Sleep On It - Sleep Awareness Week 2019

“Sleep? Who needs it!”

 Uh, we do… actually.

Are you one of those people who’d stay in bed all day if you could? Do you wake up already feeling tired? Or, like clockwork, does your body and brain shut down at 3pm? You’re not alone! Turns out, there’s quite a few of us who struggle with our sleeping patterns and low energy throughout the day. So, this week, for Sleep Awareness Week, we thought we’d have a go at discussing this years’ theme, ‘Sleep On It – Memory and Problem Solving’.

Sleep is quite literally something we can’t live without. For those of us who have ever pulled an all-nighter, you’ll know what we’re talking about (any mummas or full-time uni students out there? Or, both?! 😱). While it seems obvious that a lack of sleep has negative effects on us, there are some very specific consequences when we don’t prioritise sleep.

When you lose sleep you’d usually have, you may notice a couple of things over the following days:

  • Fatigue
  • Bad mood/mood swings
  • Irregular food cravings
  • Headaches
  • Inability to focus
  • Drowsiness
  • Lowered libido

The one thing we can link all of the above to is our brain, which is kind of the catalyst for everything we do 💁🏽‍♀️ (we get it brain, you’re kind of a big deal). A good night’s sleep has a huge impact on our ability to think and learn, and retain information. Sleep plays an important role in memory function, which directly affects our brain’s capacity to expand our knowledge. So, during a low sleep period, think of your brain like it’s going into survival mode and it’s grasping at whatever it can to get through till your next beauty sleep sesh.

While it’s important to sleep for a decent amount of time per night (generally around seven to nine hours), there are other important aspects to note that may be affecting the quality of our sleep and the energy we expend throughout the day.

Here are a couple that we think are fairly common and mostly affect us:

  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Stress
  • Oversleeping
  • Water Intake
  • Caffeine 

When at least one or more of the above are out of balance, we feel a little ‘bleh’. While things like caffeine and exercise aren’t necessarily ‘bad’ things, an excess of either can overstimulate our brains and affect the quality of our sleep. Then there’s nutrition and water intake – both are necessary for our bodies to function naturally, and thus, sleep well throughout the night. 

There are a multitude of reasons why we need to be sleeping through the night, and why we might not be sleeping through the night, so it’s crucial for us to check in with ourselves regularly to find out what may be stopping us from getting the sleep we deserve.

Our bodies are incredible little machines and it’s truly fascinating to know that something as simple as sleep can have such drastic effects on the way we function.

So, the moral of the story? 

Sleep.

And then sleep some more.