Why is Sleep Important?
It is essential not to overlook or underestimate the importance of sleep. Plenty of nourishing sleep is one of the secrets of a good complexion as well as a healthy mind and body. The benefits of sleep are many, and the body needs seven to eight hours of sleep per day. Lesser amounts weaken the immune system and could lead to depression, heart disease or hypertension.1
Proper brain function is linked to the importance of sleep. Without proper rest, the brain works harder but less effectively to counteract the myriad effects of sleep deprivation. Concentration levels drop, memory becomes impaired, decision-making abilities are compromised, and the brain falls into rigid thought patterns that make it difficult to generate new problem-solving ideas.1 Insufficient rest can also cause people to have hallucinations, tremors or slurred speech.
The Different Stages of Sleep
When you sleep, you pass through different stages of sleep, known together as a sleep cycle. These stages include:
- Light sleep
- Deep sleep, which is believed to be the stage in which the body repairs itself
- Rapid-eye movement sleep, or REM sleep, during which the mind is repaired
Consequences of Lack of Sleep
The consequences of lack of sleep involve more than just feeling tired, as adequate sleep is essential for not only the health of your mind and body, but also your psyche. Psychologically, sleep deprivation can lead to depression and other negative effects including moodiness, irritability, aggression, burnout and additional stress. Lack of sleep can also make it difficult for you to memorize and recall information, as your mind may become groggy. When cumulated over time, sleep deprivation can also affect:
- Reaction time
- Short-term memory
- Problem-solving skills
When you do not get enough sleep, your body does not have the opportunity to do things that are essential to keep you healthy. The body recharges and heals itself while asleep, and works to fix chemical imbalances while ensuring blood sugar levels are at proper levels for the following day. Based on these facts, the importance of sleep should be evident.
Detriments of Too Much Sleep
Conversely, too much sleep may actually be detrimental, according to recent studies, which show that those who sleep more than nine hours per day don’t live as long as their eight-hour-sleep counterparts.1 In fact, oversleeping has been linked to a number of medical problems including diabetes and heart disease.
The bottom line: the right amount of nourishing sleep will help you live a balanced, healthy life.
Disclaimer: Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements and products are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease.