Ssssssshhhhhh, it's World Sleep Day

TODAY is World Sleep Day and the Australasian Sleep Association wants us to clean up our messy sleep hygiene habits.

Linda Van Den Eynden, Head of the Bendigo Sleep Lab, says business is booming as a result of too many people not getting their forty winks.

"I don't think people follow sleep hygiene," Ms Van Den Eynden says.

"The first two rules are: go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time."

Ms Van Den Eynden says it's also important people switch off electrical devices one or two hours before bed.

"When we were cave men and women we'd go to bed when the sun went down and wake up when it came up," she says.

"The sun emits blue light and this blue light is also transmitted through mobile phones, computers and other electronic devices.

"People are getting blue light stimulating their brain when it should be shutting down."

Sarah Biggs, researcher at the Sleep Health Foundation, says studies indicate that sleep is a growing problem for adolescents. 

She attributes this to teenagers sleeping with their phones and other devices and being constantly switched on.

"When text messages come on in the middle of the night kids answer them," she says.

Ms Biggs says getting adequate sleep is just as important to our overall well-being as diet and exercise.

"Our bodies and brains do a whole range of things when we sleep," she says.

"Our memory consolidates, our body recovers ... everything is reset."

Ms Van Den Eynden says that the consequences of long-term sleep deprivation can be fatal.

“Clinical studies have shown it can increase your rate of mortality," she says.

“All the health issues you can think of it increases."

So it seems the messages are clear: turn off your phones, relax and tuck in. 

Those eight hours a night that you wander off to la-la land make the world of difference to your health.

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