This past week, I finished one of the most stressful books that I have ever read. Why we sleep by Matthew Walker.
This non-fiction book goes through the biological basis of why we sleep taking us through from baby to adulthood. It delves into what a lack of sleep can do to your body and mind and various psycological experiments that have occurred for the scientific world to come to these conclusions. The most striking findings for me was about sleep deprivation and it’s impacts on your cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular diseases are one of the top health concerns for many developed countries including Australia. Progressively shorter sleep is associated with a 45% increase in risk of developing and/or dying from coronary heart disease within 7-25 years from the study. This study is quoted to have included over 500,000 participants from a range of ages and ethnicities.
Even just one night with a loss of an hour or 2 of sleep, can impact on your blood pressure (in a bad way). Yikes!
As you can imagine, reading this book before I went to bed caused me all sorts of anxiety hoping that I would have a good sleep for 8 hours or increase my risk of all these bad repercussions for my body immediately.
The next part of the book talks about dreaming, why we dream and some sleep disorders. I’ve never really into dream analysis or keeping dream diaries however abnormal functioning of the brain has always fascinated me.
The final part of the book looks at how the modern world has impacted on our sleep. From the invention of light, screens and pills. As well as how society is set up and how sleep fits into how our society is today. This was interesting but doesn’t surprise me when societies do not take into considering the research (on any topic) but provides food for more though about how a better society might be like.
I mostly get my solid 7-8 hours of sleep a night and I do prioritise it and have learnt to over time. I do sometimes have the tendancy to get really worked up about something in the hours before bed so do get the occasional nights where I can’t fall asleep as I’m ruminated over something (that doesn’t need ruminated at that time of the day!).
How is your sleep?
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