The quality and consistency of the sleep we get have major effects on our lives – from the functioning of our body to our performance at work and the emotions we experience.
Why do we need sleep?
But while we know sleep is essential, exactly what are the positive effects of regular quality sleep? According to the Sleep Foundation, achieving an adequate amount of sleep each night allows the body to remain healthy and starve off diseases. Quality sleep is proven to improve of our levels of cognition, concentration, memory and mental health, while greatly reducing our likelihood of developing several different diseases and illness.
Meanwhile, the impacts of restless sleep and ongoing sleep deprivation include an increased risk of physical health issues, such as diabetes, heart attack, stroke and obesity. Additionally, significant mental and cognitive health issues are known to arise as a result of sleep deprivation – from an increased risk of depression and anxiety to decreased productivity and an inability to concentrate. While the health benefits are clear, recent studies show that approximately one in five Australians are affected by sleep issues.
Why aren’t we getting enough sleep?
Several factors influence our ability to form good sleep patterns and achieve a quality night’s rest. In many cases, the job we work – such as night shifts and around-the-clock executive roles – has a big impact on our ability to relax and fall asleep naturally. The indoor-centric, sedentary lives we lead, an ever-growing reliance on screens and an unnatural, ongoing fight-or-flight stress response are also all to blame.
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