The night should be for sleeping11th February 2009
Neil Stanley, sleep researcher at the University of East Anglia, says it is time we all started to sleep a little better.
Society has overlooked the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. It is as important as good diet and exercise.
The consequences of not getting enough sleep can affect our overall health and wellbeing, trigger mood changes and poor performance as well as increase the risk of heart disease, depression and diabetes.
People are going through life feeling tired and one reason is that daytime activities are being extended into the night. Technology is at the heart of it, meaning people can work round the clock wherever they are leading to long hours, information overload and stress.
In turn this impacts on relationships, health and performance.
An important aspect of better work/life balance is to get more sleep.
Up to a third of the workforce does shifts and while it is unavoidable for some people, such work patterns can lead to poor health and a higher risk of accident at work.
Tired drivers are now also possibly a higher risk than drunk drivers on the roads.
Lack of sleep is a greater issue in children as it is connected with obesity, poor performance at school and bad behaviour. Much of that can be remedied with a good night’s sleep.
While there is growing evidence of the benefits of regular sleep patterns, it was surprising this was not mentioned in the government’s recently-launched Change 4 Life healthy living campaign.
It is time we reclaimed the night for sleep.
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