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Who really gets that elusive eight hours of sleep every night?

Eight hours of sleep, every night… come on now? …really? We’re always hearing about how important it is to try and hit that magic number, that elusive 8 hours of sleep, but who actually manages it?

If it’s not crying babies or work stress keeping one up or waking one early, then there’s bound to be something to stop it happening… there always is! The thing is that it really is important, and not only physically but psychologically and even socially.

Sleep affects all areas of our lives, and if you’re cutting it short then you might be experiencing a lower quality of life than you deserve, without even realising it….

sleeping woman in bed
Next time you’re feeling run down and stressed try this experiment: take a quick nap

Physical Benefits and “Beauty Sleep”

You’ll still sometimes hear people talk about getting their “beauty sleep”, and this isn’t entirely inaccurate. You see, all the bodily functions that contribute to an attractive and healthy appearance work better when you’re well rested. Take the skin’s ability to clear itself- to unclog those pores and to process blemishes for example. It does all this very efficiently if you’re getting enough rest as while you’re off dreaming, it’s hard at work.

Or alternatively take little things like the state of your nails- again whilst the conscious self is temporarily out of action, the rest of the system is beavering away to repair and refresh everything from fingernails to the hair. You know when you’ve had a great night’s sleep as you’ll wake feeling fresh and you’ll have an appealing natural glow and energy about you that no beauty product can achieve. Well this is what you should always be feeling when you wake up!

Sleep and Relationships

When you continually “under sleep”, you make harmonious interaction with friends, family and partners more difficult than it has to be. Particularly in the case of partners, proper sleep is important and not getting enough of it can be the cause of various problems. There’s a great piece here from Bedstar on why every relationship needs plenty of sleep. Essentially what you have to remember is that shared time in a shared space in which both partners can fully recharge the batteries and wake up feeling rejuvenated is not a luxury but a necessity for a strong and happy relationship. When things aren’t running smoothly and there’s a lot of butting of heads, much of the time it’s not a question of logic and reason but simply of mood and energy levels.

alarm clock
Are you getting enough sleep?

Psychological Wellbeing

Next time you’re feeling run down and stressed try this experiment: take a quick nap. It might sound like a remedy for a toddler’s bad mood, but it works wonders for adults too. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel after just a five or ten minute nap. Now think about that same effect scaled up to a full night’s sleep and you’ll start to understand the benefits of proper rest. Not only are you less stressed by the little things when you’re well rested, you’re also better able to deal with difficult situations if and when they arise, from provocative colleagues to commutes from hell!