Why are we sleeping less?
Yes, we’re talking to you with your iPad. Whether you’re streaming the latest episode of Stranger Things
, doing your online shopping, or catching up with your BFFS in a group chat, the blue light emitted by your device is going to keep you awake, as it counters the message to your brain to release the sleep hormone melatonin. But if you can’t do without your nightly fix, we have solutions for you below...
The blessing and curse of the connected age is that we have access to our office servers, the internet, etc., at all hours, so it makes it easier for us (and it’s often expected of us) to take our work home, and many of us are working for at least a couple of hours after dinner.
Sleep on it.
If you think that everything slows down while we’re catching our zzzs, think again. There’s only a drop of about 10 percent in our metabolic rate during sleep. So, what on earth is our body doing?
It’s working hard to repair itself.
The repair process happens during repeated cycles of REM sleep during the night. But it takes about three to four hours to get into the first REM cycle, and if we don’t sleep enough, or wake up frequently, we either never get into the full cycle, or we cut it short.
While Liam Hemsworth is paying you a bedroom visit, this is what happens: During deep sleep, tissue-repairing growth hormone production is amped so weakened muscle fibres and exercise-‘damaged’ fibres are repaired. The night-time recovery process makes us stronger and leaner, says Stanford University exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist, Dr Stacy Sims.
Levels of growth hormone, necessary for skin and skin cell repair, peak during sleep, which helps maintain collagen and fight wrinkles. Blood circulation to our skin also increases, helping to eliminate impurities and boost nutrient absorption.