A good night’s sleep is often the first thing to fall by the way-side when our lives become stressful or busy and not getting enough Z’s at night can do us more harm than you might think.
How much sleep do I need?
The average person spends up to one third of their entire life asleep but how much do we actually need each night?
A lot of research has been conducted to try and produce an accurate answer to this question but a lot of it comes down to the lifestyle you lead, your current overall health and what you are required to do each day. The recommended amount of sleep we should get varies as we age;
What happens when we sleep?
Sleep is our body’s ‘recovery’ period, indicating why it is so important. When we sleep a range of things happen to our body, firstly our breathing and heart rates drop back to a regular rate. As we progress into a deeper stage of sleep this is when our body begins to restore and repair. Blood pressure lowers and our muscles begin to relax as blood supply delivered to our muscles is increased to begin tissue growth and repair. Energy levels in the body and brain are restored and essential hormones for growth and development are released. Our appetite and hunger hormones are also regulated during this time which explains why a lack of sleep can cause us to want to eat more and contribute to weight gain. The stress hormone (cortisol) also decreases during our deep phases of sleep.
Top tips for a better nights sleep:
Try implementing one or two of these tips into your life to improve your next snooze!
Accredited Exercise Physiologist