Sleep is important for you to rest your body and recharge yourself. It would help if you had a minimum of 7 and a half hours per night; the health benefits are amazing. Sleeping is your body’s natural way of getting energy. It is when your body and mind repair themselves during rest. A lack of sleep leads to various problems, as discussed below.
Sleep deprivation can lead to health problems, from obesity to cardiovascular disease, so it’s important to get enough sleep every night.
Lack of sleep can affect your mood, work performance, and relationships.
The Benefits of Getting Sufficient Sleep
Below are some of the amazing benefits of sleep you should not miss out on:
Improved memory. When you sleep, your brain stores new information in long-term memory, consolidating the important information from the day. Inadequate sleep leads to poor memory and concentration, affecting work performance.
Weight management. Sleep deprivation can cause weight gain, especially around the midsection. In addition, lack of sleep can lower your metabolic rate, which leads to increased hunger. Also, sleeping less than 6 hours per day is believed to increase appetite.
You have an improved immune system. Sleep deprivation can lead to increased stress hormones, negatively affecting the immune system. Also, your immune system releases cytokines while asleep, which fights infection.
Increased creativity. Studies have shown that people who get adequate sleep are more imaginative and can develop better solutions to problems.
Improved mood. Getting enough sleep can improve your mood. Lack of sleep can cause irritability, mood swings, anxiety and depression. Lack of sleep also causes a decrease in your ability to bounce back from negative events.
Better productivity. People who get adequate sleep are more alert and focused during the day. Work performance improves with sufficient rest. Sleep deprivation affects your attention span, problem-solving ability, vocabulary and ability to process information.
What is Sleep?
Sleep is a state of complete physical and mental relaxation and inactivity.
Sleep is a basic human need and is necessary for the optimal functioning of our bodies.
Every living being needs sleep, and humans are no exception.
Sleep is an activity that occurs every night when we go into a state of deep unconsciousness, and it helps to rejuvenate our bodies so we can wake up feeling refreshed.
Sleep plays an important role in our day-to-day activities.
It is when our nervous system, which controls all the functions in the body, is at rest.
While sleeping, our body is in a state of repose, and the essential physiological processes restore the body to its normal function.
It is a time in which the body repairs itself and heals the wear and tear caused by daily activity.
How Sleep Works
Sleep is the body’s natural recovery process.
When you sleep, your body restores itself and prepares for the next day.
The sleep process has four different stages:
- Stage 1. The light sleep stage is characterized by light sleep and muscle relaxation.
- Stage 2. The transition stage is where your body moves from light to deep sleep.
- Stage 3. This is the deep sleep stage, where your brain is resting, and your muscles are relaxed and repaired.
- Stage 4. This is the REM sleep stage, where your mind is very active, and your muscles are paralyzed during this stage.
REM sleep is when you dream.
Typically, you go through all four stages twice a night.
Sleep is the body’s natural recovery process, but when you don’t get enough sleep, you will experience fatigue and weakness, and your mood will also be affected.
Why is Sleeping Important?
When you are young, your body is used to sleeping.
However, as you age, you tend to sleep less and wake up earlier.
This is why as you age, you need more sleep than you did when you were younger.
Generally, the goal is to have about 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
However, when you don’t have enough sleep, it can affect your overall health and your productivity.
Here are some signs that your body is telling you that you need to sleep more:
- You yawn throughout the day. Yawning is a sign that your body needs to rest.
- You experience a lack of focus and productivity. Lack of sleep can make it difficult for you to focus.
- You experience more headaches. Lack of sleep can cause a headache.
- You have mood swings. Lack of sleep can cause your mood to fluctuate and cause you to be irritable and moody.
- You always feel tired. When you don’t get enough sleep, you often feel more tired than usual.
Why Do We Dream?
Dreaming is a state of consciousness during sleep in which a person experiences imagery, ideas, emotions, perceptions, and sensations while asleep.
Dreams typically last from a few seconds to a few minutes and can recur several times per night.
People may have different numbers of dreams or dreams at other times during their sleep.
Dreaming is most prominent during REM sleep when most dreams occur.
Dreams originate from different brain areas, such as the cerebral cortex, the thalamus, and the limbic system.
Scientists have known for more than a century that dreaming occurs during REM sleep, but they do not understand why.
New research published in 2018 provided the best explanation yet.
One theory about why dreaming occurs is that dreaming helps your brain process information during sleep.
For example, if the brain learns something during the day, it may store it in your long-term memory.
After the information has been processed, the brain may need to review it and improve it.
During sleep, your brain subconsciously processes the information and forms new connections.
Another theory states that dreaming helps the brain process emotions.
Your brain processes emotions while awake; however, emotions often manifest in your dreams.
Dreaming Replays Emotions From the Day
For example, if you experience strong emotions during the day, these emotions may become suppressed while awake. However, they may surface in your dreams.
Finally, dreaming may be a way for your brain to sort through the day’s events.
Your brain stores memories throughout the day, and when you sleep, it sorts through them and adjusts them.
For example, if you experience a stressful day, your brain may sort through these memories and process them while you sleep.
Dreams also may play an important role in memory and learning.
Experiments have shown that learning something new during the day affects your nighttime dreams and that learning something new during a dream can affect your daytime behavior.
Dreams Have Also Been Linked to Creativity
Scientists believe that dreaming may facilitate creative problem-solving and help you get unstuck from your problems.
Studying dreams may one day help researchers develop new treatments for mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Scientists have discovered that when people experience depression or anxiety, their dreams are inconsistent with their waking experiences.
For example, they may dream about pleasant events that happen while they are awake, but they wake up feeling sad or anxious.
In the future, studying these dreams may help researchers develop treatments for anxiety and depression.
How Much Sleep a Small Child Needs
A small child needs about nine hours of sleep each night.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children get 10 to 13 hours of sleep per night.
Children this age need a lot of sleep to grow up healthy adults.
How Much Sleep a Teenager Needs
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that teenagers sleep nine to 10 hours each night.
How Much Sleep an Adult Needs
Studies have shown that adults can get about five to seven hours of sleep each night.
However, the National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, auto accidents cause nearly 1,000 deaths per day in the United States, and one of the leading causes of these accidents is drowsiness from lack of sleep.
Another study found that people have a greater chance of being in a deadly auto accident if they get less than five hours of sleep.
Adults need about seven to eight hours of sleep each night to be fully alert and productive.
In another study by the National Sleep Foundation in 2016, 35 percent of adults get less than seven hours of sleep each night.
A lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your health, but getting enough sleep is also important for a healthy heart.
Two studies showed that people who slept less than five hours a night had an increased risk of heart disease.
So if you are an adult, you need to sleep more.
Why You Should Start Sleeping More
As we saw in the previous section, sleeping is good for our health and helps us form stronger memories throughout the day.
Getting enough sleep can also help you live longer and more fulfilled lives.
However, you can now achieve these benefits by getting more sleep each night.
Here are some reasons why you should sleep more:
- Sleep improves your memory and keeps you away from stress.
- Sleep can help you accomplish more throughout the day.
- Sleep enables you to live longer and more fulfilled lives.
So now you have all the facts about sleeping, make sure you follow those to get enough sleep to help your health and productivity!