The only time we realise the importance of sleep is after we pay a hefty price of a night with very little, or none, of it.
Sleep is such a natural part of our routine that we often take it for granted, to the point that the majority of us do not take heed of its quality or the amount we are getting on a daily basis.
Current research has shown that people spend nearly a quarter of their lives sleeping and it is an essential, physiological need, just like food and water. It is also vital for recovery of cellular, network and endocrine system levels.
Marija Sostaric, a fitness expert and co-founder of a bespoke health and fitness programme provider called Tamryn, reiterated the importance of sleep in helping us maintain our physical and mental health, and how quality sleep is even more necessary for enhancing our athletic performance.
“Quality sleep is essential to recover from daily routines and training sessions, but also it is basic requirement to prepare your body for upcoming daily demands in the days to come,” she said.
“Scientists recognise sleep as a key element of athletes’ recovery and it is essential in motor skill learning process, so sleep is one of the most crucial parts of an athlete’s life.”
She added: “Some of the health problems associated with and caused by a lack of sleep are well known and experts have found a correlation between lack of sleep and an increase of obesity and diabetes cases.”
The effects of lack of sleep are further evidenced through a person’s psychological performance and mood states, so if ever you feel like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, always remember that there is more to it than just that.
According to Sostaric, one of the most commonly reported issues among athletes is sleep deprivation, which is often associated with the overtraining syndrome, and lots of studies have proved the negative impact of excessive training on sleeping patterns.
A normal adult requires between five to eight hours of sleep and Sostaric insists that a good night’s sleep is more under our control than we actually think.
“There are a few guidelines one needs to follow in order to ensure a good night’s sleep. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and other chemicals that interfere with sleep too close to bed time,” Sostaric added.
“Do not exercise too close to bed time, because it will activate alerting mechanism in your brain and it won’t help you fall asleep.”
Sostaric also says that a cosy environment ensures better sleep and the whole idea is to lower the body’s alertness, so it’s easier to fall asleep.
Due to the rapid increase in sleep-related disorders and considerable amount of interest in the subject, a dedicated expo and conference will be held from April 11-13 at Festival Arena, Dubai.
The Sleep Expo Middle East is poised to bring together all stakeholders of the sleeping technology industry in the GCC region under one roof to raise awareness, and a showcase of latest innovative solutions aiding sleep.
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