Lack of sleep is making you ill, here’s why

New research conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health  (RSPH) has concluded that the British public is not getting enough sleep. The survey, which was comprised of 2000 people, found that the average sleep time was 6.6 hours, where 7.7 hours were actually needed for a restful sleep. When asked, the survey participants believed that getting enough sleep was second only to not smoking in optimising their health.

Getting enough sleep is vital to staying healthy and can make the difference between a great productive day, and a really bad, slow day. Chief Executive of the RSPH Shirley Cramer said ‘We do need to wake up to the benefits of sleep’ adding ‘poor sleep and sleep disorders impact on our ability to lead a healthy lifestyle and are associated with a range of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart attack and depression.’ Scary!

But fear not, there are ways of getting a longer, more peaceful nights sleep. Here are a few suggestions:


  1. Turn off your mobile devices. Studies have shown that the blue light given off by mobile devices and televisions can negatively affect your sleep by messing with your natural sleep rhythm. Need to wind down? Try reading a book (paper, not device) instead.


  2. Get some exercise. The International Sleep Foundation has said that getting just 150 minutes of exercise per week can lead to an average 65% improvement in sleeping. Also, you should try to exercise earlier in the day, rather than in the evening as exercise will give you a natural burst of energy, which will not help when you are trying to sleep.


  3. Supplement with magnesium. Magnesium is a natural stress reliever and muscle relaxant, so you should find that if you take magnesium supplements you get a better, longer sleep. You could also try having a relaxing warm bath with magnesium bath salts. Do make sure that you check you are able to take magnesium, as with anything you don’t want any adverse reactions.

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