Sleep ''is important for rest, growth and repair''
The function of sleep is to enable the body to rest and restore itself, but failure to get a proper night's shut-eye could significantly impede this process, an expert has stated.
Marianne Davey, director of the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association, said restful sleep is one of the most important daily functions the body has to go through, as during this time a number of hormones are released that stimulate the body's cells to repair themselves.
These hormones cannot be released during the time a person is awake, as other chemicals are needed to keep a person alert and ready to tackle whatever the day throws at them.
As a result, without a proper amount of restful sleep, the body will be unable to effectively repair itself and therefore people could become more prone to ill health.
Ms Davey commented: "Brain function suffers most from lack of sleep as it reduces the capacity for decision making, impairs judgement, affects memory and concentration.
"Physical consequences include headache, gastrointestinal problems and there is increasing evidence that there is a link between lack of sleep and a higher risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and obesity."
She added that poor sleep patterns can therefore be a major worry for individuals, as if the proper hormones are not released during sleep, people can wake up feeling sluggish and less able to function properly during the day.
Ms Davey's comments follow the publication of new research from Ofcom as part of its annual Communications Market Report, in which it highlighted the growing problem of technology interfering with the ability of people to switch off effectively from their day-to-day responsibilities.
According to the findings, the average person now sends more than 200 text messages per month and this increasing intrusion of technology into people's lives means they are less able to wind down and switch off from their daily stresses come the end of the day.
Posted by Elizabeth Mewes