Is sleep that important?
Updated: Oct 18, 2019
Once upon a time we might have fallen asleep to a night time fairy tale. Maybe we got a little older and bought into the myth that sleep wasn't that important. That there were more important things to be doing or even a kind of bravado to see how little sleep we could do with.
Then we might just start to realise that the absence of enough sleep can become a nightmare. Constant thoughts, tiredness, lack of productivity, creativity and that's just for a start.
Perhaps we've read an article about the association of sleep with weight gain, serious illness and more - one of the best around is "Why we sleep" by scientist Matthew Walker. It is one of the clearest and most evidence-led arguments for tucking ourselves up in bed well before midnight every night (or at least most anyway!).
Sleep is the only time our brain gets to be detoxed. The brain doesn't have a 24hour lymph system to keep it clean. It is only when we sleep that the brain's own sewage system, research about which was only published in 2017, gets to work to wash away and excrete the rubbish that accumulates during the day.
But it's not just our body's cleaners that are working in our brains at night, we are also busy processing our experiences, embedding learning and memories and re-energising the body's cells.
Matthew Walker includes a helpful list at the end of this book of actions to help with your sleep. Sometimes we know what helps us to sleep better individually, and if that is the case, then the best thing to do is to prioritise those things. Because sleep is the most important thing that we do.
With the Control System we can also address sleep issues by helping the subconscious mind to understand why sleep is so important and helping the body to reprogramme its habits and priorities.
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