Experts are often heard to say that quality sleep is vital for our health, helping to improve our brain performance and reducing the risk of a range of illnesses, such as heart disease and stroke related obesity.

But why does our body need sleep to combat these problems and how much sleep is enough? We aim to answer these burning questions. 

How does sleep improve our health?

As we sleep our bodies release hormones that work to repair our cells and control the use of energy in our body. These hormones can also affect body weight, which is why sleep is so important when we are trying to keep fit. A good sleep will help to ensure that you wake up feeling full of energy and can encourage you to make better food choices, as you won’t be looking for that quick energy fix. 

How much sleep do I need?

At different stages of your life you will need different amounts of sleep in order to stay healthy. As a baby, a child and a teenager you will need more sleep than adults, as your body will be growing and developing. As a fully grown adult it is recommended that you strive for 7 hours of sleep per night, which will allow your body and mind to rest and recover. This will enable you to perform to your best ability the following day, giving you energy to workout.

What should I consider as quality sleep?

It’s not just about how much sleep you get each night, it’s about the quality of sleep that you achieve. It is an ideal situation if you can fall asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed, are able to only wake up once throughout the night and can then go back to sleep within 20 minutes. This will all help to ensure that you wake up energised and ready for the day ahead, preventing you from snacking for energy gains and allowing you to get the most from any exercise that you undertake.