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We often hear a lot about the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, yet so few of us manage to get enough sleep nowadays in order to operate at our optimum.  Indeed, it can be difficult to have a completely restful full night’s sleep due to the stressful and overly busy lifestyles we led where we have a tendency to cram as much into the day as possible.

There are, of course, plenty of things we can do to ensure we get enough sleep, such as to sleep on a comfortable mattress with soft bed linen and supportive pillows; but there are times when we face genuine difficulties sleeping due to anxiety, for instance, about an upcoming IELTS exam or when going through a break-up.  

These temporary bouts aren’t a cause for concern, as they’re unlikely to have long term implications but if you are continuously not getting enough sleep then it can result in chronic health conditions – so this is something you might want to take seriously.

WHY IS SLEEP SO IMPORTANT

Sleep plays a vital role in our state of health and well-being.  

Ensuring you get enough quality sleep, meaning deep sleep as opposed to light sleep, will optimise every aspect of your health; both physical, mental and emotional.

If you’ve ever suffered from a hangover, a lack of sleep is often just as significant a culprit as dehydration, because when people are drunk their body doesn’t tend to fall into the deep phase of sleep required for their body to replenish and rejuvenate; instead, it just goes into standby mode.

Indeed, if you’ve ever had a situation where you haven’t been able to sleep, the physical state of being and mental fogginess is a lot like having a hangover.

At night, during sleep, there’s a lot of behind the scenes work taking place in your body – and like a phone that is put on to recharge so that it can perform well the next day, your body needs adequate sleep so that it doesn’t run out of juice.

Not getting enough sleep can negatively impact both your mental health and physical health.  Here’s a further explanation of how and why:

MENTAL HEALTH

Sleep is one of the most vital components to help your brain function properly.

Several studies show just how impactful a good night’s sleep is on improving learning, for instance.  In fact, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most commonly recommended things to do prior to an exam.  

There’s also a reason sleep deprivation is such an effective interrogation tool, as not having enough sleep seriously impairs your ability to cognitively and emotionally function at a reasonable level.  A chronic lack of sleep has also been linked with depression and anxiety related conditions.

PHYSICAL HEALTH

Sleep plays a vital role in your state of physical health as it supports healthy growth and development of cells.  Sleep deprivation in young people has been known to stunt growth and if you are often not getting enough sleep it will compromise your immune system making you more susceptible to illness.

In summary, sleep is vitally important to both your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

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