Sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing.

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) when people don’t get enough sleep they can suffer from the following:

– Irritability / mood swings
– Slowed speech
– Impaired memory
– Inability to multitask
– Micro sleeps (nodding off for 5-10 seconds, especially dangerous when driving)

In terms of exercise your body rests and recovers when you’re asleep and the nutritional value of all your meals is realised to rebuild and replace vitamins and minerals lost during the day such as calcium, potassium, sodium, protein, carbohydrates, vitamin C…

If you are just starting an exercise regime or have been training hard for an event such as a triathlon and you are not getting enough sleep then your body will never fully recover or and your training will not progress as it should.

Individual sleep needs vary. In general, most healthy adults are built for 16 hours awake and need an average of eight hours sleep a night. However, some individuals are able to function normally and without feeling tired after as little as five or six hours sleep. Others cannot perform at their peak unless they have had ten hours sleep.

You should by now know how many hours sleep your body and mind needs to feel fully refreshed and you should aim to get that many hours every night in order to get into a rhythm. If you are struggling with a long term lack of sleep then you should consult your GP to find out what treatment or remedies might work for you.