With hectic schedules, constant screen time and work at our fingertips, many people struggle with sleep in the modern world - but that's something local Nutritionist and Health Coach, Daniel White, would like to change...
"Sleep suffers desperately at the hands of a PR problem.
Let’s be honest – sleeping isn’t glamorous, and it can be a pretty hard sell given the constant challenge, distraction and stimulation of our modern world. Nonetheless, it’s a fundamental aspect of life that many of us scrape through paying as little attention to as possible.
The dictionary defines sleep as:
‘A natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost, so that there is a decrease in bodily movement and responsiveness to external stimuli.’
The first key take-away? Sleep is a natural period of rest for our mind and body. Therefore, if we aren’t sleeping properly, we aren’t functioning naturally.
Pictured: Daniel White said quality of sleep and quality of life go hand in hand.
We now know that the quality of our sleep regulates the function of almost all hormones produced by our body. This, in turn, makes or breaks our ability to maintain a stable mood, lose weight, gain muscle, slow ageing, prevent cancer and avoid diabetes, heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s, as well as dictating our ability to perform at the highest level mentally and physically.
The honest truth is that the quality of our sleep and the quality of our life goes hand in hand. There isn’t one aspect of our mental, emotional, physical or spiritual life that isn’t affected by our ability to achieve deep and restful sleep.
Unless we give ourselves access to the right amount of high-quality sleep on a daily basis, we’ll will never be able to achieve the body, brain or life that we want and deserve.
I know this all too well. I plugged away with work and life, burning the candle at both ends, never truly realising that the answers to improving my health, happiness, performance and productivity were concealed in my poor sleep habits. Steadily making lifestyle changes that prioritised my sleep unlocked a whole new world for me.
One of the largest problems I see is that our culture doesn't respect sleep as the life-enhancing miracle that it is. Quite the opposite, as we’re often programmed from a young age that in order to be successful, we should work more, work harder and perhaps even “sleep when we’re dead”.
Pictured: Daniel White believes modern work ethic plays a part in our sleep issues.
The route to health and success is not shortcut by skipping dreamland.
When we commit to renovating our lifestyle choices so that we can access deeper and more restful sleep, we aren’t just avoiding disease and ill health, we’re providing the opportunity to upgrade every area of our health.
We appear more youthful, we’re better able to manage our emotions and appetite, we can focus, concentrate and perform better in every area of our life because deep, nourishing sleep fills us with energy that magnifies our body’s ability to heal, recover and thrive.
I believe it’s time our society recognised the importance of teaching people how to sleep better, so that perhaps we can start to treat sleeping like any other important skill to learn."
Mr White is running a Channel Islands' Sleep Challenge this month, in an attempt to educate local people about sleep and the steps they can take to improve their daily rest.
Pictured top: Daniel White.