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Dr. Sophie Bostock

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Sophie is a passionate advocate for the importance of sleep, and evidence-based approaches to sleep improvement. She works with clients from the military, police, elite sport and b...

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Who are you?

Hi, my name is Dr. Sophie Bostock, and I'm a sleep scientist in this experience. You can ask me anything you like about sleep.

How much sleep do I need?

Sleep is a biological characteristic, just like your height or your shoe size. So everyone is different. Now, experts recommend that adults need between seven and nine hours sleep for optimal health and functioning, but it's kind of a bell shaped curve. So most people are going to fit squarely in that seven to nine hour bracket. But there are a number of people at extremes who can get by and thrive on a little bit less, whereas there are others who are going to need a little bit more. So, for example, if you are an extreme athlete, you might find that you need more than nine hours sleep on a regular basis. You really need enough sleep so that you can wake up feeling refreshed and you have enough energy to get through the day without relying on caffeine or sugar to keep you going and without having to have a lion at the weekends to catch up.

What happens if I don't get enough sleep?

Everyone knows the feeling when you haven't had enough sleep, and in the short term, it's nothing serious. We get a bit more irritable, maybe a bit more forgetful. We might have difficulty focusing during the day, and we just lack energy. Now, for most people, you're going to bounce back pretty quickly after a couple of nights of recovery sleep. But I think the real problem with not getting enough sleep is when that persists over weeks or months at a time. And then lack of sleep can influence absolutely everything in your life. It influences your mental function, your emotional health, your physical health. Sleep is absolutely fundamental to life. So you can think of any area of your life, and if you are persistently not getting enough sleep, that thing is going to become harder. Whether it's focusing at work, being kind and empathetic to your family, whether it's being sort of fit and healthy and speedy on the sports field, whether it's just staying well and having a healthy immune function, or whether it's managing your diet and making sensible choices about your health, sleep helps us to get the best out of life.

Why do I always feel tired?

What is sleep deprivation?