Woman sleeping in state of REM sleep (photo illustration by Lorenza Walker)
Sleep is very important to the human body. The body needs sleep to function properly. It can be equated to charging a phone battery.
When the phone’s battery is at a lower percent, the unit begins sending out warning messages indicating there is not enough power for some of the phone’s components to function and therefore cannot be loaded for use (camera, video camera ect).
When the phone’s battery is at 100% it functions at its best. Just so humans function best when properly rested.
Some people go without proper sleep, stating they only need 2-3 hours per night. However, medical science has established the optimal number of sleep is 8-hours per night.
People who lack sleep make more mistakes at work and while driving. They are also less productive due to decreased energy levels. They become forgetful, irritable and error prone.
Sleep is vital to brain health. Scientific studies have shown a repeatedly lack of sleep can lead to brain damage over time.
Sleep is the body’s way of regenerating and repairing any and all damage that can be repaired through said bodily process.
While you sleep, your body also burns calories. Lack of sleep means the body burns less calories, which can lead to weight gain in men and women.
Lack of sleep also throws off a woman’s menstrual cycle. Frequently missing sleep can cause missed periods, when you should aim to keep your body’s functions as normal and regular as possible.
Lack of sleep can also be a hindrance when trying to get pregnant. Women who are trying to get pregnant must eat a balanced diet, drink an adequate amount of water each day, maintain a healthy body weight and get the proper amount of sleep each night.
Sleep quality is important as well. Sleep in a quiet, dark room. Turn off the television and computer/tablets. Make sure the light from your mobile phone is off as well, by putting it in sleep mode.
Taking a relaxing shower or bath before bed is also conducive to a good night’s sleep. When you feel relaxed and clean from the soap and water, your body is in a more tranquil state.
Do not watch or read distressing or disturbing items right before you go to bed, as it will create anxiety, toxic thoughts, negative sleep patterns and disturbing dreams.
Sleep gives your brain and heart a type of semi-rest, where the organs do not have to work as hard as when you are awake and on the go.
Case in point, when a person suffers a traumatic brain injury, a near fatal drowning or has complications during surgery that negatively impacts the heart and or brain, they are placed in a medically induced coma to stem the damage and give the body a chance to repair itself as best it can, via a very deep state of drug induced sleep.
Don’t dismiss the importance of sleep and the adequate daily amount of 8-hours. It is a necessary function that assists the body in daily recovery and the cells in maintaining proper working order in the system.