Importance of Sleep: 6 Reasons Why You Need Your Shut-eye


Importance of Sleep: 6 Reasons Why You Need Your Shut-eye

We’ve all heard that we need to get at least eight hours of sleep each night, but have you actually wondered why? At ApneCare Sleep Lab, in both Bakersfield, California and Mesa, Arizona, people come to us to figure out why they aren’t getting enough sleep, so we’ve seen the affects that poor sleep can have.

To help you better understand the importance of proper shut-eye, we’ve gathered six solid reasons why you need your sleep.


Memory making

Your brain takes in a lot of information during the day when your five senses are on high alert. Everything you feel, touch, smell, taste, and hear is captured by your brain and tucked away while you continue to take in more. At night, when your senses finally wind down, your brain takes this time to sort through all of the information, process it, and file it away in your memory banks. Think of your brain as an incredibly efficient secretary who comes in at night and organizes the clutter on your desk.

If you aren’t giving your brain ample time to process the day’s information, your recall ability suffers because your brain hasn’t had enough time to create a lasting memory.


Restore, rejuvenate, and repair

Though you may think of sleep as a time when all of your systems wind down and get much-needed rest, quite the opposite happens when you sleep. On a cellular level, your body is hard at work each night repairing and restoring itself.

During the day, you’re constantly calling on your body to perform, which means all hands on deck. While you sleep, however, the command center is shut down, which gives your cells critical time to repair your muscles and tissue, regulate your hormones, and replenish your energy levels.


A weighty issue

Studies including those conducted by researchers from St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center and Columbia University in New York, and another from University of California, Berkeley have shown that people who don’t get regular sleep are more prone to weight issues, and even obesity. Researchers believe that lack of sleep leads to poor appetite control, skewed glucose levels, and higher blood pressure numbers, all of which have an effect on your weight. Not to mention, it’s hard to motivate to exercise if you’re feeling sluggish.


A matter of the heart

Proper sleep and heart health are linked in many ways. For starters, people who get a good night’s sleep enter what’s known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep throughout the night, which is a very deep sleep. During this time, your blood pressure lowers, your breathing slows, and the blood supply to your muscles increases. If you’re unable to get to a deep sleep, your body isn’t given a chance to truly slow down, and your heart needs to work longer and harder as a result.


Better protection

Studies have linked sleep deprivation and suppressed immune function, which leaves you more susceptible to colds and bacterial infections. As well, your immune system is often at its best while you sleep, which is why fevers often spike during the night, so sleep is essential in fighting off colds and flus that have taken hold.


Depression

Depression and lack of sleep can be a chicken-and-the-egg scenario. For some people, depression causes them to lose sleep, while for others, depression comes on due to lack of sleep. In either case, the quality of sleep isn’t there to support optimal mental health. It’s worth mentioning that anxiety issues are also linked to poor sleep.

Though the list goes on in support of good sleep, we think these six reasons are enough to convince anyone of the merits of proper shut-eye.

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