Lack of sleep could be more damaging than you realise

THERE is some bad news coming for late night players of Candy Crush – your addiction to the craze internet game could be seriously affecting your sleep habits.
THERE is some bad news coming for late night players of Candy Crush – your addiction to the craze internet game could be seriously affecting your sleep habits. Max Fleet

THERE is some bad news coming for late night players of Candy Crush - your addiction to the craze internet game could be seriously affecting your sleep habits.

But what counts as a decent night's sleep?

According to Attune Total Sleep Care clinician Fran O'Brien, it varies for everyone.

"But as far as patterns go, it's the same for everybody," she said.

Ms O'Brien said it was very important to keep the same sleep schedule - that means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.

"Your bedtime habits should also be the same," she said.

"Day-to-day lifestyle choices also play a really big part - no alcohol or caffeine before bed."

Ms O'Brien recommended developing "good sleep hygiene".

"Create a regular bedtime routine," she said.

"Turn the TV off, keep the noise down and keep the room cool - just really sensible things which a lot of people don't really get."

As a general rule of thumb, Ms O'Brien said catching about eight hours of z's each night was sufficient enough to function effectively on a day-to-day basis.

However, with lives becoming increasingly busier, she said for some, eight hours was hard to manage.

"Our days are just so full; we are just too busy and we tend to squeeze sleep in," she said.

"It's almost a luxury as opposed to something we actually need."

For those who feel like they can't get through the day without a power kip, Ms O'Brien said there could be an underlying issue.

"There are times where we all need a bit of a nanna nap," she said.

"If that's something that you're finding is quite regular, that you are feeling really fatigued, it probably is something you need to speak to your doctor about."

Ms O'Brien said there were growing concerns about the increase in people being diagnosed with sleep apnea, with obesity being one of the major causes.

"We're seeing a lot more of that at the moment," she said.

"People go to sleep and their airway closes, so there is no oxygen going to the brain and they wake up several times each night.

"When they wake up in the morning they are absolutely exhausted."

While many people are guilty of being glued to their iPads, kindles and mobile phones in those last few minutes before getting some shut eye, Ms O'Brien said it was time to step away from electronic devices as soon as you slipped under the covers.

"Candy Crush - we've all done it," she said with a laugh.

"The next thing you know, there goes a couple of hours."

Topics:  sleep

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