Sleep is invaluable, yet we don’t always prioritise it. It’s well documented that modern life disrupts this vital function and, as a result, our physical and mental health suffers. Around 40% of the UK population has sleep issues*, and studies show that interrupted sleep is as damaging as no sleep, signifying that quality is as important as quantity.
‘Good sleep deserves attention,’ says The Sleep Council’s Jessica Alexander (sleepcouncil.org.uk). ‘Without it, our efforts to get fitter or feel better are undermined. Our looks, mood, concentration – the list goes on – are impaired.’
Sleep deprivation has many adverse effects, from moodiness to weight gain to chronic disease, and good sleep has many unexpected advantages. We hope you’ll be inspired to get the restorative slumber you deserve.
1 YOU’LL BE A SAFER DRIVER
Get a good night’s sleep and your passengers and fellow drivers will thank you. Research shows that rest makes for a more responsible driver. ‘Severe fatigue exerts a similar influence on the brain to drinking too much,’ reports Dr Itzhak Fried, who led one study.
Rebecca Needham, road safety officer for RoSPA (rospa.com) adds, ‘Sleepiness affects reaction time and decision-making, which are critical to safe driving. It contributes to almost a quarter of fatal and serious road accidents.’
2 HAIR GETS LONGER AND STRONGER
‘Studies suggest that a lack of sleep affects the body’s mechanisms that lead to hair growth,’ says hair transplant surgeon Dr Faisal Arshad (hairdr.co.uk). ‘Poor sleep can lead to a stress response that affects the skin and hair follicles and may trigger female pattern hair loss.’
3 YOUR BODY FIGHTS BACK
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