Sleep can be oh so elusive at times. No matter how much you try to relax, drink hot tea, or read, some nights, sleep seems to hide from you and absolutely refuses to come around. Often times people can be flippant about your not getting enough sleep, but sleep is not something to take lightly. Here are eight reasons why sleep is a must-have, and why you need a full 7-9 hours worth of it:
- Clearing out junk – You know how you are supposed to shut off your computer, or your phone, every so often to let it “unload” all of the junk it has acquired while being on? Well, your body is no different. When you sleep, your brain goes into a different state, and is able to clear your body of cell “junk” that has accumulated during your waking hours.
- Restoring and repairing – While we sleep, our bodies go through repair and restore processes. Our muscles get restored, our tissues get repaired, and we experience a release of growth hormones that are important for adults as well as children.
- Keeping us, us – When you don’t get enough sleep, portions of your brain can go into a state of inactivity. This is why you feel like you are half asleep some days when you didn’t rest well the night before. The lack of sleep can affect our personalities, sense of humor, and cognitive functions. Our ability to retain information becomes impaired, our reaction times become longer, and we are less coordinated. Without proper, restorative sleep, we are just not ourselves.
- Keeping us alive – Though researchers have not come to a conclusion on how sleep is related to death, they have confirmed that a severe lack of sleep will eventually lead to death. So, sleep like your life depends on it — because it does!
- Creating long-term memories – According to a study published by Brain Research, sleep is the time that our brains use to “consolidate” our memories. It appears that the brain uses the time during sleep to convert our short-term memories into long-term memories. Since our “waking” functions are turned off when we sleep, the brain can make use of that quiet time to perform this task.
- Lessening inflammation – If you are not getting enough sleep, you may experience an increase in an inflammation protein in your blood. This increase can lead to discomfort (ie, arthritis), heart disease, and stroke. Getting more sleep helps regulate the levels of this protein so that you won’t be at a heightened risk of these health issues.
- Maintaining a healthy weight – When you don’t get enough sleep, certain hormone levels get elevated in your body. These hormones can spur your appetite and lead you to eat more during a 24-hour period. By getting an adequate amount of sleep, you can help yourself maintain a healthy weight and thereby help yourself avoid the health issues that come from being overweight (diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, etc)
As you can see, sleep can affect many different areas of our lives. From depression and stress to a general feeling of being slow and tired, a lack of sleep can do some pretty negative things to our minds and bodies. Making sure we get enough sleep each night is a vital part to our overall well-being. Putting sleep on the back burner used to be the thing to do, after all, it’s just sleep. As more and more research is done, and more studies are conducted, we are finding out just how important sleep is and that it should not be skipped or skimped on. Contact us today and let us help you work on getting a full night of restorative sleep.