One in three of us suffer from poor sleep, yet the results can be more far-reaching than just tiredness. Lack of sleep can affect mental health and raise the risk of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Meanwhile, good sleep can boost the immune system, help weight loss and improve mood – and the good news is there are plenty of things you can do to improve sleep.
“There’s a huge link between sleep and mental health,” says sleep scientist Dr Sophie Bostock, who is currently working with the app Sleepio, which uses cognitive behavioural therapy to treat insomnia. According to Christopher Barnes, an associate professor at the University of Washington who focuses on tiredness in the workplace, lack of sleep affects the part of the brain used for managing emotions.