By James Ronal, 31st May 2018

7 Reasons Why Sleep is Essential

Why Sleeping at Least 8 Hours a Night is Best For You

Why Sleeping at Least 8 Hours a Night is Best For You

Fact: We cannot get by without enough quality sleep. Some people may manage to stay awake for a few days – but then, the body demands its right. At some point, we just fall asleep out of sheer exhaustion. Lack of sleep damages mental and physical health.

Did you know that sleep deprivation is a recognised torture method? After only 24 hours of sleep denial, the brain reacts with hallucinations. Scary!

So, make sure you get your eight hours a night, and you will more likely feel fresh and rested, and that’s the best mood to be in to start the day. Maybe even with a smile on your face.

Research has shown that those who sleep well and sufficiently on a regular basis are overall physically and mentally more efficient, rarely get sick and simply feels better overall.

A good nights sleep increases your enjoyment of life, and this optimism reinforces the positive effects.

Good sleep is an essential pillar of mental and physical well-being, so get your eight hours.

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Lack of sleep makes you mentally and physically ill, so let’s take a look at seven of the reasons why it’s so important to try and fit in eight hours each night.

1: Sleep is more than just rest

It is almost like a miracle: In the evening you felt tired and stressed and decided to go to bed – and the next morning you wake up feeling rested and fresh. Even sicknesses can pass during sleep. Our body repairs itself while we rest, which is often why we hear of Doctors putting patients into artificial sleep in the event of severe illness so that we can recover quicker. When the body is not active, it has time to repair.

Sleep is only a time of rest when viewed from the outside. In fact, the organism runs at full speed during the night.

2: Sleep hormone melatonin

The nocturnal recovery processes are controlled by a large number of messenger substances. A particular role is played by the sleep hormone melatonin. A high concentration of it in the blood promotes sleep, whereas a deficiency can be the cause of bad sleep or sleep disorders.

But not every fluctuation is pathological: on the contrary, the melatonin level, for example, depends heavily on daylight. When there’s much daylight, like in summer, our body produces less melatonin. In winter, the opposite is the case. This is also one of the explanations for spring fatigue and a possible increased need for sleep for many during the winter months.

3: Heart and circulation recover during sleep

Sleep protects us from strokes and cardiovascular diseases. Shortly after falling asleep, our blood pressure decreases significantly, and the pulse slows down to around 50 beats per minute. These effects are particularly pronounced in so-called deep sleep. This process relieves the heart and the blood vessels.

4: Sleep supports the immune system

The immune system is a marvel. For example, fever is often lowered during sleep. At night, the immune system focuses on the defense against pathogens and reduces inflammation without being distracted by the physical activity of the day. It works best in a deep sleep.

Lack of sleep, on the other hand, weakens the immune system. Even a short-term lack can contribute negatively.

5: The brain is often more active during sleep than during the day

Do you ever find yourself working in vain on a problem or trying without success to learn something by heart in the evening? And the next morning, hey presto, the solution reveals itself!

Do you know that it was once assumed that the brain sleeps at night and does nothing? Modern imaging techniques have turned this viewpoint upside down. Instead, we now know that the brain is even more active during the night, specifically during so-called REM sleep.

6: Information processing during sleep

During sleep, the brain ‘sorts’ important from the unimportant information and converts them into memories. We consciously perceive only a fraction of it.

As you read these words, you are supposedly dealing only with the content of the text. However, other stimuli are also affecting the brain such as ambient light, sounds or a smell. Many of the unimportant stimuli are consciously sorted out in the brain immediately (otherwise, we would find it hard to read or drive a car). However, during sleep, the brain decides what is ‘stored’ and converted into long-term memory – and what falls into oblivion.

7: Lack of sleep disturbs the learning success

During your school and college years, how many times did you pull an ‘all-nighter’ trying to cram in as much information as possible? You are not alone… but what if I told you that actually, sleep is more important than cramming? What you learn during the day is processed again during sleep and stored in the long-term memory. So, it’s actually best to get more sleep to stay ahead of the curve.

So now we know why sleep is important, maybe now is a good time to invest in a good eight hours a night with a decent mattress. But do your research! Maybe try a review website for starters; because information is king, right?


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