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World Sleep Day: Crucial for people’s wellbeing

Wednesday, March 17, 2021   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: Sleep, exercise, physical activity, mental wellbeing

Exercise NZ media release: 16th March 2021

Friday 19th March 2021 is World Sleep Day and sleep is just as important for wellness as exercise and nutrition, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says.

Sleep is more especially important during today’s stressful covid pandemic world, he says.

“It lowers stress hormone stress cortisol which not only lower stress and inflammation on the body, but also stops the body storing belly fat - a common issue for middle aged men with chronic stress levels.

“Sleep, exercise and balanced nutrition are the big three when it comes to improving health and wellness outcomes.

“Lack of sleep affects us all. Most teenagers are chronically sleep deprived and many adults are getting one to two hours less sleep than they need. Sleep is available and free to everyone with few barriers to access it, to increase wellness. 

“This not only has adverse health outcomes in the long term, but makes managing day to day stress much harder, as well as making the body very reluctant to give up fat which is essential for weight loss. Sleep is the most democratically available tools to increase your wellness. 

“Sleep is an essential tool in weight loss. Getting sleep stops fat burning when asleep which is critical for the daily life cycle. It helps maintain normal hunger levels though balancing hormones.”

Beddie says the covid pandemic has disrupted lives and the consequent stress has robbed people of a good night’s sleep.

According to sleep specialists, there has been a 20 to 25 percent jump in cases of sleep disorder caused by anxiety in the past 12 months.

When working from home, laptop screen time shot up. Instead of two to three hours before the screen, people began spending 12 to 15 hours in front of digital gadgets to study, work, watch movies, play games and chat.

The pandemic has dramatically altered the sleeping pattern of many following isolation, loss of work, economic and health worries.

Disruption at work, school and home life has increased stress, anxiety, and depression. This in turn has played havoc with the quality of sleep.
The good news is that regular exercise helps people sleep according to Johns Hopkins University.

A small but worrying survey in the United States from March 2020 found a whopping 38 percent of people were feeling tired or lacked energy, 36 percent were having sleep disturbances and 25 percent were feeling down, depressed, or hopeless.

Find out more about the brief US study into the emotional impact of the COVID pandemic.

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch