World sleep Day – now that is a day I can get behind. 13th March 2020, is a day to celebrate sleep and its importance. As a parent of two young children, sleep is a very precious commodity in our household. While I focus on making sure the children get enough sleep, and more importantly enough good sleep so they have the energy to face the next day and give their bodies and brains time to rest, recover and grow. However, I can’t say I give much thought to the sleep I get, or in my case, often don’t get.
What impact does poor sleep have on our bodies and minds? We all know and hear a lot about the importance of exercise and nutrition to our overall wellbeing. But sleep also plays a vital part.
What is the impact of poor or lack of sleep?
1. Increased body weight- There is a very strong correlation between quality of sleep and weight. While following a healthy diet and exercise will obviously all impact your weight. Those that don’t get enough sleep, tend to weigh significantly more than those that do. Quality sleep is crucial if you’re trying to lose weight.
2. Consume more calories- Sleep deprivation disrupts your appetite hormones, leading to higher food consumption. This is one I can really relate to. I am often woken by the children and regularly have disturbed nights sleep. The day following a bad night, I find myself snacking more, feeling hungrier and eat more than I normally would.
3. Lack of concentration and productivity – Sleep is your brains chance to rest, if it doesn’t get enough, then it won’t perform to the best of its ability. We all know that groggy feeling you get when tired like your head is full of cotton wool. A study of medical interns found that those with extended work hours made 36% per serious medical errors than those on a schedule that slowed more sleep. (source)
4. Health issues – Reduced sleep has been linked to a number of health issues. Heart disease and strokes are more prevalent in those that sleep less than 7-8 hours and night, type 2 diabetes is also linked to poor sleep.
5. Mental health – It’s been estimated that 90% of those suffering from depression complain about sleep quality. Lack of sleep also affects how you interact socially, impacting your ability to read emotions and facial expressions.
But it’s not just parents that suffer from lack of sleep, depression, illness, stress are all causes for sleepless nights. We often forget that sleep is essential to a healthy mind and body. It is certainly something that I now cherish and can really feel the impact lack of sleep has on me. As an employer what can you do to help your staff achieve a good night’s sleep? We run a workshop dedicated to sleep, that teaches people techniques to help them get the best night’s sleep and reclaim energy and balance to their daily lives.