Sleep – How Vital sleep is for us?
Why do think that sleep is important for us? This is the most seen problem that many people push their sleep off from their schedules to do work. We think that sleep is just a mere activity and only after getting our work done, we should sleep. There are many arguments out there like sleep only when you die and now just live your life. So what I am trying to say is that sleeping is not only something that determines you are tired or alert. Simply putting, sleep can save your life.
A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.Irish proverb
If you have a good quality sleep, be thankful for that. Nearly 70% of American adults suffer from insomnia. And for them, sleep is a luxury. But for others, rest is just taken for granted. So how important sleep is in reality? Let us see the benefits of getting a good night’s dream.
The discoveries of the past 10 or over years have shown that we need sleep after learning to actually save what you have learned so you don’t forget them. But now, it has been discovered that we also need sleep before learning to prepare our brain like a dry sponge to soak up all information when active. This idea is shared by Matt Walker, Professor of Neuroscience at UC Berkley. Without sleep, your brain cannot absorb more information.
Matt Walker told that they experiment on two groups of people. Where one group was to get full 8 hours of rest and the other group was the sleep-deprived group and the next day they were scanned by MRI. So the result that came after this experiment was that a 40% deficit in the ability to make new memories without rest. It is really concerning for students who are all-nighters while they think they can prepare for the test or exam but the opposite of it happens in reality. So being an all-nighter is not a good idea at all. Your productivity comes when you take a good quality rest.
Another experiment was conducted on medical interns where they were made to work more than 24 hours of shift. The conclusion was that Interns made substantially more serious medical errors when they worked frequent shifts of a 24 hours or more than when they worked shorter shifts. This is why we need to take proper rest at night.
Stronger Immune System
Sleep deprivation reduces Natural killers and Cellular Immune Response in humans. You can think of Natural Killers as secret agents of your immune system. They are very good at identifying unwanted, dangerous elements and eliminating them. You need to have this set of immune assassins and unfortunately, half of the population out there doesn’t have them. Matt Walker said that the experiment was conducted to see the difference between the natural killers of sleep-deprived with those who got full rest. So there was a 70% drop in the natural killer cell activity. This is an alarming state for us that we are vulnerable to many cancerous diseases.
Rest helps our immune system to get stronger. Our body is just like any other technological device. Think of it as a mobile and when you use all of the battery, you need to recharge the battery for again reusing it. The same happens with our body where sleeping is a medium of recharging our body.
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I’m reborn.”Gandhi
Lower Rate of Obesity
Let us be honest here. We are more concerned about our weights than our sleeping duration. But the surprising fact is that many studies have shown the relationship between sleeping and weight. The lack of rest actually makes us weight gain more. Eventually, we are eating more and the late-night cravings seem to be much of a problem. And if you are still concerned about your weight than your sleeping cycle, then you need to reconsider your condition. Studies have shown that people with reduced sleep had reduced leptin and elevated ghrelin which is likely to increase the appetite.
“Obesity develops when energy intake is greater than expenditure. Diet and physical activity play an important part in this, but an additional factor may be inadequate sleep,” said Dr. Kristen Knutson, from the University of Chicago. This is the reason most teens in America are patients with Obesity. That is why we need proper sleep for about 7 to 8 hours.
Studies have shown that if you get less than 6 hours of sleep, you are 48% more likely to die of heart disease and 15% more likely by a heart stroke. Professor Cappuccio, the co-author of the study, said “the trend for late nights and early mornings is like a ticking time bomb for your health”. While we sleep, the blood pressure lowers, giving our heart a bit of rest. The less you snooze, the higher the blood pressure is.
We need to sleep for at least 8 hours in order to have a healthy heart and more active than ever. We need to understand the fact that sleeping is a luxury and we need to make the most of it.