Matthew Walker, a world renowned sleep expert, is busy telling the world we need more sleep. He says sleep is the best thing we can do for our mental and physical health and that ‘it’s the best life insurance there is’. With 2 out of 3 adults not getting enough sleep there’s plenty to improve on.
“There is not one process in the human body, (that we’re aware of) that isn’t improved by sleep”.
There’s a lot to understand about sleep, including how much is enough. Dr Walker’s research indicates that we should aim for 8 hours a night and that all stages of sleep are beneficial. Non-REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, is deep and dreamless and is important for our physical wellbeing. REM sleep on the other hand, is important for our mental wellbeing. Matthew Walker describes it as emotional first aid.
If we don’t get enough sleep we can get caught in a vicious cycle where stressful experiences stay sharp and we get more anxious and stressed rather than less, making it harder to sleep the following nights. Dream sleep takes our stressful experiences and softens the sharp edges so that we are better able to cope.
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