Sleep has been shown to be as important to the human body as food and water, but most of us still don’t get enough sleep. We obtain treatment for illness or injury – yet we generally fail to seek help when we aren’t getting enough sleep. The average length of sleep has declined from around 9 hours a hundred years ago to seven hours or less today. And the depth of sleep has also declined.
Sleep is complicated in the way that there are many different factors that influence the effectiveness of sleep. It’s not just duration that determines the effectiveness of said sleep, factors such as quality, frame of mind and deepness all contribute to the maximum desired outcome and even our perception of how we sleep. Many factors can play a part in the quality and quantity of our sleep and to maximize our sleep time an understanding of this is essential.
On average a healthy person will spend around one third of their life sleeping. Sleep is considered a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes will usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost resulting in a decrease in bodily movements and responsiveness to external stimuli. Inadequate hours of good quality sleep leads to a disruption to vital biological processes resulting in a decrease in cognitive function mental and physical health including impaired work performance due to a decrease in attention, judgment and responsible decision making.