives. We are less likely to have the en­ergy to go out when we’re sleep-de­prived so in­som­nia can cre­ate a sense of lone­li­ness.

Phys­i­o­log­i­cally, the odd sleep­less night doesn’t do much dam­age apart from mak­ing us more likely to feel low, in­creas­ing our risk of hav­ing an ac­ci­dent and af­fect­ing our abil­ity to mo­ti­vate our­selves to work.

Longer term, though, it’s as­so­ci­ated with all sorts of health is­sues. It puts us at greater risk of obe­sity, di­a­betes, high blood pres­sure, heart dis­ease and other chronic health is­sues. Even one night with­out enough sleep can cause a whole day of el­e­vated blood pres­sure for peo­ple with hy­per­ten­sion. Har­vard Med­i­cal School stud­ies found that less than five hours’ sleep a night in­creases risk of death, from all causes, by 15%. In terms of men­tal health, while lack of joy and low mood are of­ten no­tice­able af­ter one night’s poor sleep (both symp­toms of de­pres­sion), longer term sleep de­pri­va­tion can lead to ma­nia for those with bipo­lar, sui­ci­dal thoughts, hal­lu­ci­na­tions, para­noia and im­pul­sive be­hav­iour. Tol­er­ance for al­co­hol is lower, too.

When we get bet­ter sleep, we see ben­e­fits. Apart from wak­ing re­freshed we’re more cre­ative and healthy.

Im­prove your sleep

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