Today marks World Sleep Day, this is an annual event which is intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on issues related to sleep.

We realise there can be many reasons for not getting enough sleep; it could be due to sleep apnoea, stress, anxiety, someone else's sleeping habits keeping you awake, trying to fit too much in to your day and not prioritising sleep or maybe you are guilty of scrolling through your phone until the early hours. Do some of these sound familiar?

Most of you can probably tell when you have had a sufficient night's sleep or not enough sleep (fatigue, lack of concentration, short temper are all tell-tale signs of not having enough) but do we really know how important it is and why we should prioritise sleep as much as possible?

Why is sleep so important?

Sleeping is essential, it is a time for your body to rest, repair and restore. Not having enough sleep will affect you physically and mentally and could lead to longer term health problems.

Neuroscientist Matthew Walker looks at some of the potential longer term effects as a direct result of not having enough sleep. In an article he states that there are powerful links between sleep loss and Alzheimer's disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and poor mental health.

Walker also provides some statistics: "more than 20 large scale epidemiological studies all report the same clear relationship: the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. To take just one example, adults aged 45 years or older who sleep less than six hours a night are 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke in their lifetime, as compared with those sleeping seven or eight hours a night."

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/24/why-lack-of-sleep-health-worst-enemy-matthew-walker-why-we-sleep.

Hypnotherapy and sleep

If you want to make a positive change to help improve your sleep hypnotherapy from a qualified hypnotherapist can be a useful tool. Hypnotherapy can, among other things, help you to relax your mind and body which could help aid sleep.

If the information above is not enough to persuade you that sleep is important, the NHS have provided 7 positive impacts getting a good night's sleep can have on your health :

- Sleep helps boost immunity

- Sleep can help slim you

- Sleep helps boost mental wellbeing

- Sleep helps prevent diabetes

- Sleep helps to increase sex drive

- Sleep helps to ward off heart disease

- Sleep helps to increase fertility

https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/lack-of-sleep-health-risks.aspx.

If you would like to see a hypnotherapist and want to find someone near you, it is important to check they are on an Accredited Register. You can search the National Hypnotherapy Society's Accredited Register here: https://www.nationalhypnotherapysociety.org/find-therapist/.

It is also important to seek advice from your GP if you think your lack of sleep could be due to a medical condition.