London, United Kingdom
For my latest post for womenswear website @bornatdawn_ , weâre talking sleep.
What are your goals for 2018? Maybe itâs to eat better, start yoga or take your career to the next level. But are you devaluing a crucial priority - and putting your health at serious risk?
In this weekâs #BORNATDAWNLIFE, weâre focusing on SLEEP, one of the most essential aspects of our life and health but one we increasingly neglect. In his book âWhy We Sleep: The New Science Of Sleep And Dreamsâ, British scientist Matthew Walker argues that itâs more important than diet and exercise, and itâs time to shift our attention.
Using 20 years of cutting-edge research, he presents a strong case for why the quality and quantity of sleep matters for vitality and life expectancy. Lack of it impacts on our ability to function, and our productivity and creativity. Getting a good nightâs rest improves our memory, halting forgetting by 30-50%.
Yet, we can completely ignore how awful we feel when we're tired and limit sleep rather than sacrifice work/family/entertainment. Writing for @thepooluk recently, @kateileaver also observed âwe tend to associate sleep with slothfulness, greed and a lack of ambition or motivationâ. However, Professor Walker notes that sleep deprivation can be dangerous and highlights strong causal links to major diseases such as cancer, obesity and diabetes.
So what practical steps does the book recommend? Âˇ Think of sleep as a âkind of workâ or treat it like going to a yoga class.
Âˇ Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time, avoiding weekend binge-sleeping.
Âˇ Review your bedroom environment - aim for a temperature of around 18 degrees and ensure itâs dark enough to trigger the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Âˇ Cut out screen time just before bed and banish iPhones and laptops from the bedroom.
Âˇ Avoid caffeine after 2pm.
Professor Walker believes we need to change our attitude to rest. Sleep pretty much safeguards our existence, so itâs time to take it as seriously as our gym membership.