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  • Writer's pictureClaire Harrison

Is lack of sleep affecting your life?

We all experience lack of sleep from time to time. Excitement about a celebration, worry about money, stress, working for too long on a computer or problems with your health can all take their toll and lead to a restless night or two. We wake up feeling grumpy and unable to concentrate for the rest of the day.

But did you know that lack of sleep over a prolonged period can have profound effect on your physical health? Regular poor sleep puts us at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes as well as affecting our mental health.

How much sleep do we need?

Most of us need around 8 hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly – but it varies from person to person. You’ll know if you’re not getting enough if you wake up tired and short tempered. After losing sleep for several nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions.

Sleep boosts immunity

If you seem to catch every cold and flu that's going around, your bedtime could be to blame. Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, so you're less able to fend off bugs.

Sleep can affect your weight

Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours a day tend to gain more weight and have a higher risk of becoming obese than those who get a full 7 hours. This is because if you’re sleep-deprived you may have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone).

Sleep and wellbeing

When people with anxiety or depression were surveyed to calculate their sleeping habits, it turned out that most of them slept for less than 6 hours a night. Long-standing sleep deprivation also seems to be associated with increased heart rate, an increase in blood pressure and higher levels of certain chemicals linked with inflammation, which may put extra strain on your heart.

Exercise and sleep

We all know the importance of exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. Working out regularly can help you control your weight, fight heart disease, and boost your mood. But exercise can also promote better sleep at night and greater alertness during the day. Regular exercise, particularly in the morning or afternoon, can impact your sleep quality by raising your body temperature a few degrees. Later in the day, when your internal thermostat drops back to its normal range, this can trigger feelings of drowsiness and help you drop off to sleep.

30 minutes a day, 5 times a week, of moderate to vigorous exercise in the morning or afternoon will help improve your sleep quality. But if you can’t fit that in, even just 10 minutes a day of walking, swimming or biking can improve your sleep health.

The Gyrotonic® Method is an original and unique movement method that addresses the entire person, opening energy pathways, stimulating the nervous system, increasing range of motion, and improving strength and movement efficiency. Classes can be adapted to fit anyone’s ability from those recovering from injury or living with a disability to elite athletes.

If you're suffering from some of the issues mentioned in this blog post, Gyrotonic could be the right exercise to help you get back on the road to sleep recovery. To source classes near you go to and if you live in Brighton, give me a call.

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