Over the past two years I have been living with a sleep thief. I love this little human A LOT, but there is no denying that having a child interrupts your sleep cycle. It is not just children that interfere with this daily process; work, study and our social life, eat away at those valuable sleeping hours.
A friend recommended that I read, ‘Why we sleep’ by Matthew Walker, whilst we were comparing how little shut eye we had experienced over the last week. Calculations suggest that this night-out had a significant impact on my recommended sleeping requirement!
Sleep and wellness
The book was incredibly insightful and I would thoroughly recommend adding it to your reading wish list. I loved how Walker argues that sleep deserves the same recognition that healthy eating and exercise does for both your physical and mental health. The neuroscientist delves into statistics, discusses factors impacting our shut eye and the overall science around our sleep cycle. Walker advises that we have a minimum of 8 hours sleep a night. I know, I know…..I wish, right!?
Sleep deficit and health concerns
However, if you read how sleep deprivation can be linked to Alzheimer’s, obesity, cancer and overall mental health, you may be tempted to start setting an alarm on your phone that tells you when to go to bed. I haven’t yet started to set a bedtime reminder. Quite honestly I already dread the wake up alarm, but I am more conscious of trying to keep to a bedtime routine.
Part of me feels a complete bore that sometimes my bedtime is at 9pm or 10pm versus 11pm+ in my 20s. Although, when I feel more engaged and less lethargic as a result, I confess to feeling just a tiny bit smug next to my colleague popping the Berocca and full fat coke combo at their desk at 9am.