Sleep is a complex subject and there are numerous ideas and theories, each offering a formula in relation to what constitutes a good night’s sleep. The general consensus is that we need somewhere between 7 and 9 hours. But there are other sleep experts who’d state that sleep is a more person specific issue than this, with some individuals surviving well on 4 or 5 hours sleep per night, whilst others need 10 or 11 hours. Our experience tells us that getting the right amount of sleep for your need is critical to your mental health and arguably the best barometer for whether you’re getting enough sleep is how you actually feel. A good night’s sleep is reflected in your perception, personality and performance.
Matt Walker’s research examines the impact of sleep on human health and disease. He got his PhD from the Medical Research Council in London, UK, and subsequently became a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He’s currently a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Human Sleep Science.
Walker’s research, has demonstrated that there is a clear correlation between sleep deprivation and depression, anxiety, obesity, memory loss, Alzheimer’s, cancer, stroke, infertility, heart attacks and an impaired immune system. Insufficient sleep also lowers testosterone levels in men and contributes to ADHD in adolescents, many of whom could get better with a good night’s sleep rather than the problem be managed with medication.
In addition, he challenges the epidemic abuse of prescription sleeping pills, which far from inducing natural sleep are addictive sedatives that have devastating side effects and significantly raise mortality risk.
Watch this interesting presentation and see whether you’re doing enough for your physical and mental well-being. There is no doubt that sleep is one of the cornerstones for a rounded and well-balanced life.