Sleep, diet, exercise are the keys to overall health. Forget diet and exercise! It doesn’t matter how you choose to look at it, sleep is the most essential ingredient for optimum health.
Unfortunately, with all the focus on diet and exercise, sleep seems to have become the forgotten cousin. Let’s face it, as a nation, we seem to have an obsession with food and fitness.
It doesn’t matter which social platform, TV channel or paid subscription you’re on, there is an overwhelming amount of interest being shed on diet especially.
Compared to Sleep, are diet and exercise are overrated?
Programmes like Forks over Knives and Game Changers have changed the way that people view their diet. Sadly though, many are often missing the vital component for a healthy lifestyle, and that is sleep!
Now I’m not saying that a good diet, and regular exercise aren’t important. Obviously, they are, but let’s put things into perspective for a moment.
If you went a week without food, sleep or exercise
which do you think your body would crave first?
Diet and exercise
Poor sleep, diet and exercise can impact our health but if you go a week without exercise it rarely, if ever, has a huge impact on your health. Nor will it affect your ability to function or do your job efficiently, unless perhaps you’re a professional athlete.
Overall you can be less stringent with your diet and exercise yet still engage in daily activities without it having too much of a negative impact on your overall health. You may put on a little weight, but it usually won’t be life changing or even life threatening.
But try and go without sleep for 7 days. It’s impossible. And, within a day or two you will find it impossible to function properly.
The importance of getting long, deep sleep on a regular basis is very much recognised by health professionals. Yet it is still frequently undervalued by most of society in general.
A recent study has shown that when trying to function on 5 – 6 hours sleep, the average person has the same cognitive impairment as someone who has a blood alcohol level greater than 0.05 for the entire day!
Until recently, there hasn’t been the medical amount of research available that there is now. Researchers are now documenting the compounding dangers of poor sleep health.
The other attributing factor is that many of us often view sleep as of secondary importance to other activities. We just don’t seem to give it the priority that it truly deserves. We put up with poor sleeping conditions or uncomfortable beds sometimes for years without fully appreciating the detrimental affect it is having on our health.
Some Interesting Sleep Facts
Over 59.4% of Australians don’t get enough sleep. Not enough sleep has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and depression.
If you average 7 hours of sleep per night between the ages of 30 – 50 you will reduce your chances of dementia in old age by a massive 40%!
Never underestimate sleep. It’s vital for survival and for the quality of our health and overall physical and emotional well-being.
Sleep, diet and exercise are intrinsically linked but more importance needs to be placed on sleep.
Sleep diet exercise are intrinsically linked but more importance needs to be placed on sleep. Limited or poor-quality sleep affects every aspect of your life. Make deep, regular sleep a priority in your life. I promise that you will notice improvement in the quality of your work life, home life and your relationships.