Sleep is the new drug in town. We reach for the pain killers and eventually we might take to our bed. However what if we saw sleep as a preventative drug.
Matthew Walker is the director at the Centre for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, he has spent the last 20 years studying “sleep”.
“When have you ever seen an NHS poster urging sleep?’ – “when did a Doctor prescribe sleep not sleeping pills, sleep loss costs the UK economy more than £30bn a year in the lost revenue”
Sleep resets our body and brain by working on the following:-
- emotional stability
- immune system
When we sleep it is like hitting the save button on your memories. Studies have also shown that we can learn new facts much better after a good 8 hours. The Hippocampus in the brain is the memory in-box. MRI scans of sleep deprived individuals show the lack of activity or using the metaphor of the in-box no new files.
Sleep manages emotional volatility, scans of the brain show the Amygdala has increased activity with sleep deprived individuals. So for our emotional well being 8 hours sleep a night is the best recovery.
Our physicality is improved with sleep as we have natural killer cells, our immune cells who work during the night. The World Health Organisation has now identified that shift workers are at risk due to poor sleeping routines.
Sleep resets your body and brain so go out there and reclaim it and make sure it is the full 8 hours.