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Is it bedtime?

Why it’s important to get a good night’s sleep 

You have most likely heard that sleep is very important throughout your life, that it allows your body and mind to recharge. However, there are some common misconceptions about sleep that could lead to greater tiredness in the long term.

Some misunderstandings of sleep include your body getting used to having less sleep, when actually it affects decision making, memory, focus and creativity, and that taking a nap makes up for lack of sleep at night. Whilst it gives a quick boost of energy, a nap is not a substitute for sleep at night due to the fact you don’t go through the stages of sleep as you would at night. This means it just disrupts your sleep schedule even more.

Another myth about sleep is that if you can’t sleep it’s best to stay in bed until you fall asleep, however, experts recommend if you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, instead of tossing and turning you should get up and do something relaxing and quiet in a dim setting, as long as it does not include electronic devices.It’s important to associate your bed with sleep, whereas struggling to sleep will do the opposite and instead associate your bed with frustration. 

As a teenager you will need on average 9 to 9 and a half hours of sleep a night. This is important in the short term as it improves concentration and focus, and in the long term if you don’t have the correct amount of sleep it can lead to heart disease and diabetes. It may also lead to a shorter life expectancy, making this definitely something you want to correct now rather than continuing on into later life. 

Fun facts about sleep 

  • The sensation of falling when half asleep and jerking yourself awake is called hypnic jerks
  • Experts have discovered a link between sleeping positions and personality traits 
  • Within 5 minutes of waking up 50% of your dream is already forgotten 
  • 41% of the UK population sleep in the foetal position 
  • It’s thought that 15% of the population are sleepwalkers 

Abby, Maia and Lucia, Year 10

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