Did you get enough sleep last night?

I’ve been reading why we sleep by Matthew Walker and it’s really changed the way I think about sleep and my bedtime. I’ve always thought of myself as a night owl, staying up watching TV or reading late into the night, however I’ve come to realise, after reading this book, that really all I’ve been doing is shortening my life.

I now realise that a full 8 hours sleep is more important than going to the gym, going for a bike ride or eating healthily. Missing out on sleep as a greater effect on our bodies than previously thought, for instance, if we go to bed late we can’t make up for that the night after, no matter how early we go to bed, that damage to your body at a cellular level is irreversible.

Eight hours sleep is needed because the brain needs to go through cycles of REM and non-REM sleep and for that to happen takes a full 8 hours. That’s why as we get older and have to get up to go to the loo in the middle of the night we still feel tired in the morning.

Another surprising fact is that while we sleep our brains actually shrink over slightly, this allows cerebrospinal fluid to enter the brain and wash away damaging proteins that have built up in the cells, these proteins, unchecked, can help to cause Alzheimer’s.

If anything in your life is keeping you awake and you would like help to change that, then please get in touch.

I’d like to write some more, but I’m feeling tired, so off to bed for me. Good night and sweet dreams!

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