Sleep – the number one factor?

A sleepy baby yawning

The importance of getting enough quality sleep is now proven.

This excellent Guardian article about Matthew Walker (a sleep-scientist) summarises key developments over the last decade.

I’m also working my way through his very readable book.

Sleep is so fundamental to health that I’m beginning to realise that being a good sleeper is indeed the secret sauce.

I get patients who amaze me with their hectic lifestyles. How do they cope?

Business types who charge all over the place on long-haul flights, dealing with jet-lag, and somehow managing to function and look quite well with it.

I’ve never met one of these who was a poor sleeper.

When I ask them how well they sleep, they always reply, “No problem!”, looking at me as if to say why wouldn’t I?.

There may be lots of explanations for the above because sleep is affected by so many factors.

People who don’t sleep well can’t sustain, apart from in the short-term, high levels of output and effectiveness.

So whatever we can do to help improve our sleep, we should.

In medicine, questioning patients about their sleep will become an essential part of the case history.