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Wake up call

Every now and again we get a wake up call in areas of our lives that matter. Often representing a watershed moment, a wake up call is often when we realise – perhaps for the first time – the true value of something.

Last week the BBC reported government ministers are preparing to issue guidance on how much sleep we should be getting. Expected as part of a series of proposals geared at improving public health in the U.K., recommendations will serve as national guidelines regarding both daily recommended hours for sleep and factors around sleep hygiene. Read more at the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-48972243.

No doubt, there will be a proportion of the population that will decry the rise of the nanny state at this news. But, to those of us in the know when it comes to sleep, this news comes as no surprise.

The fact is, the nation does need a wake up call when it comes to sleep. There’s a tranche of research now evidencing the link between sleep and our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. However, worryingly, in spite of this increase in data, data is also showing us that the nation’s sleep is deteriorating.

According to The Great British Bedtime Report produced by The Sleep Council, we’re sleeping less. 12% of people are sleeping less than five hours – representing an increase of 5% in the last four years.*

So if you don’t want government ministers telling you when to go to bed, it’s worth considering the words of the writer Elbert Hubbard: “Responsibility is the price of freedom.” Take responsibility for your sleep, that way no one else will need to.

* Participants were surveyed in 2017 and 2013 respectively, read the report in full at sleeepcouncil.org.uk