Sleep Deprivation – Why Is Sleep So Important?

  Sleep plays a very important role in having a good health and well-being all throughout our lives. Having enough amount of sleep at the right time can protect your mental health, physical, your safety, as well as the overall quality of your life. How your day will go will be affected by how you feel, and this is also associated with what happened while you were sleeping. Remember that while you are asleep, your body is working to support your brain functions that will maintain your physical health.

The Number Of Hours Of Sleep Needed

There is a huge difference when it comes to the amount of sleep that you can get on a daily basis and the amount that you would need to function at your best. The National Institutes of Health states that an average adult would be able to sleep less than 7 hours a night and in today’s fast-paced life, some are lucky to have 5 or 6 hours of sleep. This, however, is the perfect recipe for a chronic sleep deprivation.

Sleep requirements may differ for each person but for most healthy adults, it is highly recommended to have between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night for them to be able to function at their best the next day. Children, on the other hand, will need more and even though the number of hours needed for sleep will decrease as you age, adults are still advised to have at least 7 hours. When you have trouble achieving a straight 7-hour sleep at night, daytime naps can definitely fill in the gaps.

Top 5 Surprising Benefits of Sleep

We know that sleep can make us feel better and its importance goes away beyond than just boosting your mood and reducing the dark circles under your eyes. If you have adequate sleep, it can promote a healthy lifestyle and benefit your heart, weight, and mind.

  • Improve Your Memory. While you are sleeping, you think that your mind is also resting, but in reality, the mind is busy when you are sleeping. Sleep can strengthen memories or the “practice” skills that you have learned while you are awake and this process is called “consolidation.” According to Dr. Rapoport, a professor at NYU Langone Medical Center, you learn at some point when you are practicing while you are awake. But something amazing happens the moment you snooze; you learn it better! This means that if you are trying to learn something new, like a new language or a new sport, you will perform better after you slept.
  • Live A Longer Life. Whether you sleep too much or too little, it is believed that it can affect your lifespan although there are not so many studies that can attest to these claims. In 2010, a study on women was conducted who are at the ages 50 to 79 and more deaths occurred to those who got less than 5 hours of sleep or more than 6 ½ hours sleep per night. It is known that sleep can affect the quality of life and many things that we usually take for granted are affected by sleep.
  • Prevent Inflammation. Inflammation is directly linked to heart disease, stroke, and also diabetes, arthritis, and even premature aging. According to research, people who have less sleep, about 6 hours or less a night, will have higher blood levels of the inflammatory proteins compared to those who sleep more. Those who are suffering from sleep apnea and insomnia will have an improvement in their blood pressure and inflammation when getting a treatment for sleep disorders.
  • Encourage Creativity. When you have slept well during the night, you will notice that you can think and do better once you have woken up. This is because aside from consolidating memories, the brain has the ability to reorganize and restructure them which can promote creativity. According to a number of research studies conducted at the Harvard University, people will have stronger emotional components of their memory during sleep which can help spur your creative process.
  • Sharpen Your Attention. In children, a lack of sleep can cause ADHD-like symptoms where they get hyperactive, but they act differently with sleep compared to adults. When adults are having problems with their quality of sleep, they tend to get sleepy. This means that kids who are ages 7 and 8 who get less than 8 hours of sleep are more likely to be more hyperactive, inattentive and even impulsive. If you want your child to pay attention to class the next day, tuck them in bed early so they can have their complete 8 hours of sleep.

Important Signs That You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep

If say you get less than 7 hours of sleep at night, you will be sleep deprived and when this happens, it can greatly affect you. There are different signs of sleep deprivation that you should know of because some of them are so subtle that you would not even notice them. So here are the most important signs that you should take notice of:

  • Needing an alarm clock to be able to wake up on time.
  • You have a hard time getting out of bed after you wake up in the morning.
  • Feel tired and sluggish in the afternoons.
  • Get drowsy during meetings, lectures, and even by just being in a warm room.
  • Feel sleepy after a heavy meal or when you are driving.
  • Need to take a nap in the middle of the day.
  • You tend to fall asleep while watching television.
  • You have the urgency to sleep on the weekends.
  • Falls asleep as soon as you lie down in bed.

Sleep is very important in our lives. In children and teens, sleep can help support their growth and development. Sleep deficiency can cause great damage to your life instantly or it can be the cause of potential health problems in the future. Sleep deficiency can greatly affect how you think, react, work, learn, and also get along with others.