There is no person on the face of this earth that can survive without sleeping in their lifetime. But why should we sleep? What could be the importance of sleep? Well, we can surely understand a bit of its importance while reading through this article and will understand why we should take care that we get enough sleep. Sleep has a vital role in a person’s health. There are so many underlying health benefits that we will see later on. It has known to be helpful in mental and physical health, by researchers. There are two ways in which a person sleeps that is REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and Slow-wave sleep.
The REM sleep is when a person has faster pulse rates, breathing and experiences more dreaming and body movements. They show rapid eye movements during this type of sleep while slow-wave sleep is when a person is in a deep sleep and does not show any rapid eye movements. Importance of sleep is so much that to be healthy you must at least sleep 7 to 9 hours a day.
Benefits & Importance Of Sleep
- Good Health: Getting sufficient amount of sleep is important as it has shown in studies to lower the risks of heart diseases, obesity, heart attacks and diabetes. Sleep can also lessen the risks of strokes and blood pressure problems. Studies have shown teenagers that have sleep problems tend to gain weight or become obese as compared to the ones who have good sleep. Know more about sleep and living a healthy lifestyle.
- Boosts Immunity: Sleep is necessary because researchers have discovered that sleep deprivation in rats lead to the increase in formation of free radicals (waste that can cause cancer) and damage cells. This can be directly linked to humans. While slow-wave sleep can dispose of the free radicals and thus destroy them.
- Effect on Learning: Scientists have shown evidence that slow-wave sleep or deep sleep plays a vital role in grasping newly learned information by the brain while Rapid eye movement sleep is useful in activities that do not require direct learning.
- Brain Development: Infants and children require sufficient amount of sleep for brain development. Studies have shown that rapid eye movement sleep is linked to brain growth and development in babies born with immature brains and thus plays a role in facilitating learning and memory. Also learn about foods that will help to improve brain memory.
- Better Mood: Mood is a very important aspect to understand the importance of sleep. Getting good amount of sleep every night helps in controlling mood swings and helps to lessen stress and anxiety in a person.
- Lessen Pain Or Injury: Sleep is the best medicine when a person is injured or have any type of body pain. This is because when a person sleeps, the body releases hormones and stimulates chemicals to bind to pain receptors that help is lessening pain. Also, the lack of sleep can cause a person to be less focused and cause an effect on mental health. This can increase the risk of accidents and physical injuries that can prove fatal.
Effects Of Sleep Problems
- Causes risks of accidents or injuries.
- Decreases sex drive.
- Leads to depression, stress and anxiety.
- Can cause ageing of cells.
- Affects cognition thus affecting memory.
- Causes weight gain.
- Severe sleep deprivation leads to death.
- Affects the circadian rhythm of the body.
- Leads to infertility and problems in menstruation in women and teens.
- Leading to different kinds of sleeping disorders.
Types Of Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorder is the problems caused due to lack of sleep and leads to poor health. It may even prove fatal if not brought under control.
Insomnia: Insomnia is a common sleeping disorder. People suffering from this condition have troubles falling sleep at night and when awakened have difficulty going back to sleep. Insomnia is found usually in people with hectic work or daily schedules. A form of insomnia is a disorder known as sleep apnea. In this condition, people have a trouble breathing while sleeping. People who tend to snore have episodes of sleep apnea but it is not severe enough to interfere with their sleep and does not cause oxygen level in the blood to reduce. Fortunately, people suffering from sleep apnea are treated by conducting surgery or given a device for supplying pressurized air.
Narcolepsy: Narcolepsy is a neurological condition that is characterized by a person falling asleep at any inappropriate time. They have uncontrollable urges to sleep which lasts for a few minutes. This disorder is not characterized by lack of sleep but excessive sleep.
- Cataplexy is a symptom of narcolepsy in which a person’s muscles become paralyzed for several minutes even though they are completely conscious during this attack. These attacks can happen at any time.
- Hypnagogic Hallucination is also a form of narcolepsy in which a person has dreams of being attacked and a feel paralyzed. Narcolepsy is commonly referred as “sleep paralysis”. It is believed that genetic factors play a major role in this disease.
REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep Behavior Disorder
It is believed to be a neurodegenerative disease and is linked to Parkinson’s. This disorder is thought to be caused by genetic components. It has symptoms like paralysis without Rapid eye movement sleep, thus similar to the disorder, cataplexy. Thus, researchers give a lot of thought to the importance of sleep and people suffering from sleep deprivation disorders should not take their condition lightly.