In the lead up to Christmas our daily lives often become a lot busier, as we cram with those extra things we need to do before Christmas and our holidays, as well as meet up with friends we haven’t seen for a while. One of the first things that tends to suffer to fit these things in, are our sleep and exercise routines.
Sleep is a powerful tool and an asset that many of us take for granted. It is one of our best healing powers while too little sleep slows recovery time from injury, and adversely affects overall physical and mental health. When we fail to sleep for 7 to 9 hours nightly, we feel the immediate effects. Good quality sleep of 8 hours can improve the effects of ageing, and improve memory, healing from injuries and optimise well – being.
The National Sleep Foundation of Australia recommends that adults between 18-64 years old have 7 to 9 hours sleep each night, and people over 65 years 7 to 8 hours. Despite this advice, 45% of Australians do not get the recommended hours of sleep.
One way to improve the quality and quantity of sleep is to participate in consistent physical exercise. Adequate sleep, daily exercise and a nutritious diet are the cornerstones of a healthy life. While scientists are discovering more reasons why we sleep and what constitutes quality sleep, it’s evident that exercise benefits sleep quality in adults of all ages and children. Sleep increases the time spent in slow-wave patterns of sleep, or deep sleep, which is important for body repair and maintenance. Moreover, exercise improves the duration of sleep which helps to moderate our high intensity and busy lives (Kelley, G. A. and K. S. Kelley (2017). “Exercise and sleep: a systematic review of previous meta-analyses.” Journal of Evidence Based Medicine 10(1): 26-36.)
So as we head into the busy season try and get a little extra sleep and keep up with your exercise routine.
Hope this helps, Deb