Maintaining good and adequate sleep is vital to maintaining wellbeing. It is as important as a healthy diet and regular exercise. Although sleep may be seen as non-productive time, an adequate sleep time (7-8 hours) is needed to make wakefulness and be productive.
Sleep is a complex process that is controlled by environmental factors (especially sun light) and impacts on body function (e.g. hormone secretion, heart and lung function). Sleep restriction, poor sleep habits and external factors can all impact on the opportunity for effective and refreshing sleep.
Over time, the impact of poor sleep can then lead to, or exacerbate other aspects of physical and mental wellbeing. Delayed bed time, the use of electronic devices (blue light), watching television in bed, alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes can impact on sleep onset and duration. This has an impact on daytime function and quality of life.
Sleep disorders (e.g. obstructive sleep apnoea or restless legs syndrome) can also impact a person’s wellbeing and contribute to other serious health conditions, such as lung or heart disease, chronic pain conditions and depression.
In a world of continued connectedness and shift work, maintaining good sleep can be challenging. However, it is important to try and keep sleep optimal – it should not be sacrificed! On World Sleep Day let’s remember that sleep is integral to our wellbeing and no matter how hard you try, you cannot avoid it.
Dr Scott Claxton, Senior Sleep & Respiratory Physician, GenesisCare
For more information on sleep health, visit our sleep medicine treatment page.