It is strange to think we spend a third of our lives sleeping, with the average adult requiring 8 hours of shuteye per night.
In this 4 part Blog Post we will examine the issue of sleep, how much you need and what happens if you don’t get enough. Then finally we will show you some methods, herbs and medicines that may help.
Sleep obviously represents a significant chunk of our lives yet modern society has developed a negative stigma around it, viewing it as a waste of time, a sign of weakness and even as an illness! This belief comes from not actually knowing a lot when it comes to sleep. Fortunately research into the area is looking at what actually happens while we sleep and helping us to understand this vital daily activity. Read More ...
So why is sleep so important?
Growth and repair:
Sleep induces the release of human growth hormone from the brain into the bloodstream as we sleep. The amount of sleep we require varies over time depending on the amount of growth we are undergoing.
Newborns for example experience rapid growth so consequently they spend much of their day sleeping (16-18 hours). It makes sense then that our sleep requirements decrease with age as our growth stabilises and we reach adulthood.
As an adult, sleep is more about maintenance, functioning to repair our muscle tissues and blood vessels, restore our energy and consolidate our memories.
The immune system relies on sleep to keep it functioning optimally. A lack of sleep suppresses the immune system and reduces our ability to fight off infection. Plus when we do get sick, having inadequate sleep can reduce our ability to overcome the sickness and recover. This means we remain sick for longer!
Check back next week for Part 2 in this series. Good luck and happy sleeping.
- Olivia holds a Bachelor of Science Degree and is an Accredited Practising Dietitian