The Importance of Sleep and How to Improve Your Sleep Quality

This article will discuss the importance of sleep and how you can improve your sleep quality. We'll also provide tips on finding a practitioner to help you get the most out of your slumber!


Sleep is vital to human health. It allows our bodies and minds to rest and recharge and plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. A recent survey by Australia Talks revealed that millions of Australians aren't getting enough sleep. Experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep for adults, yet according to YouGov.com, 1 in 3 Australians don't get that every night. 

Lack of sleep can lead to several health problems, including obesity, poor mental health, and insomnia. This article will discuss the importance of sleep and how you can improve your sleep quality. We'll also provide tips on finding a practitioner to help you get the most out of your slumber!

The importance of sleep 

Sleep is crucial for our physical and mental health and plays a role in everything from weight control to memory function. Here are five ways that getting enough sleep can benefit your health: 

1. Sleep helps to boost immunity 

A good night's sleep boosts immunity. When we sleep, our bodies produce more white blood cells, which help fight off infection and can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. 

2. Sleep boosts productivity 

A lack of sleep can make it difficult to focus and be productive. Sleep gives our bodies a much-needed chance to rest and recover from the day's demands. It helps clear away the mental cobwebs that can accumulate after a long day of work or study. Additionally, sleep helps to consolidate memories and supports creative thinking. 

3. Sleep improves mood and overall well-being 

When we sleep, our bodies can repair themselves and restore energy levels. This is essential for physical health but also significantly impacts our mood and overall well-being. Studies have shown that those who get enough sleep are more likely to report feeling happy and satisfied with their lives.  

4. Sleep supports healthy brain function 

During sleep, the brain rests and consolidates memories. It also clears out toxins that build up during the day, which aid in increasing focus, concentration and improving our decision-making skills. Regularly getting adequate rest is crucial for maintaining good mental health as it improves our mood, energy levels and hormone regulation for optimal brain function. 

5. Sleep aids in healthy weight management 

Sleep is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight. Adequate sleep helps balance a number of hormones, including reducing the level of adrenaline and cortisol production, which can be contributors to weight gain. Getting enough sleep helps keep your body in tune with its needs. When we are tired, we tend to have an energy drop throughout the day and then reach for caffeine, sugar, and other instant blood sugar boosters to help us get through. This can cause irregular metabolism and impacts our body’s wisdom to identify when we are full and satiated.  

6. Sleep promotes cardiovascular health 

Sleep plays an important role in keeping the heart healthy. Studies have established a strong link between sleep and cardiovascular health, whereby regular quality sleep can assist with decreasing hypertension, obesity, and strokes.

 

sleep quality body image

Sleep recommendations for adults and children

The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following number of hours of sleep for adults, teenagers, children and infants: 

  • Adults: Between 7 and 9 hours per night  
  • Teenagers: 8 – 10 hours per night 
  • School-aged children: 9 – 12 hours per night 
  • Preschool-age children: 10 – 13 hours per night 
  • Infants: 12 – 14 hours per night 
  • Newborns: 14 – 17 hours, including naps

It's important to note that these are only averages, and everyone's sleep needs are different. The amount of sleep you need will vary based on your biology and lifestyle and even according to the season.  

If you are struggling to get the rest you need, you may want to consider talking to a sleep consultant. Sleep consultants are trained to help you identify and overcome obstacles to getting good sleep by developing healthy sleep habits and providing tools to help manage other contributing factors.

 

How to find a Sleep Consultant 

When it comes to finding a Sleep Consultant, the best place to start is with the IICT Practitioner Directory. IICT is a leading professional industry body for complementary health practitioners across 1,100+ modalities and 35+ countries.  

Simply search the Directory for a Sleep Consultant near you.

 

How to become a Sleep Consultant 

Sleep Consultants work with individuals and families to help them improve their sleep habits and get the rest they need. If you're considering a career as a sleep consultant, here are a few tips on how to become one: 

1. Earn a degree in sleep science or a related field. This will give you the knowledge and credentials you need to be taken seriously as a sleep consultant.

2. Get certified as a Sleep Consultant. Several organisations offer certification, so choose one that's reputable and offers a course of study that fits your needs.  IICT Approved Training Providers who provide comprehensive Sleep Consulting training are listed below: 

3. Stay up to date on the latest research. As sleep science is always evolving, it's important to stay abreast of the latest findings. This will help you better serve your clients and stay ahead of the competition.

4. Build a strong network of colleagues and referral sources. As with any business, networking is essential for success as a sleep consultant. We recommend attending conferences, joining professional organisations and socially networking (both in person and online) with other professionals in the field. 

5. Market yourself effectively. Be sure to let people know what you do and what sets you apart from other sleep consultants. You can also partner with organisations like IICT, which provide professional recognition for sleep consultants to promote their services and connect with other like-minded practitioners on a global platform.

 

How IICT can help

If you’re a sleep consultant looking for professional recognition for your practice and a great community to connect with, join IICT today. IICT is a professional industry body that provides membership, access to insurance and tools to help you grow your complementary therapy practice. Covering over 1,100 modalities across 35+ countries, no matter where you are, IICT has you covered. Join IICT here or contact our team to learn more about becoming a member today. 

 

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