What is it about sleep that makes it so important?


Why is sleep important?

Sleep plays essential role in our health and well-being throughout our lives. Getting enough good quality sleep has many benefits, including for our physical and mental health, quality of life and personal safety. In this article, I describe what happens when we sleep, what happens if we don't get enough, and list some key points to remember.

(Photo credit - Gregory-Pappas @unsplash)

What happens when we sleep?

Sleep is having thought to play important roles in the following:

Controlling our brain functions and restoring our memory

  • Keeping our heart and blood vessels healthy

  • Controlling our body temperature and energy use (metabolism)

  • Repairing tissues

  • Regulating our appetite and weight, as well as controlling blood sugar levels (glucoses)

  • Keeping our immune system working

If we neglect our sleep schedule and begin collecting a sleep deficit, it wreaks havoc on our physical system, potentially contributing to the development of chronic illnesses such as:

  • Diabetes

  • Cardiovascular disease

What happens if we do not get enough sleep?

Lack of sleep can lead to:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, tiredness, and lethargy

  • Morning headaches

  • Poor memory and difficulty focusing

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Making mistakes at work, including causing accidents

  • Relationship problems

  • Lack of sex drive

In young people, lack of quality sleep may have direct effect on their health, development, behaviour, and ability to socialise and getting along with their friends.

Key points

  1. When we sleep, important physical and mental processes are carried out.

  2. Regular, good quality sleep is important for brain functioning, emotional well-being, physical health, daytime performance, and personal safety.

  3. Research suggests that adults need at least 7 to 8 hours sleep each night to be well rested.

  4. Not getting enough sleep is common and can have serious impacts on your health and well-being.

  5. To restore your sleep, we need at least two nights in a row of unrestricted good quality sleep.

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Natasha Town-Warner is running her personal training business from the Exercise Studio in Silverstream. You can read more about Natasha HERE or contact her on tashtowntraining@gmail.com or 0273743681.


The views and opinions expressed in this article belong to the author Natasha Town-Warner, and do not necessarily represent those of The Weights Room Limited trading as the Exercise Studio, it's staff or other contractors, or D & S Falconer.