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Health Matters

Are you getting enough sleep? Take sleep seriously!

17/12/2015

A good night’s sleep may increase up to 3 times our ability to find new and creative solutions for our daily problems.

The role of sleeping in our physical and mental well-being is unquestionable but latest data shows that people tend to take less and less time to rest. Whilst in 1950 average period of sleep was 8 hours, in 2013 data showed less 1,5h to 2h of sleep, which means an average of 6,5 sleeping hours per night. Is this enough sleep? We will answer this question further ahead. Let’s start with figuring out our need to sleep. According to Russell Foster, a British neuroscientist dedicated to the study of circadian rhythms, there are 3 reasons for sleeping:

  1. Repair

  2. Energy conservation

  3. Information processing and Memory Consolidation – it is proven that learning a new task while sleep deprived, is much harder as our learning ability is substantially reduced.

Our brain doesn’t actually sleep. In fact, some areas are even more active during sleep but it is during night time that the process of filtering toxins happens and the brain “is cleaned”. The lymphatic system is responsible for a similar process in the rest of our body.


Sleep privation and consequent tiredness, makes people more impulsive, reactive, it affects their ability to decide and judge and to reinforce memory. It also increases propensity to gain weight.


Constant stress – almost chronic – associated with sleeping problems, weakens the immune system, making people more vulnerable to infections, according to this specialist and professor at Oxford University.


Specialists recommend an average of 8 hours of sleep per night. However, this time varies depending on each person and their age. If you have trouble waking up naturally, without the usually shrill sound of the alarm clock, you probably need more hours of sleep. Taking too long to get up or needing several stimuli to do it, may also be alarm signs.


This neuroscientist states that excess of light in the bedroom as well as the presence of devices such as a laptop or a mobile phone also affect a good night’s sleep. How many times do we check our phone, surf the web or have a peek at social networks already in bed, before going to sleep? This routine favours the awakening of brain areas that should be starting to “shut off”.


Accept the challenge of educating your sleep!



TAKE SLEEP SERIOUSLY!


  • We spend 1/3 of our life sleeping (36%)

  • If we live up to 90 years old, 32 years will have been spent sleeping

  • In 1950, we slept 8 hours a night; in 2013, we only sleep 6,5 hours per night

  • A good night’s sleep improves concentration, attention, memory, creativity and health in general.

  • Not getting enough sleep may lead to mood changes, stress, irritability, alcohol and tobacco consumption.

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