I used to think I got enough sleep but since having children and not being able to have a sleep in on the weekends (in fact any day), I'm conscious that I may not getting the sleep my body needs. Also the impact of living in an always connected world with our smartphones generally with us the moment we wake up and in many cases when we fall asleep, we our constantly buzzing and not getting a chance to rest. Many studies have tied sleep deprivation to a heightened risk of depression, obesity, diabetes, heart attacks and stroke as well as anxiety and it's important to recognise signs of when you're not getting enough sleep. New research has even shown that parts of the brain actually turn themselves off to rest even though a person is still awake so the next time you're in a meeting and you think someone isn't really listening, maybe they are actually asleep.
Matthew Walker is the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California. They are a research institute whose goal is to understand everything about sleep’s impact on us, from birth to death, in sickness and health.
Matthew wrote the book why we sleep which explores twenty years of cutting-edge research to solve the mystery of why sleep matters. The book deep dives in to everything from what really happens during REM sleep to how caffeine and alcohol affect sleep and why our sleep patterns change across a lifetime, transforming our appreciation of the extraordinary phenomenon that safeguards our existence.
It's worth a read and I suggest buying the paper version so you can give your digital devices a rest and you may end up having a better night sleep.