Sleep is an important process which refreshes both the body and the mind. It also boosts the immune system. After a good night's sleep you feel well and are able to give your best right through to the following evening.
How much sleep is enough?
Everyone has different sleep habits. How much sleep a person needs depends on their age, sex and genetic make-up. While some adults find that six hours is enough, infants (4-11 months) need between 12 and 15 hours’ sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends that individuals aged between 18 and 64 should sleep for at least eight hours per night. When trying to work out how much sleep you need, it’s best to trust your body. If you wake up in the morning feeling fit and ready for the day, then you've definitely had enough sleep.
What about a nap at lunchtime?
A lunchtime nap can be very restorative as long as it doesn’t last for more than twenty minutes. It should deliver an energy boost for the next three to four hours. If you feel less energetic after your nap than before, you should try simply lying down and relaxing instead.
What happens if you don't get enough sleep
Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on overall health. Concentration is reduced, memory function declines, and mood is adversely affected. Persistent sleep disorders can lead to depression, increased blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. In addition, there is an increased risk of accident, both in road traffic and at work because acute sleep deprivation affects people in much the same way as alcohol consumption.
Do you suffer from a sleep disorder? Do you have trouble getting to sleep or sleeping through the night? Maybe you wake up too early? SWICA can help you. At www.swica.ch/sleep you can find a wealth of information on sleep problems, a test for measuring your sleep quality, useful tips, and the details of people you can contact directly for personal support.