We tend to think of sleep as a time when the mind and body shut down. But this is not the case; sleep is an active period in which a lot of important processing, restoration, and strengthening occurs. Scientists understand some of sleep’s critical functions, and the reasons we need it for optimal health and wellbeing.
Sleep is key in memory preservation in a process called ‘consolidation’, which involves converting memories from the short to the long-term memory.
Researchers have also shown that after people sleep, they tend to retain information and perform better on memory tasks. Our bodies all require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.
Sleep ensures you produce enough Leptin, an appetite-regulating hormone, which helps towards weight loss.
How much do we need?
Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, one-year-olds need roughly 11 to 14 hours, school age children between 9 and 11, and teenagers between 8 and 10.
Unfortunately ‘Sleep-debt’ is a complete myth, it doesn’t matter how much you sleep to make up for a previously sleep deprived night, it won’t make a difference… A good sleep routine is the best way to get efficient sleep.
Top tip… Make sure you have some quiet time with low lighting before you try to go to sleep, it will relax you and help you achieve REM sleep (the best kind of sleep you can get!)
Good night x