Today is The Festival of Sleep Day 2020 and I wish I could say I am honouring it by having a lovely long lie-in! That regrettably will have to wait until tomorrow when my diary is considerably emptier. But I will not allow this to prevent me from celebrating because sleep is an ENORMOUSLY important part of Dynamic Ageing and long-term youthfulness, and of course of general health and wellbeing.
A potential client informed me recently that she sleeps as little as possible because she considers it “such a waste of time”. Needless to say, I was speechless, as my studies over the last few years have taught me beyond a shadow of a doubt that sleep - deep, restful, regular, quality sleep – is crucial to a life well lived, as well as to a long and dynamic life and youthfulness. In our 21st Century culture, getting by on as little sleep as possible has almost become a badge of honour, something to brag about and encourage, something to be proud of, almost a mark of distinction - and those of us who honour the human body’s, and most particularly the human brain’s, need for rest and regeneration can be seen as lazy and unproductive.....
I will be writing in far more detail about sleep and its role in overall rejuvenation in due course but for now, let me emphasise the following life-enhancing facts about quality sleep:-
1. The less you sleep, the more likely you are to put on weight
2. Sleep is essential for regenerating your cells
3. Healthy bone growth happens at night, when you are fast asleep
4. The brain cleanses and rebuilds itself during sleep
5. Getting sufficient sleep reduces your risk of many diseases
6. Sleep boosts the immune system
7. Sleep lowers inflammation
8. Quality sleep results in better mood, insight, social engagement and overall quality of life
9. People who sleep regularly are less likely to make bad financial decisions while sleep-deprived individuals tend to be biased towards inappropriate risks - take heed!
10. Sleep improves both long and short-term memory
Need I say more?! Make sure you get enough sleep, ideally eight to nine hours every night, and you will age far more dynamically.