Every year now we have a World Sleep Day. This year it was March 15th, and I was delighted to be involved as a delegate for the second year running.
Each year the World Sleep Day has a theme – this year being Healthy Sleep, Healthy Aging.
We all know that sleep is crucial for a long, healthy and happy life.
Where we have gaps in our knowledge is in understanding how to achieve that healthy sleep while living in our culture of being so busy and always available to others.
This year, as part of my World Sleep Day activities, I spent a day at The Sleep Show, a part of The Mindful Living Show in London. I had the opportunity to give a talk to a full room about achieving healthy sleep, and to bust some myths about all triggers for insomnia being the same.
The video below is from my day at The Sleep Show, and has some really helpful reminders for you of the basics of good sleep for better living.
As always, a lot is discussed each World Sleep Day. So here are just a few key points on sleep and aging from the huge amount of research involved.
Learning, memory and performance
Sleep keeps our brain’s connections healthy, improving memory, which is essential for learning and peak performance.
During sleep our body and brain doesn’t completely switch off, contrary to old beliefs, instead we spend time recovering and processing all that happened during the day both in terms of physical activities as well as what the mind had to process. All of this to make sure that in the morning we are ready to do our best and perform at our optimum.
Sleep protects our health
A main talking point for World Sleep Day this year was the link between physical health and healthy sleep. People who regularly sleep through the night tend to have healthier blood pressure, lower rates of diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses.
Sleep protects us from illness
For the majority of us who have sleep difficulties rather than disorders, what we can learn from this is the importance of sleep for healthy aging. Good sleep is a part of how we can protect ourselves from age-related illness.
Remember the time, when you had a batch patch and ended up falling sick? You will probably also remember, that all you wanted to do is sleep, so that your body can recover and get back to its normal healthy state. This is the case with most of my clients who are struggling with lack of quality sleep for a while! Sleep is often a part of this recovery process, that is one of the reasons why we crave more when we are unwell.
I loved attending The Sleep Show, getting my message out there and opening people’s eyes to the possibility of them overcoming their own sleep issues. It’s such a shame that many people give up on themselves and their ability to sleep well and live better.
You don’t have to put up with insomnia. Healthy sleep is a skill that you can fine tune with the right knowledge and tools in place.