Why is sleep SO important?

Lack of sleep can be detrimental to your health!  Big statement to make? YES! As it is oh so very true. Sleep deprivation is costing the UK economy up to 40 billion pounds a year and those who are sleep deprived (sleep less than 6 hours per night) are 13% more likely to die earlier than those getting 7-9 hour sleep.  This is a worldwide problem, not just in the UK.

US loses 1.2 million working days a year, costing $411bn (£328bn) or 2.28% of GDP

Japan loses 600,000 working days a year, costing $138bn or 2.92% of GDP

UK loses 200,000 working days a year, costing £40bn, or 1.86% of GDP

Germany loses 200,000 working days a year, costing $60bn, or 1.56% of GDP

Canada loses 80,000 working days a year, costing $21.4bn or 1.35% of GDP

The “healthy daily sleep range” is between seven and nine hours per night.

We spend nearly a third of our lives asleep, sleep is just as vital to our health as the food we eat and the air that we breath.  Lack of sleep effects our memory, cognition and our ability to concentrate.  After sleep deprivation, our frontal and parietal lobes of our brain have much LESS signs of activity and these are the areas of are brain that are critical for decision making, problem solving and memory.

According to ROSPA (Royal society for the prevention of accidents), driver fatigue may be a contributory factor in up to 20% of road accidents, and up to one quarter of fatal and serious accidents.

These types of crashes are about 50% more likely to result in death or serious injurie as they tend to be high speed impacts because a driver who has fallen asleep cannot brake or swerve to avoid or reduce the impact. Crashes caused by tired drivers are most likely to happen:

 

. On long journeys on monotonous roads, such as motorways

. Between 2am and 6am

. Between 2pm and 4pm (especially after eating, or taking even one alcoholic drink)

. After having less sleep than normal

. After drinking alcohol

. If taking medicines that cause drowsiness

. After long working hours or on journeys home after long shifts, especially night shifts

I have touched on why sleep is SO important and it would be great for you to share your stories.  You are not alone in suffering from sleep deprivation and its effects.

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