Did you ever miss a night of sleep and wonder if you were going to make it through the next day? Missing a whole night of sleep or even part of the night can really have its effects the following day. Simply put, sleep contributes to the greater part of how a person functions in their daily life. Just like food, water and other basic needs, sleep is essential to our health. It is a must. This fact is never so evident as when we first miss an entire night’s sleep because of a late night with friends or a final exam in college. The next day we can hardly remember our name! Examining the effects of sleep after we have missed a full night is something that can really give us some insight into the importance of sleep in general. The importance of this vital need really becomes most evident when we first experience a sleepless night.
Tossing and turning and never really “dozing off” can be a real pain! The next day, if you didn’t sleep well, you just can’t seem to think straight. You can’t make decisions and you get frustrated at the drop of a hat! Scientists have actually formulated that the act of sleep is an absolute requirement for our body’s normal functioning. Sleep restores our energy after a hard day of work. The body’s systems are able to replenish energy during this much needed rest and we are finally restored!
Scientists have found that sleep actually “conserves” energy as well as restoring it. This is because our lowered metabolism shuts down certain processes during the night. This lower metabolism makes it possible to reserve our body’s energy and to save it for later. When we are able to conserve energy while we sleep, we end up with some extra protection against infection and illness. We may also be able to have a stronger immune system to fight certain illnesses. After a sleepless night, we may sense a sudden cold coming on and find that we are sick because of the sleep we missed. This is yet another bit of proof that sleep is so essential to our general health and well-being.
Sleep is commonly known to be the main source of relaxation for most people but it also serves the mind in other ways that aren’t known. Scientifically, it has been proven to consolidate our memory. While sleeping, we are able to unload our stresses and our negative emotions so as to allow for a renewed energy in our brains. This is the reason why we experience a lot of stress or negative emotions in our dreams. Our brain is actually processing and thereby reducing all the stresses we’ve been through during the whole day. This helps to reinforce our memory and helps us in our learning. It also plays a big role in our brain’s development. This is not only true for humans but for animals as well.
When we miss that important night of sleep, all of these amazing and helpful functions of sleeping can’t be executed in our body. Having poor sleep causes a lot of unwanted behavioral problems such as being moody and even stumbling or experiencing accidents during the day. These problems can eventually lead a person to develop a sleep disorder if they don’t get themselves back on a regular schedule. Adults and children should always make sure to get a full eight hours of sleep and those in their 40’s and 50’s should get at least 7 hours each night. Children are also included in this rule. Without enough sleep, children develop many problems in both their physical and mental aspect of life. Parents should also be aware that this could affect the child’s long term activities in school or in their overall development. Kids can actually suffer from poor memory or hyperactivity and won’t be able to concentrate well when they are studying.
For adults, not having enough sleep even affects their entire career. It is common for adults to hang out late at night but still go to work the next morning. They may even do this without any sleep at all the previous night. Oftentimes, adults don’t care about the consequences of it and only think of having fun at the club! There are actually thousands of recorded accidents that were proven to be due to sleepiness while driving. Everyone should be aware of the deadly consequences of poor sleep. If you are suffering from a sleep disorder, it is better to seek professional treatment rather than continuing to burn the candle at both ends. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders that need to be treated right away. You shouldn’t ignore the signs of a sleep disorder. There are many bad consequences that can result from this and it is no laughing matter.
Since one third of our life is spent sleeping, enough sleep should be seen as a required task each and every day. It takes only a little effort for us to make sure we get enough. This will reduce our stress and will bring a lot more joy into our life. It is really important to realize that life will simply be a lot better if we will just get enough sleep!