Website BLOG Header Understanding Arthritis (3) (1)
Sarah holland

Sarah holland

The Importance of Good Quality Sleep

Unveiling the Sleep-Health Connection: Exploring the Vital Link Between Quality Rest and Overall Wellbeing

Good quality sleep is essential to almost every function of the human body. For something so simple, it is unfortunately too common for many adults to struggle to get either enough hours of sleep or good quality sleep, and for some unlucky people they experience both. When we are asleep, our bodies are busy recovering and improving multiple bodily functions from muscle tissue healing to healthy brain function. This is why it is incredibly important for all adults and children to get adequate hours and quality of sleep to ensure good health and wellbeing throughout your life.

Benefits of sleep

As mentioned earlier, sleep is involved in a numerous bodily functions some of these include:

  • Heart & circulatory system: reduces your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure & stroke
  • Hormones: encourages healthy hormonal function & improves stress levels
  • Metabolism: ensures normal levels of appetite, reduces your risk of being overweight & obese
  • Respiratory function: reduces your risk of chronic respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Immune function: reduces your risk of getting sick & if you are sick it helps you recover faster
  • Musculoskeletal function: improves tissue recovery & healing
  • Cognitive function: improves brain function including learning, concentration & memory

How much sleep do we need?

Every stage of life has a different requirement for hours of sleep, these include:

  • Newborn/Infant/Toddler: 14-17hrs depending on their age
  • Pre-school (3-5 yrs): 10-13hrs
  • School-age (6-13 yrs): 9-11hrs
  • Teen (14-17 yrs): 8-10hrs
  • Adults: 7-9hrs

Common misconceptions about sleep

Older adults don’t need as much sleep

  • This is false, every adult needs at least 7-9hrs per night
  • As we age we’re more likely to be a light sleeper or have conditions that interfere with sleep but this doesn’t mean we don’t need a minimum of 7hrs

You can pay off sleep debt

  • This is also incorrect
  • Once you have had a poor night’s sleep you can’t fix it by sleeping in a few extra hours the next night
  • If you do find yourself lacking hours, it is a better option to add a half an hour to a few nights in a row to help your body get back to normal

Caffeine before bed doesn’t interfere with sleep

  • If you can manage to fall asleep after having a coffee that is pretty impressive but it still causes issues with your sleep quality
  • Caffeine is able to block certain receptions in the brain that would normally allow us to reach deep stages of sleep, so it’s best to reduce caffeine intake after 12pm

What can you do to improve your sleep?

Sleep hygiene can be improved in the following ways:

  • Have a regular bedtime & wake up time regardless of the day of the week. Sleeping longer or at different times on the weekend can interfere with getting a good night’s rest during the week. Your body & brain love routine so keeping this time consistent is essential
  • Reduce napping, caffeine intake & alcohol close to your bedtime
  • Reduce snacking before bed
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment- Keep your room cool & dark
  • Reduce stress levels with techniques such a meditation
  • Reduce or better yet remove any devices that have a blue light such as your phone or tv. This light interferes with the brain’s ability to detect that it is dark which impacts the release of a hormone known as melatonin which makes you tired
  • See your osteopath if pain in the neck and/or upper back is interfering with your sleep 

Sleep disorders

In some cases people can suffer from sleep related disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnoea & restless leg syndrome. Keep in mind that it’s normal to have trouble sleeping every now and then but if you believe you may be suffering from a sleep related disorder you should speak to your GP to get further information and help.

  1. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/sleep/why-sleep-important
  2. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/why-do-we-need-sleep

Share this post

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top