There is enough sleep in the grave’ is a famous quote that has been attributed to the famous people like Benjamin Franklin and others. It is wrong to say so because science has sufficiently proved that it is essential for good health and longevity. Sleep provides a chance for your body to restore itself and allow for growth and development. Body immune, among other vital functionalities in the body, requires sleep to develop. It is not rocket science to figure out the importance of sleep biologically for every living thing, say for sharks and other rare species that do not require sleep but have active and restful states in their lives.
Whether we set aside a few hours or a full nine hours to slumber, we need sleep for survival. Even when faced with tough choices to make between sleep and work, sleep should be a priority. It is not for a good reason; lack of sleep affects our mood, level of concentration, judgment, and perception of events. Science has even proved a direct link between poor sleep habits and increased rates of dementia. Without sleep, the level of information retention and learning is negatively affected.
People with sleep deprivation often are slow to acquire new information or consolidate information. Without proper sleep, the ability to consciously or subconsciously recall is negatively affected. Slumber is necessary for memory to function. Imagine a computer system that is overwhelmed with programs running on it from morning to evening, and sometimes it sucks to see your computer drag. But when you reboot, it restores its speed and processes data and information faster. The same thing applies to the human body; your body needs to reboot to restore memory and other functionalities. It is a no-brainer, therefore, that your body needs sleep to rest. Imagine a day you had an insufficient sleep! How was it all day? You felt more irritable than other days, didn’t you? You can easily forget the important details that you need to perform a job in the workplace. That is partly because your brain didn’t cleanse and restore well before you began the days’ work. When you fall asleep, you allow your brain to reset and restore your memory in preparation for the following day.
People feel a drop in energy sometimes because they didn’t sleep well. It is even easy to catch a cold after a poor night’s sleep because your body hasn’t had an opportunity to recharge. According to John Hopkins, you are three times likely to catch a cold with insufficient sleep and rest. You will crave sweet, salty, and starchy stuff if you don’t sleep regularly for 5 hours or more, putting you at a 50% risk of obesity. Poor sleep triples your risk for Type-2 diabetes, heart diseases, or high blood pressure. A study by an agency in the US concluded that sleep disruption leads to depression and anxiety, cancer, hypertension, metabolic disorders, and the overall absence of habitual exercises.
Sleep disruption is usually associated with increased activities in the sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic effects. There are short-term effects associated with sleep disruption, which include increased stress responsivity, reduced quality of life, and emotional and mood disorders. There is more to sleep than many of us think it is a brain shut down. In a real sense, the brain still works even when we fall asleep. During sleep, there are two sleep states, namely: Rapid Eye Movement REM and non-REM sleep. REM sleep is a beneficial cycle to human health; however, new studies have revealed it is a non-REM sleep state that provides more benefits like memory restoration and is believed to be more restorative overall. During sleep, our brain rotates between the two types of cycles four to five times before we wake up from normal sleep.
During sleep, the brain can purge waste products from the brain cells. Sleep helps regulate metabolism and to clear out toxins build up in the brain preventing neurodegenerative disorders. You would not go wrong if you referred to sleep as a dishwasher of the brain. Now you know sleep is fundamental for healthy living, and you should prioritize sleep every day. Five hours or more is sufficient for a normal human being. Now you know you need to sleep more when alive than when you are dead!