Many of our patients come to us with sleeping problems. For those who aren’t able to get a decent night’s rest, the effects on their day-to-day lives can be untold.
Now, experts have coined the phrase ‘sleep bulimia’ to address a condition that seems to be becoming more prevalent in modern times of bingeing on sleep at the weekends.
No rest for the wicked
Sufferers of this condition are often those who work long, hard hours, not getting a full night’s rest during the working week. Instead, they choose to catch up at the weekends. Researchers are now voicing their concerns that this habit could be greatly impacting upon their health.
“As a culture we tend to starve ourselves of sleep during the week,” says expert, Kat Duff, the author of The Secret Life of Sleep, “and binge on it at the weekend. We assume that if we don’t get enough sleep we can make up for it by lying in on a Saturday morning.”
However, a lie-in is not the answer. Catching up on sleep is far more complicated than that. Depending on just how much you’ve missed out on, you will have to get extra sleep in the following days, not just from one big hit. While we may feel great after laying in until late for a few hours afterwards, not long later, we’ll be feeling tired all over again.
Modern lifestyles are to blame
Right now, it is estimated that around 40% of Brits are suffering from sleep bulimia, with that figure looking set to increase. We are working longer than our ancestors, due to the current economic climate where job security is not what it once was. With pressure on us to constantly perform in our roles, we are foregoing sleep to cram in extra hours of work at home.
The situation is worsened by modern technology. With mobile devices readily available for all, we are always on call. Many of us have our smartphones and tablets with us in the bedroom, and will respond to emails and messages until late at night. On top of this, these devices omit a blue light, known to suppress melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep.
To ensure optimum health, it is recommended that you get at least seven hours every night. If your sleeping habits are cause for concern and you would like to get them in check, sleep hypnosis is known to be a highly effective treatment.