Why is Sleep Important?
Sleep doesn’t seem to get prioritized in our lives. But maybe after this, you’ll reconsider getting in a full night’s slumber.
- If you think you’re performing your daily tasks with the same alertness after a poor night’s sleep, think again.
- If you haven’t heard by now, being awake for 24 hours is equal to having a blood alcohol level above the legal limit.
- Surgeons were given the ultimate test of this when asked to perform surgery on a virtual reality laparoscopic surgery simulator after a good night’s rest, and then whilst sleep-deprived for 24 hours. They made 20% more errors and took 14% longer to complete the surgery.
- Lack of sleep impairs alertness, ability to do mental work, balance, decreases motor skills overall, and reaction times. (The Lancet)
- When you’re asleep, your whole body has time to recover from the day.
- Your brain stores relevant information, your muscles repair, and along with many other processes, your skin has time to recover.
- By getting fewer than 6 hours of sleep for 5 nights in a row, you have a 45% increase in fine lines and wrinkles.
- Sleep helps our skin recover from sun damage and keeps us looking younger.
- It also regulates our hormones and reduces inflammation. (Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology)
- Our fat cells need sleep too!
- A study was conducted where lean participants spent 8.5 hours in bed for 4 nights, and then in another part of the study, they were sleep-deprived with 4 hours in bed for 4 nights. They ate the exact same things and consumed the same number of calories in both phases.
- They were then given an intravenous glucose test and they did an abdominal biopsy for fat tissue cells to see the insulin reaction.
- Being sleep-deprived has a direct correlation to insulin resistance in the body.
- After being sleep-deprived, the test subject’s insulin resistance dropped by 16%, and their fat cells’ insulin resistance decreased by 30%.
- Meaning, that more sleep could aid in weight loss. (University of Chicago)
- Researchers at the University of Cambridge published data showing that our genes differ from summer to winter months and that seasonality affects our immune system and its function.
- However, the less sleep you get, the more likely you will be to get sick when exposed to a potential virus. (Mayo Clinic)
- When you do get sick, your sleep will determine how quickly you recover.
- You know that feeling when you’re sick and all you want to do is lie in bed and sleep? That’s your body’s way of slowing you down and making sure it can recover and repair as quickly as possible.
- During sleep, the immune system fires up as there aren’t as many other processes happening in the body – such as digestion.
SLEEP LOSS CAN ALSO AFFECT YOUR PERSONALITY
- Depression, anxiety, and irritability increase as sleep decreases.
- Sleep loss also amplifies negative events and emotions during the day and reduces the good feelings that happen and their positive effects on our serotonin production (The Journal of Sleep).
- People have higher rates of social withdrawal when sleep-deprived. (Nature Communications and Cover)
SLEEP HAS AN EFFECT ON THE LENGTH OF OUR LIVES.
- Telomeres, the end caps on our chromosomes, essentially unravel day by day until they do not exist anymore, and we are at the end of our lives. They are affected by choices we make daily.
- Short sleep periods and deprivation are directly related to telomeres shortening. (Journal Public Library of Science)