Sleeping is the only time the body’s cells regenerate. Without sufficient sleep that follows optimal patterns, leading to the deep REM sleep (rapid eye movement), cells will be deprived of energy restoration and healing processes. Insomnia and poor sleep are debilitating occurrences and need to be taken seriously. The body keeps a sleep clock. Every hour that we miss is recorded as a deficit and our positive balance quickly runs out. It is very difficult to rectify this without making significant changes. Interestingly, the body doesn’t record sleep “credits” and oversleeping can be just as damaging as under sleeping.

Just as students studying for major exams do much better when they receive sufficient sleep, so each human being performs better in every kind of daily activity when their sleep has been adequate and refreshing. City light, rooms lacking ambient temperature, stress and poor dietary habits (including eating a large late supper) are all triggers in poor sleep quality. We need to sleep well. And the infamous slogan, “sleep when you’re dead,” should rather read, “die without sleep.”

In addition to healthy sleeping patterns, research increasingly indicates that happy people are healthier and for human beings to be healthy, we need to have healthy and varied relationships with others. These take time and effort, learning how to forgive, apply boundaries, make good choices in the people we spend our time with and allow to influence us. Never underestimate the power of close interpersonal relationships.