sleep deprivation

In today’s fast-paced world it seems that far too many of us are simply not getting enough sleep.

And, that could have serious implications for both our physical and mental health.

The Royal Society for Public Health in the UK has warned about levels of sleep deprivation and is calling on the government to issue guidelines on the number of hours sleep we should get.

Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, told the BBC how we need to change our attitude to sleep. It seems too many of us see sleep as a waste of time and try to get away with as little as possible.

As adults we should be getting between seven and nine hours sleep a night, says Cramer. And if we don’t we are at far greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and depression.

Cramer insists we need to see sleep in the same way as we do exercise and eating properly – as a necessary part of our healthy living regime and not as a waste of time.

The Royal Society for Public Health wants healthcare workers to place more emphasis on sleep, for doctors to ask patients about their sleep habits, and for sleep to be taken seriously as a public health issue.

To find out just why sleep is so important and what it does, watch the first video. For tips on getting a good night’s sleep, watch the second video.