Part 3 Practical Wellness: Sleep
Why is Sleep so important?
At DYLC we really encourage you to pay attention to sleep. In fact we would say that good sleep is a key foundation stone underpinning all of your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
We also know that health and wellness requires consistent effort and it will be much easier for you to stay on track to reach your goals when you are well rested and have benefitted from a good night’s sleep.
That’s just us being practical again so what do the experts say?
In his book, Why We Sleep?, leading neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker states that sleep:
- Enhances your memory and makes you more creative
- Makes you look more attractive
- Keeps you slim
- Lowers food cravings
- Protects you from cancer and dementia
- Wards off colds and flu
- Lowers your risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes
- Helps you feel happier
- Helps you feel less depressed
- Lowers anxiety
And all this is supported by evidence from over 17,000 well researched scientific reports!
The Feel Good Factor of Sleep
Another reason we rate sleep so highly as the bedrock to your wellness is because we want you to have the physical and mental energy required to play the long game and to be able to really enjoy your life along the way and there is nothing quite like that feel good factor we get from a great sleep.
On the flip side it can be very difficult to stay positive, motivated and focused when you are tired or sleep deprived so getting sleep right really is key to your wellness and your wellness efforts.
Do you need more Sleep?
The world has seen a drastic loss in the average hours of sleep over the last 70 years or so. Research shows that the average amount of sleep has fallen from 8 hours a night in 1942 to just 6.8 hours per night in 2013!
Artificial lighting and electronic devices combined with the demands and stress of modern living has led to more and more people now getting less shuteye than the recommended amount of 7-9 hours.
If you are consistently waking up feeling refreshed and ready to meet the day head on after a great nights sleep and you are getting sufficient sleep this may be an area you can leave for now.
However, if you aren’t quite waking refreshed and energised after an abundance of solid sleep then making it a priority right now is probably a very good idea! The potential return on your investment on extra minutes and hours asleep is huge for your mind and body.
We also know that fixing sleep is not always easy. Real life responsibilities like kids and shift work or sleep problems like insomnia sure can make this a tricky area to improve but at DYLC we focus on what is possible rather than what is ideal so don’t write this section off. Small gains over time leads to big wins so even finding ways to improve either your quality or quantity of sleep can yield big results.
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