Sleep is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, since I haven’t been getting enough of it. Because most of us are able to function reasonably efficiently even when we’re sleep-deprived, it can be easy to lose sight of how extremely important sleep is to our health and wellbeing.
When I’m not properly rested, I find myself struggling, both mentally and emotionally. I can’t think of the words I want, I forget things, I make mistakes. If the sleep deprivation continues, the world turns into a weird place; I lose my judgement and my perspective and the most trivial incident can cause me to fly off the handle, cry hysterically and/or hide away for days. Lack of sleep is part of the slippery slope that ends in depression – yes, it’s that serious!
In physical terms, not getting enough sleep is bad for our skin – it’s not called beauty sleep for nothing! While there is no long-term substitute for regular good sleep, I do my best to counteract the dehydrating effect of too little sleep by drinking a lot of water.
An article on the BBC website about the role of sleep in tackling obesity brought into focus for me a phenomenon I’d been subconsciously aware of: being tired encourages us to eat too much of the wrong foods. I guess it’s a mixture of a need to grab some energy from somewhere and the misplaced attempt at self-nurturing that is comfort eating.
Catching up on your sleep will quicken both your body and your mind. It’s free and, for most of us, it’s easy to do. So let’s stop pretending we can manage without it, give the zzz’s some priority and let them do their work.