We’ve all heard it a million times before, ‘not getting enough sleep is detrimental to our health’ although research released earlier this year revealed that only one in four Australians are actually getting the recommended eight hours a night! In fact, the average Aussie sleeps for only six and a half hours. Even worse, this study found that six hours of sleep a night could be just as bad as not getting any sleep at all.
So how many hours of shut eye do you get?
Of course in a magical land of make believe we’d all aim to get off Instagram early, turn off all our electronics and slip into bed by 930pm; but with work to get done, people to stalk and procrastination to be had, getting to bed early isn’t always feasible.
However not getting enough sleep can be more detrimental to your body than you think and experts are only now starting to understand how sleep is pretty much connected to almost everything you do. So why should we be clocking up more hours of sleep a night? Well, we’ve put together six of our favourite reasons to drift you off earlier below.
You’ll make fewer mistakes
Seriously, you know how you feel kind of ‘off when you haven’t had a proper night’s sleep? Well, there’s a reason for it, scientific research is revealing “sleep loss and even poor-quality sleep can lead to an increase in errors in the workplace, decreased productivity and accidents that cost both lives and resources. Awareness can help improve your sleep habits and in turn your safety.” So sleep more – stay safe.
You’ll nourish your brain, body and skin!
Sleep is nourishment for your brain, body and skin; your body therefore, needs to rest to repair and rejuvenate itself properly. Rebecca S. Robbins, M.D., Ph.D., researcher at Cornell University, and author of Sleep for Success! says, “During a good night's rest, your body works to remove dead blood cells and dead brain cells, and clears the pathways for new synapses to take place so that new blood and brain cells can replace old ones. Your brain also gets rid of 60 percent more toxins when you get the proper amount of sleep. Overall, this helps you feel more refreshed when you get up, able to think more clearly, and helps your skin glow.
You’ll stress less
When your body doesn’t sleep well it naturally releases the stress hormone cortisol. On the other hand, when you do get the right amount of sleep for your body, the less stress that will be placed on it and the happier it will be.
Decreased risk of disease
In this study that involved over 54,000 participants ‘researchers found that people who slept less than six hours per night (or more than nine) were significantly more likely to have heart disease, diabetes, have suffered a stroke or be obese.’ Hence why we repeatedly get told that sleep is actually good for our health!
You’ll look better, fresher
As you sleep your body’s cell regenerate, which is why it rings true, the more sleep you get the better and fresher you’ll look in the AM – especially under your eyes. Lack of sleep leads to blood vessels dilating which form dark circles. Getting enough sleep will instead keep your body working as it should and diminish those ugly purple/blue hues too. (However if you do pull an all nighter – then investing in a concealer is key!)
You’ll eat better
You know how when you don’t sleep well the idea of chowing down on half a packet of Tim Tams seems like a great idea? Well, there’s a reason for it! You see, it seems we tend to gravitate towards foods that aren’t good for us when we’re exhausted to perk us up. This study claims that we crave the foods we normally associate with pleasure even more when we haven’t slept well. Soooo get your sleep ladies (and maybe save your packet of Tim Tams for another day.)
Images: Shinebythree.com, Pinterest; Words: Yadira Galarza Cauchi
Tell us, what are your tips for a good night's sleep?