Sleep is more important to us than we think. Some take it for granted, some absolutely love it more than anything, and others are almost nocturnal, whether their job permits it or they just like being awake during the night. Sleep plays an extremely important role pertaining to our health and well being, Having a good night’s sleep improves your mental and physical health, while also helping your body function properly.
Sleep has an overall effect on your mental health and your brain. Studies show that the more sleep you get, the more you will be able to retain and learn information the next day. Sleep is especially important when it comes to our education. Whether you are sitting in a lecture, practicing a sport, or playing a musical instrument, the amount of sleep you received the previous night will reflect your ability to do such things. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep significantly enhances our learning abilities and problem solving skills. If you are sleep deficient, it increases the chances of making impulse decisions and lessens the amount of control you have over your emotions. In extreme cases, sleep deprivation can lead to depression and suicide.
On a more physiological level, sleep can improve internal bodily functions, such as repairing your heart and blood vessels. According to the National Sleep Foundation, if you do not receive enough sleep, it increases the chances of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and a stroke. Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of hormones in your body, which is extremely important because they help your body stay at a healthy, homeostatic level. An example being that it increases your chances of debates, simply because your blood insulin levels will decrease significantly, increasing your blood glucose levels, which in turn allows more sugar in the blood, leading to possible diabetes. Another important aspect of health is that it supports healthy growth and development, especially in us teens. And also it plays a big role in puberty, fertility, and the strength of your immune system.
Sleep also is important when it comes to daily activities and performance. A lack of sleep can lead to microsleep; a phenomenon where you are awake but your body goes into brief moments of sleep. It is something we cannot control and sometimes, we are not even aware it is happening. An instance could be when you are driving, and you space out for a little bit but are still aware of the road, and you do not remember that small portion of the trip. Or when you are in the middle of a lecture, and you are listening, but suddenly realize that you have not retained more of the lecture. Sleep deficiency can harm and negatively affect your everyday lives.
As you have read, sleep is extremely important to us on a personal level. Sleep is the basis for doing well in school, functioning properly, paying attention, and making wise decisions. Sleep deprivation can cause serious health problems and can negatively affect your mental and physical health, as well as your well being. Now that you know how important sleep is, make sure you provide yourself with it. Ensure your well being by taking care of yourself and by relaxing your brain for at least eight hours a night. Allow yourself that time and never take it for granted.
By: Claire Imazu