Why we need sleep


Some of us love it….

Some of us hate it.

But there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to a good night’s rest.

When we sleep, that is our brain and body’s recovery time. It’s a chance to re-charge the batteries. But why is it so important?

Sleep helps your brain work correctly and efficiently. While asleep, your brain is preparing itself for the next day. Forming new pathways which will help you to learn and remember information.

Studies show that a good night’s sleep can help to improve your learning skills. Whether you’re learning a language, playing a musical instrument, perfecting your golf swing or how to drive a car, sleep can help to enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps your alertness and creativity, as well as your attentiveness to tasks.

Studies also show that sleep deficiency can hinder some activity within the brain. If you’re sleep deficient, decision making, problem solving, and controlling your emotions can become difficult. Being deficient of sleep has also been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behaviour.

A lack of sleep can also really have an adverse effect on children and teens. It can make them socially inept. They may feel angry and impulsive, suffer from mood swings, a lack of motivation and also maybe even sadness and depression. Stress can also be heightened, and concentration can be hit, resulting in lower grades at school.

Sleep can also play an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

A lack of sleep can also lead to obesity. For example, one study of teenagers showed that with each hour of sleep lost, the odds of becoming obese went up. Sleep deficiency increases the risk of obesity in other age groups as well.

A good nights sleep also helps maintain a healthy hormonal balance, affecting the hormones that make you feel hungry, (ghrelin), or full up, (leptin). When you don’t get enough sleep, the ghrelin hormone becomes more prominent and your leptin levels decrease. You will feel hungrier when tired than if you are well rested.

Sleep can also affect how your body reacts to insulin, which is the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Sleep deficiency has shown to result in a higher than normal level of blood sugar, which may in turn increase your risk for diabetes.

Your health and immune system rely on sleep to stay in a strong position. Th immune system protects your body from viruses and disease. An ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds. Common infections can become difficult to fight if you are sleep deficient.

So these are just a few pointers as to why sleep is such a vital component of your everyday health. So, do me a favour, and get a bit more shut eye.