The importance of sleep is something we often take for granted. Sleep is essential to our well being but it and the effects of sleep deprivation are, unfortunately, often overlooked by most people. A good sleep not only helps us feel refreshed to take on the challenges of the day, but it is also helps to ensure our long-term health. Sleep gives us a clear mind and helps us fight disease. Additionally, sleep helps us concentrate on the task at hand and makes us feel ready to face the day. Without a good night sleep we go through the day sluggish, tired and not fully alert. Being deprived of sleep day after day can lead to illness and negative long term health effects. Indeed, sleep is as important to our health and well being as routine exercise and good nutrition.

A person’s health and well being can be drastically improved by simply having a good night sleep. Millions upon millions of people suffer from sleep disorders and millions upon millions more have trouble sleeping at least a few nights a week. Many adults feel sleepy during the day which affects their daily activities. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) says that millions of Americans suffer from deprivation of sleep and many more suffer from lack of sleep. Indeed, in this fast paced world people around the globe suffer from sleep disorders and sleep deprivation. Sleep is essential to a healthy global population.

Sleep and health are directly linked. Sleep is needed for our nervous system to work properly. Without a good night sleep we are unable to concentrate and we feel drowsy. Lack of sleep interferes with impairment of memory and physical movement. People suffering from lack of sleep have a reduced ability to execute mathematical calculations. Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to hallucinations and mood swings. The importance of sleep is directly linked to our ability to perform well on a daily basis and ultimately to our health. Sleep deprivation can lead to a decrease in body temperature, a decrease in the functioning of the immune system, an increase in the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, and can also cause heart rate variability.

Despite the importance of sleep, the fact remains that millions of people do not get the sleep required to function properly through a normal day. Deprivation of sleep has become a serious problem in today’s world, a problem that if left unchecked will undoubtedly have long-term repercussions on our health and the overall health of our society.

Take a look at info from this one study:

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:

  • Learning and Memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
  • Metabolism and Weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
  • Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
  • Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you would like to do.
  • Cardiovascular Health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
  • Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

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