The Power of Sleep - for Wellbeing

​I recently attended a professional learning opportunity where Australian psychologist and author Dr Michael Carr-Gregg was speaking about mental health and wellbeing. His address was full of practical tips and ideas around improving our own mental health. I particularly enjoyed his focus on the importance of sleep. Some points he raised are listed below.​

  • just one hour less sleep at night can impact one's alertness the next day by 25%

  • if a person averages only 6 hours of sleep per night their immunity to viral infection can be affected by 50%

  • compared to good sleepers, poor sleepers show... 7 fold increase in accident risk, 3 times absenteeism rate, significantly lower job satisfaction, poorer health, less innovation.

He also spoke about a great book entitled "Fast Asleep - how to get a good night's rest" written by Dr Michael Mosley. Some of the secrets of a good night's sleep include; implement a routine, dim the lights, cool down the sleep space, minimise anxiety, avoid stimulants, reduce blue light exposure. I'll be sure to enhance my own sleep by implementing some of these simple practices.

It's a known fact that primary school aged children should be getting no less than 10 hours of sleep each night. This means that a bedtime of 8:00pm and a wake time of 6:00am would be absolutely appropriate. I understand that life is super busy and sometimes these bedtimes and wake times are unworkable, but I think we all should be aiming for these sleep timings with our kids. I know we are trying hard to stick to these sleep times in our house.