Our health is in serious jeopardy, but what from? It's not what you think.
Day in and day out we strive to eat whole grains, avoid sugar, get plenty of quality exercise, avoid too much alcohol...the list goes on. Why? It is because we want to be at our optimum health. We want to live long and happy lives free of illness and disease.
Unfortunately the one area of our health that we should be placing the most emphasis on is the one that - until recently - was getting the least amount of attention. We're talking about our sleep.
In times past, we worked from sunup to sundown, and slept blissfully while the world outside was dark. Today's modern society is vastly different. Artificial lights drive away the night, enabling us to continue working long after we should be in bed.
In addition, our universal culture thrives on action, on being connected, and we're perpetually in a state of "doing". Sharing, chatting, tweeting, searching, working, studying - constantly afraid that we'll miss the next newsflash, an update, a deadline, an event. With all the world's knowledge at our fingertips, it's so difficult to just stop and let go.
By not disconnecting and taking time out to relax and replenish ourselves on a daily basis, our bodies and minds become overloaded, and this is where the trouble starts. Lack of sleep is often the culprit behind anxiety, stress, depression, and a myriad of health problems.
We don't chalk up our frequent colds and sniffles to a lack of sleep, even when it has been proven that poor quality sleep lowers your immune resistance.
We don't stop to think that our dependence on sugar and fast food could be related to our sleeping habits - when it's a phenomenon that has been documented for years.
The sleep revolution is changing that. Scientific studies are popping up left, right, and centre, demystifying what goes on while we sleep and unveiling its importance in maintaining our physical, emotional, and mental health and wellbeing.
Schools are pushing back their starting times to let teenage students get extra shuteye. Hotels and motels now offer special rooms to nap in so you can rest during your lunch break. We're turning off our smart devices before we lie down in bed. Our health is (slowly) starting to improve.
While it may take some more time before everyone hops aboard the sleep revolution, you don't have to wait.
Start today. Start going to bed just that little bit earlier.
09 Jan 2017