Why sleep is the answer to everything.
Sleep’s great, we can all agree. There’s nobody who doesn’t enjoy an afternoon siesta or a full-on 8 hour snooze. But worryingly, a third of us aren’t getting enough of it. Read on to find out why you should give yourself more time for some shut-eye every night.
1. Sleep improves our memory and cognition
Studies show that sleep can improve both our semantic memory (facts) and our procedural memory (skills), as well as other cognitive processes like focussing our attention. If we’re deprived of sleep, these processes decline. Bottom line: sleep more, or you’ll forget your grandma’s birthday. AGAIN.
2. It can benefit your athletic ability
Studies show that athletes who’ve had more sleep are far more able to sustain tougher workouts and show improved athletic performance. Athletes who are deprived of sleep show the opposite trend and perform much worse. Roger Federer, for example, always makes sure he sleeps 10 hours a night leading up to a match. Obviously, we’re not all world class tennis players (sad face), but if you’ve been dreaming of a new PB in the gym or want to run your fastest 5k, then dreaming might genuinely be the way to get there.
3. Sleeping enough can help you lose weight and eat more healthily
We all love a cupcake. But if you’re sleep deprived, you’ll be waaaaay more likely to pick one up than opting for a salad - we tend to consume more fatty, sugary foods when we’re sleep deprived. There’s also an ever-growing link between (lack of) sleep and obesity. This is actually great news if you’re looking to lose weight, because rather than spending your life in the gym, it might be more helpful to spend a few more hours in bed.
4. It protects you against diseases like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s
Self explanatory, really. Longitudinal studies have shown that more sleep = decreased likelihood of these scary conditions.
If you’re thinking: this sounds great, but how do I get better sleep in the first place? Here’s a few tips:
1. Lower the temperature
Your brain needs to drop its temperature by 1-2 degrees in order to initiate sleep. Put on a fan, sleep in light, breathable clothing (or get naked, teehee), or have a hot bath before sleep - getting out of the bath will cause your body temperature to drop.
2. Put the phone down
We’ve all heard it. Our mums have shouted at us about it. But it’s true - artificial light is RUINING our sleep. If you can, put away any screens an hour before bed and dim the lights to let your body know it’s time to sleep.
3. Meditate, practice mindfulness, or find another way of clearing your mind and de-stressing before bed
Stress is one of the main reasons why a lot of us are finding it so hard to sleep at night. Chill out. Relax. Wind down.
4. Pour yourself a Pause
We made this because we care about helping everyone get enough sleep in as natural a way as possible. Taking Pause half an hour before bed will get your body all nice and prepped to get to sleep, stay asleep and wake up feeling refreshed the next morning.
If you found yourself yawning while reading this, we won’t be offended. Go forth and snooze!