The average adult needs roughly eight hours of optimal sleep per night. That’s the type of sleep that is deep and uninterrupted where you wake up feeling refreshed and super charged for the day. For most however, lack of sleep is a reality, and with it comes a host of problem. If you’ve ever wondered why you’ve had such a tough day after poor sleep, there’s more than one reason why. IsoWhey nutritionist, Belinda Reynolds gives us her insight into how sleeplessness can affect us day to day, and what we need to know about sleep being essential to good health.

Poor mental performance

Sleep plays a vital role in our thinking and learning. With working hours continuing to increase, along with people placing emphasis on active leisure, people may run the risk of sleep limitation. Sleep deprivation can affect cognitive processes and tends to stretch people’s mental performance and capacity, impairing attention, alertness, reasoning and problem solving. Give your brain enough rest, to ensure that you’re on the ball, and not making poor decisions.

Hello, mood swings!

Both sleep and mood are meticulously linked; meagre or insufficient sleep can lead to stress and irritability, whilst a solid sleep can boost wellbeing. As you may know from experience a sleepless night can leave you feeling prickly, quick-tempered, and vulnerable to stress. However, this can also work in reverse. For example if you’re feeling stressed, anxious or agitated, your mood can affect sleep by making the body stimulated, awake, and alert. To support the health of your mood during the day, and help you to feel your best, ensure that you’re heading to bed early enough to achieve around 8 hours per night.

Healthy diet hindrance

When it comes to shifting weight or increasing overall health, diet and exercise are not the only way to achieve results. The amount of slumber we get each night and our day to day stress levels have an integral influence on our body’s ability to lose weight and be healthy.

The human body is an intricate entity which is composed of many diverse systems that connect and interact with each other. Our thoughts drive our behaviours and actions, and our actions can drive our thoughts. Our bodies’ capacity to lose weight is closely connected to our biology and our psychology.

We all know the feeling when you wake up tired and irritable after an awful night’s sleep and before you know it, you’re craving and hunting for sugary, fatty high-energy foods. Or when you’re feeling miserable, mad, frustrated or lonely and reach for a second helping to comfort you. This would be a perfect case of emotional eating whereby your feelings at the time are driving your actions. Try taking an all-inclusive approach, to foster your long-term weight loss and wellbeing success.

Sleep is our time to revitalise and reset

Sleeping habits help to keep your body compositions in check, help mental performance and acuity, and help to reduce the chances of mental disorders like depression and anxiety. When we go to sleep at night, it is like shutting down a computer. We physically rest our bodies, and it is the body’s chance to recuperate, repair and rejuvenate. Whilst we are sleeping, our bodies are undergoing remarkable change – cells are being repaired, the musculoskeletal system gets to relax, and our brain slows down. Long term poor sleep can send our hormones out of balance and lead to other major health complications, so make sleep a priority, it’s seriously important.