Rest & Relaxation


Lesson 1 Chapter 1

Sleep Is As Essential As Food And Water

Sleep is an important part of your daily routine—you spend about one-third of your time doing it.  Quality sleep – and getting enough of it at the right times is as essential to survival as food and water.  Without sleep you can’t form or maintain the pathways in your brain that let you learn and create new memories, and it’s harder to concentrate and respond quickly.


How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Your need for sleep and your sleep patterns change as you age, but this varies significantly across individuals of the same age.  There is no "magic number" of sleep hours that works for everybody of the same age.  Babies initially sleep as much as 16 to 18 hours per day, which may boost growth and development (especially of the brain).  School-age children and teens, on average, need about 9.5 hours of sleep per night.  Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but after age 60, nighttime sleep tends to be shorter, lighter, and interrupted by multiple awakenings.  Elderly people are also more likely to take medications that interfere with sleep. 

In general, people are getting less sleep than they need due to longer work hours and the availability of round-the-clock entertainment and other activities. 

You might feel you can "catch up" on missed sleep during the weekend but, depending on how sleep-deprived you are, sleeping longer on the weekends may not be adequate.


What Happens When You Don't Get Enough Sleep

There are lots of physical and psychological effects of not getting enough sleep.  It impairs your cognitive ability and your judgement and leads to short and long term memory loss.

It can also lead to lots of other serious illnesses, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. Lack of sleep also kills the sex drive.  Prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to depression.  People who are diagnosed with depression or anxiety are more likely to sleep less than six hours at night. Weight gain is linked to lack of sleep: When it comes to body weight, it may be that if you snooze, you lose. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. People who sleep less than six hours a day are almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who sleep seven to nine hours.


Lack Of Sleep Ages Your Skin

Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. But it turns out that chronic sleep loss can lead to lacklustre skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.

Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little human growth hormone. When you are  young, human growth hormone promotes growth. As we age, it helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones.

Do You Think You Get Enough?

Sleep Loss Impairs Judgment, Especially About Sleep

Lack of sleep can affect your interpretation of events. This hurts our ability to make sound judgments because you may not assess situations accurately and act on them wisely.

Sleep-deprived people seem to be especially prone to poor judgment when it comes to assessing what lack of sleep is doing to them. In our increasingly fast-paced world, functioning on less sleep has become a kind of badge of honour. If you think you’re doing fine on less sleep, you’re probably wrong. And if you work in a profession where it’s important to be able to judge your level of functioning, this can be a big problem.

Over time, if you are getting six hours of sleep, instead of seven or eight, you begin to feel that you’ve adapted to that sleep deprivation --  But if you look at how you actually do on tests of mental alertness and performance, you will continue to go downhill. So there’s a point in sleep deprivation when we lose touch with how impaired we are.


Don't worry, this course will help you sleep really well

with consistency