Sleep Health

How does lack of sleep affect your health?

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Getting enough rest is vital for overall health. A good night’s sleep is the best way to ensure you wake up refreshed and ready to face the new day.

 But if you’re guilty of staying up late to cram in one more episode or reaching for your phone at the crack of dawn just to check what’s happening on Instagram, you might not even realise how much sleep you're missing out on….and how it could be affecting your health.

Get back on track with your sleep, and you’ll soon notice how much more you can get done in the day – and how you can enjoy it more too!

How much sleep do I need?

Clocking up enough hours of rest is vital for overall health – and if you fail to sleep soundly for at least 7 to 8 hours a night, the implications emotionally, mentally and physically can be far-reaching.

33% to 45% of Australian adults don’t get enough healthy sleep. In fact, 20% of us are significantly affected by insomnia.1

Your body and brain both need sleep to repair themselves and recharge for the next day so you can wake up feeling like you’re ready to be the best version of yourself.

Take sleep into your own hands.

 

Try the ResMed online sleep assessment. Designed to inform you of any sleep issues you may have so that you can improve your sleep.

 

Take sleep assessment

Online-sleep-assesment

What you do before bed affects your sleep

Electronic devices are partly to blame. 26% of us who are in the habit of surfing the net or watching TV just before bed, suffer sleep problems and daytime sleepiness. And 12% of Aussies sleep less than 5½ hours a night. Most people in this group are aware that they’re suffering because of it.1

on internet before bed

Electronic device use by age. In the hour before bed, most millennials surf the net, while older folk prefer to watch TV. Both can interfere with sleep.1

watching tv before bed

How sleep issues can affect your health

Feeling drowsy while driving is a big accident risk and 29% of people admit this happens to them at least once a month. 20% have nodded off while driving and 5% of these people had an accident in the past year because they dozed off.1

Even more concerning are the potential long-term consequences of sleep deprivation, such as the increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, sexual dysfunction and cognitive impairment.2

Sound like reason for concern? It is. There are, however, facts that you can be aware of to help you understand sleep deprivation better, as well as tips on how to combat it.

Aside from the potential for serious long-term effects, here are some things which result from a lack of sleep which you might notice sooner rather than later:

Loss of memory. That's right - not getting enough ZZZ's can gradually affect your memory. During deep sleep your mind cements all the memories you've made during your waking hours, so if you want to make in-roads at your job or succeed at school, it's best to ensure you're getting a healthy night's sleep so all that information is retained.

Diet, appetite and weight. If you’re wanting to get into good physical shape, start your health journey by getting enough sleep. Missing sleep, even in the short term, can affect your appetite. How? By making you crave comfort foods that are high in fat and sugar.1 Sleep deprivation can also increase your production of ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin, which is linked to obesity and diabetes.

Reckless behaviour. Have you ever been so hungry that you're almost past the point of hunger and you've moved into a bewildered, odd state? Sleep deprivation can have a similar effect - only it can cause you to make irrational, hasty decisions which may not be in your best interest.

Being deprived of sleep is no fun, so if you're sacrificing sleep for work, study or to catch-up with friends, maybe it’s time to rejig your schedule.

Not getting enough sleep?

If you feel like you‘re not getting enough sleep, or if poor quality sleep leaves you nodding off during the day, it's time to explore the issue further.

Fortunately, there are some really easy tools you can use to start your journey of discovery. Take our free online sleep assessment - it's a great place to start. 

If you think your could be missing out on quality sleep due to a sleep condition, such as sleep apnea, it’s important to seek a proper diagnosis and find a treatment that works for you. 

Try these practical sleep tips

  • Try to avoid alcohol and cut right back on caffeine
  • Aim to reduce your fluid intake before bedtime
  • Don't consume a heavy, carbohydrate-laden meal right before you go to bed
  • If you smoke, try to quit smoking
  • Incorporate daily exercise into your schedule, but be sure to have it done and dusted well before you go to bed
  • Try a bedtime routine - a cup of milk, a soak in the bath or reading a (not too exciting) book
  • Last, but certainly not least, establish a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule - and stick to it!

If you’re still having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep take a look at some things that could help you get the sleep you deserve.

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ResMed

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