A good night’s sleep can do wonders for a person. You feel fresh, well-rested, and ready to take on the day if you were able to sleep the night before. Now, imagine yourself deprived of that much-needed snooze and be forced to get up early in the morning to go to school or work. It is such a drag, indeed. Numerous studies support the relationship between sleep quality and a person’s mood, as well as other important things. More sleep = less cranky and vice versa. No wonder you were told as a child to sleep early because it not only helped your young body grow tall and strong but brightened your mood too.
As kids, you often don’t have any problems with sleep because your parents are there to force you to sleep on or before your bedtime. But as you grow older, you are required to do more and thus sleep becomes the least of your priority as you try to meet certain deadlines. It becomes even more frantic once you start working and building a family because you multitask and attend to all your chores and responsibilities in a timely fashion. Hence, expect to lose more sleep the more you age but with time management, you can easily turn things around to your favor.
New research this week published for the Sleep Health Foundation by Deloitte Access Economics tells us nearly 40 per cent of Australians are sleep deprived and half that number are so tired they are a risk to themselves and others. Our exhaustion costs the economy billions of dollars a year.
But it’s not just that we are expensive. We are also depressed. We are highly emotional. We make mistakes. We can’t read the signs around us. Our sleeplessness makes us fat. As sleep researcher Siobhan Banks points out, when we are exhausted, “we want to eat doughnuts, not salads”. Or chocolate. If I could do a time and motion study of when we break out the choccy bikkies, I’m guessing 10.45 pm would be peak, when we try to squeeze in one more task before we hit the cot.
Younger people tend to take their health lightly because they feel that they are too young to get sick or die. But as time goes on, we are confronted with the reality that it’s not at all true as many younger people also succumb to sickness especially with our modern lifestyle that is hooked on technology and junk foods. That in itself is a major issue as we all know that foods rich in salt, grease, and preservatives make you feel bloated and cranky and does very little to improve your health and well-being.
We are one groggy, cranky, sleep-deprived population.
Depending on our age, we are supposed to get between seven and 10 hours of sleep each night.
But according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of us get fewer than seven hours of sleep per night. In addition, 50 million to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia and restless leg syndrome, which can ruin a good night’s shuteye.
And we’re not alone. In bedrooms around the globe, men, women and children are tossing and turning. According to World Sleep Day statistics, sleep deprivation is threatening the health of up to 45% of the world’s population.
You lose so much more aside from just sleep when you frequently pull off all-nighters. Your immune system weakens and you become more susceptible to diseases aside from becoming extremely grumpy too. Sleep allows you to focus on your tasks and helps with your memory. Remember that if you are sleepless, you won’t be able to concentrate on what you need to do and you end up making careless mistakes that could’ve been avoided if you can think clearly and not feeling drowsy during waking hours. That’s how crucial sleep is to humans. The next time you feel tempted to stay up all night, think about its impact on your health, beauty, and well-being too.