Is sleep the answer to a healthier life? by Catriona Cookson

I noticed over the last few weeks as we left one year and entered another, there was a lot of coverage about sleep and how important it is, not just important but really important! I heard the Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation asked on television “What is the one thing we could all do in 2020 to improve our mental health?” His answer was simple – “Get more sleep”

Last week on my commute to work I listened to a fascinating Desert Island Discs episode – even if DIC is not your thing, this one s well worth a listen! The guest on the 8th December 2019 episode is Professor Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford. For a man whose specialist knowledge is sleep and rest, he is fizzing with energy and a fascinating guest. He describes sleep as “the single most important health behaviour we have”.

So, while we are all full of good intentions at the start of the New Year, going to bed a little earlier may be one of the easier ones on your list to aim for. And if you haven’t had your flu jab yet and think we haven’t seen the worst of the winter …an interesting aside from the Prof was to have your flu jab in the morning as you produce more antibodies then so it will be more effective!

So take more exercise, eat well, moderate your drinking by all means but for a healthy 2020, find time for some more sleep!


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