The value of sleep simply cannot be overstated. Yet the average person in Britain only gets around six hours and 19 minutes according to a recent study - two to three hours less than the recommended amount of time - meaning that most people, on the whole, are probably living their lives in a state of sleep deprivation.
The role of sleep in recovering from illness, healing the body and mind and improving mental acuity is huge. Yet after those long, stressful days at work, many of us view sleep as an afterthought or something we simply squeeze in at the last possible moment, after we've replied to that final text message or said "just one more episode" to our favourite TV series.
CosyCo will take you through the 5 most compelling reasons you should be getting as much sleep as possible.
Memory And Learning
Sleep plays a crucial role in resetting electrical pathways in the brain, aiding in memory and learning. During the day, the skills we learn are processed, but it is during sleep that what we learn becomes cemented in the mind, helping us to perform those tasks more effectively when we repeat them the following day. We are constantly bombarded by information and external stimulation overloading the mind: "sleep allows the brain to wind down its activity, consolidate our memories, and be ready to start again the next morning."
Kinesiology and exercise expert Paul Chek has spoken about the benefits of sleep and cold showers on combating inflammation in the body. Inflammation is connected to many internal disorders, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and premature ageing of the body. Sleep helps to reduce some of the effects of negative inflammation, leading to a healthier version of you.
Sleep deprived people have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol running through their body which can lead to inflammation - impacting your overall skin health.
Acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and allergic reactions on the skin are all exacerbated by lack of sleep. If you struggle with problem skin and you're looking for a great way of treating it, snoozing for longer could be your answer.
Muscle Building and Exercise Recovery
Sleep performs an incredible job in exercise recovery. Depending on what kind of exercise you do, sleep repairs muscle and other tissues as well as replacing old and dead cells around the body. During periods of shuteye, the body experiences a huge spike in human growth hormone and testosterone, helping to heal damage done during exercise and grow muscle.
Sleep Makes You Happy
A poor nights sleep completely sets the mood for the day; you're grumpy, inefficient, less sharp and significantly less happy. Studies have shown the link between the lack of sleep and its effect on mood - it makes sense, the more good quality sleep you have the less mentally exhausted you'll be and the more likely you'll be able to frame your day in a more positive light.