Benefits of Getting Good Rest
When we sleep, our bodies restore, rejuvenate, and regenerate. It's a time to recover from the previous day while repairing and preparing for the next. The entire body benefits from sleep, so it's not surprising that the importance of sleep cannot be understated. Since the body requires sleep as it requires food, water, and oxygen, we know it plays a vital role in our well-being. Adequate sleep reduces stress and illness, balances our emotions, and improves our overall cognition.
Sleep helps us conserve our energy resources to ensure maximum performance throughout the day. The body replenishes itself during sleep - repairing tissue and allowing for protein synthesis and muscle growth. Additionally, getting adequate sleep before and after learning a new task facilitates maximum memory retention. By getting the right amount of deep, restorative sleep, a person is most ready to perform with a prepared body and a sharp mind. The importance of sleep does not only allow for positive benefits, but also negative side effects.
Dangers of Deprivation
So many of us aren't getting the right amount of sleep at night. During the week, we trade sleep for hours of productivity at work. We have early breakfast meetings and end our days with late dinners. During the weekend, we trade sleep for hours spent enjoying time with friends and family. Unless you make it a priority, it's easy to deprive yourself of the amount of sleep you need to function as a happy and healthy human being.
When you don't appreciate the importance of sleep and get enough of it, your mind doesn't work like it should. Energy goes to the parts of your brain that are responsible for keeping you awake, and the areas most responsible for critical thinking don't perform as they should. A tired mind is a safety hazard, and an unrested body is susceptible to a host of ailments both physical and mental.
Clinical studies have shown that prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. A lack of sleep impairs judgment, and as a result we make poor decisions about what we eat and drink, as well as how much we consume. Sleep deprivation places your body in a permanent state of stress that prevents your organs from working as well as they should. These symptoms combined prevent the body from reaching its potential and lead to a poor quality of health.
Sleep deprivation also affects mood, motivation, and our perception of events. Additionally, a lack of sleep greatly disrupts our focus. The combined result of a sour mood, low motivation, and poor focus make it much harder to learn and retain new information. One cannot have a sharp mind without full appreciating the importance of sleep and engaging in appropriate rest.