Why Sleep Should Be Your First Focus
Sleep should be your first focus if you want to ensure that you’re reaching your full potential. Backed up by the National Sleep Foundation, sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing. We understand the common causes of sleep deprivation, such as feeling irritable or not being able to focus at work, and yet worryingly, 1 in 3 of us suffers from poor sleep. Unfortunately, a poor night of sleep costs more than feeling grumpy or a loss of focus. A regular sleep routine of 8-9 hours of sleep per night is essential for a healthy lifestyle, however, are you aware of the impact of starving your body of these required hours?
Increase in Accidents
Studies show that sleep deprivation can lead to accidents and injuries at the workplace. In one study, workers who complained of excessive daytime tiredness had significantly more work accidents, particularly repeated work accident. Sleepiness can also lead to accidents on the road. If you’re driving for long periods of time, schedule a 15-minute break for every 2 hours on the road.
Cravings of Junk Food
If you find yourself suffering from a lack of sleep, you might also find yourself becoming increasingly concerned about the size of your waistline. Studies suggest that sleep deprivation can increase the hunger-control hormone ghrelin, whilst also reducing the production of appetite-suppressing hormone leptin. The next time you’re hungry, try and think about the amount of sleep you received the night before. Many people don’t realise that a lack of sleep can make a huge difference in your appetite.
Increased Memory Loss
You might find yourself suffering from poor memory or a “foggy mind” following an evening of poor sleep. According to a study by the University of California, this feeling of forgetfulness and inability to focus is a result of memories getting stuck in the hippocampus – the part of the brain involved in memory forming, organising, and storing. These memories get “stuck” due to the poor quality of deep “slow wave” sleep, which is then overwritten by new memories. In addition, sleep deprivation can cause brain deterioration, which may help explain memory loss in the elderly.
Detrimental to Your Skin
And finally, beauty sleep certainly isn’t a myth. If you suffer from a lack of sleep, you might also suffer from dull skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes. If your body doesn’t get the rest that it needs, it begins to release more of the stress hormone cortisol, which can break down skin collagen. A Medical Daily study found that poor sleep quality is correlated with reduced skin health and can even accelerate skin ageing. Not only did the studies show signs of premature skin ageing in those who suffer from lack of sleep, but it also showed a decrease in their skin’s ability to recover after sun exposure.