Why do we sleep?

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | April 22nd, 2011

Sleeping.

Most of us have a love/hate relationship with it: we want to stay awake so we have more hours in our day to get things done, but if we do not sleep we feel terrible.  Sleep replenishes us.  It makes us happier, more alert, and more energetic.

We spend a third of our lives sleeping, for most people that is over 25 years.  I know people who can function off of 5 hours of sleep, while I can barely make it through one day on that small amount.  I also know that sometimes if I get too much sleep, I feel like I am hibernating and do not feel the need to get up at all that day.  Why do some people need more sleep than others?  Why do we have to sleep at all?

Sleep has been studied for years now and so far the reasons why we sleep are still just theories.  The reason I think we need sleep is to restore our body and mind.

As we sleep, our brain processes what we did that day.  I have been almost asleep, not a thought through my head, and I realize I forgot to do something like lock the door and must get up to do it that minute.  This time to process the day helps us remember and process better.  If anyone has tried to take a test after an all-nighter and felt like everything was on the tip of your tongue, you know how important sleep is for brain function.

We also have a healthier immune system when we get the proper amount of sleep.  When we do not sleep, we get sick and then have to stay home and sleep the whole day.  When we sleep regularly, our body repairs itself and we get to start each day fresh.

Lastly, we are less irritable and function better in society with more sleep.  We all have had a time in our lives where we had to apologize for saying or doing something while we were grumpy and we always use the excuse “I’m sorry. I haven’t been sleeping.  I am just so tired.”

Regulating our sleep schedule means going to sleep at the same time each night.  We do not need to stay up later on the weekend.  Your body acts like it goes to another time zone and it takes a day to regulate each hour back t normal time meaning if you stay up 5 hours later on Friday and Saturday, it takes 5 days to regulate back to our work schedule. By then it’s the weekend and we start all over.

Give yourself a break and get some sleep.

 

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