'Sleep is the Swiss army knife of health'

15 March marks World Sleep Day and highlights the burden of sleep problems on individuals and society, through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.

There is an array of reasons why you might not be able to get in a full eight hours of sleep.

Sleep deprivation can threaten your health and quality of life.

Azania Mosaka sat down with Chief Behaviour Igniter and co-founder at FAB Quotient Joni Peddie.

She explains that sleep is the 'Swiss army knife of health' and that it is more important than what you eat and how you exercise.

Less than a minimum of seven hours a night will affect the hormonal levels in your body, she says.

We have this dreadful hormone called Ghrelin that is produced if we seep less than seven hours and that makes you crave sugar and carbs - food that is not good for your brain or energy levels. Sleep affects what you eat.

Joni Peddie, Chief Behaviour Igniter and co-founder - FAB Quotient

Too little sleep also compromises your leptin production, another necessary hormone.

That is the hormone that says, wow, I just had this beautiful lunch and one plate is enough. It affects exercise, if you are sleep deprived you are not going to go for a walk in the morning. It also affects how you behave. More sleep means more compassion and more ability to deal with challenges.

Joni Peddie, Chief Behaviour Igniter and co-founder - FAB Quotient

She says the elements of good quality sleep are quantity, quality and uninterrupted sleep - and you need about 8 hours.

Switching off all gadgets like your cellphone and laptop, one hour before you go to sleep, will improve your sleep quality.

You want uninterrupted sleep from seven to eight hours, and if you do get up, do not switch on your lights (or cellphone).

Joni Peddie, Chief Behaviour Igniter and co-founder - FAB Quotient

Try limit the caffeine and alcohol as well.

We should all stop drinking coffee at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Have a look at your eating regime, especially after 2 in the afternoon and make sure you get the uninterrupted sleep.

Joni Peddie, Chief Behaviour Igniter and co-founder - FAB Quotient

Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...


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