On 28th Feb, I was on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire along with my colleague, Jacqui Kemp. We talked to Antonia Brickell about the physical and mental benefits of good sleep and some tips for achieving better sleep. We were on the programme between 21:00 and 22:00 and it is available to listen to until 6 March at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00f2wfy . It is a three hour programme so you need to wind forward 120 minutes.
The benefits of sleep are more than just resting and gaining energy for the next day. Our normal sleep requirement is 7-9 hours per 24 hours.
- keeps you heart healthy. Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, risk factors for heart disease and stroke;
- may help to prevent cancer. Have been found to have a higher risk of breast and colon cancer;
- reduces stress. When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress and the functions are put on high alert, increasing blood pressure and the production of stress hormones
- reduces inflammation. The increase in stress hormones raises the level of inflammation in your body
- aids memory. While your body is resting, your brain is active, processing your day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings and memories.
- helps to control your weight. It is thought that lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite.