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Managing your Mental Wellness through Sleep

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By Lee-Yandra Paulsen

Sleep is very important for our mental health. It is such an easy thing to neglect and easy to tap into to get that overall health benefit.

This is according to the Founder of Stoom, Rudo Kemp, who was a guest on VOC Breakfast on Thursday morning. As October puts the spotlight on Mental Health Awareness, Kemp spoke on the effects of sleep on mental health.

“Having been in the mattress industry for the last 10 years. I’ve seen a positive shift in the realization of how important sleep is for one’s overall health,” he said.

Society has unfortunately been glorifying overworking, and the idea that you only sleep when you are dead. The fact is that the lack of sleep decreases your lifespan. In the 1980s there was a study done on a rat, and it demonstrated that if you deprive rats of that deep REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, they will die almost as fast as from starvation. This should give you an idea of the importance of sleep, stated Kemp.

According to him when talking about getting enough hours of sleep, it is about getting that 7- 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep, which is essential for good mental and emotional health. Some people might use sedatives to fall asleep, but they might not feel refreshed the next day.

“Sedatives may give you the ability to fall asleep fast, but it blocks out REM sleep functions that are needed for your body to recuperate and feel refreshed the next day,” Kemp said.

Creating an environment for a better chance of falling asleep is something to pursue. A few things to create the ideal environment for sleep are exercise as well as going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Keeping to a regular sleep schedule helps your brain know when it’s time to shut down, according to Kemp.

He said sleep is unfortunately not a credit system, if you even lose an hour of sleep, you cannot gain it back at a later stage. It is very important to avoid caffeine and cell phones before going to sleep, this might affect your ability to fall asleep.

Lack of sleep can affect your performance, your cognitive ability, and your ability to remember and learn.

Photo: Pexels

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