Your essential guide to getting enough sleep
Getting a great night’s sleep is essential to your wellbeing, so we partnered with sleep expert Professor Richard Wiseman and The School of Life to bring you this guide to enjoying more Zs.
Missing out on those all-important hours of shut-eye can have a detrimental impact on our physical and mental health, beyond just feeling tired the next day. Here, we share why sleep really matters, and how you can make sure you’re getting enough.
Why is sleep so important?
We still don’t fully understand why humans need to sleep, but according to Ana Noia,Senior Clinical Physiologist in Neurophysiology and Sleep at Bupa Cromwell Hospital, we know that sleep plays a vital role in:
- Improving our ability to learn
- Regulating the way our body breaks down food into energy, known as metabolism
- Reducing mental fatigue
Sleeping might also give our bodies the chance to organise all the memories of the hundreds of events we experience every day.
We know much more about the effects of getting insufficient sleep, like reduced concentration, tiredness and irritability. And, in the long term, Ana says sleep deprivation can have a big impact on health, leading to an increase in the hormones that are linked to stress, and boosting your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, weight abnormalities, and even impacting your immune system.