The Underrated Value Of Sleep!

Over time sleep has become something that is a necessary requirement rather than something to
which to aspire, as it can have a huge beneficial impact on daily lives.

We all have an understanding that 8 hours sleep is the perfect amount, however this isn’t always
necessarily true. Everyone needs different amounts of sleep, and you need different amounts of
sleep at different points in your life. For example, during stressful times the amount of sleep you
require increases, when quite often the opposite happens. If you are training for a physical event
you need to sleep more, allowing your body to recover. Conversely, if you have a secure life with no
stress and potter at a slow pace, with many rest periods during the day, the sleep you require will
reduce. We also tend to sleep less in Summer and more in Winter.

That said, it isn’t the amount that is important, it is the quality. 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep will
benefit you more than 6 hours of interrupted sleep. Segmented sleep is renowned for its benefits so
a night of 3 hours sleep with 2 hours awake and a further 3 hours sleep is also more beneficial than 6
hours of interrupted sleep.

We tend to sleep in cycles of 90 minutes, and we all need different multiples of these cycles. For
example, Mary may need 4 cycles of 90 mins (6 hours) and John may need 6 cycles of 90 mins (9
hours). It is vital that the cycles we require are completed as any interruption leads to us feeling
sleep deprived and unable to function at our optimal levels the next day.

To ensure you have your optimal cycles of sleep there are 5 fundamental factors which make a
1. Comfort
2. Lighting
3. Heating
4. Quietness
5. Preparation

Comfort: Ensuring that you are comfortable is one of the key elements. You may think this applies to just your
mattress however this isn’t the case. Your bed linen, mattress protection and pillows all have an
impact as well.

Lighting: Your bedroom lighting is another important factor. This relates to your window dressings as well as
your electrical lighting.

Heating: Having your sleeping area at the correct temperature will change your quality of sleep if it is
incorrect for you.

Quietness: Noise is one of the worse things for disturbed sleep. Often if we hear a noise, it will jolt us out of
sleep which can then leave us feeling anxious (fight or flight mode).

Preparation: Creating the correct environment for sleep is underrated and often ignored. The worst thing you can
do is fall asleep on the sofa to wake, grumpy, a short later and then find it impossible to get to sleep
when you do go to bed.

As the Dalai Lama once said “Sleep is the best meditation”.