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Why eight hours sleep is vital

Dr Nick Baylis, author of Learning from Wonderful Lives, argues that we need at least eight hours sleep in every 24 - and that we shoulld ensure we get them. Pressures of modern life tempt many of us to cut back on our sleep, but that's a false economy since our efficiency drops rapidly if we don?t get enough sleep. The stark fact is that most of us probably get about two hours less sleep per day than our grandparents.

 Poor sleeping patterns have a major impact on our quality of life, with a negative impact on our:

  • physical health
  • energy
  • mood
  • social relations
  • memory
  • problem solving

If we miss a full night’s sleep our immune system drops by about 25%. If we cut our usual sleeping pattern by two hours a night for a week our performance becomes as inefficient as someone who is over the drink-driving limit. Lack of sleep is also associated with obesity, digestive problems and triggering migraines.

Sleep deprivation is a well-known method of torture. While we can live for a couple of weeks or more without food, total sleep deprivation will kill us in just 10 days – a clear sign sleep is as important in our lives as food.

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