Thursday, 20 August 2020

The Growing Importance Of Sleep

The-Growing-Importance-Of-Sleep

The Growing Importance Of Sleep Sleep is so much more than just shutting down one’s body and mind, which we call rest. Sleep is instead a phenomenon in which a lot of processes take place, like memory restoration and strengthening. Sleep has critical roles to play in the wellbeing of one’s physical and mental health. We often hear researchers, doctors, and psychologists speaking about the importance of sleep, but somehow we still ignore it. So in this article, you will find out why sleep is so important, and also answer questions like is 7 hours of sleep enough? 

If you have observed recent issues regarding your physical and mental health like weight gain, fatigue, diabetes, any type of heart disease, tend to forget things, having a hard time in remembering a recent activity, etc., then it is possible that you are sleep deprived. Here we will talk about all these important issues and how they are linked with sleep. But before that, let us talk about what is sleep and why do we sleep.

In layman’s term, sleep is a natural state of the mind and body in which the individual becomes physically inactive and is unaware of the surroundings. Suprachiasmatic nucleus is a part of the brain, which when doesn’t detect light, activates the pineal gland to produce melatonin. Melatonin is a chemical that makes one feel drowsy. Brain is indeed one of the most important parts of the human body, and that is why sleep is important for the brain.

Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and obesity

Studies by the researcher say that if one is sleep deprived or has short sleep, it is likely that he or she will have increased BMI (Body Mass Index). This is because lack of sleep reduces the leptin and increases ghrelin in the body; both the hormones control the appetite. This increases one’s appetite, which contributes to weight gain and obesity. 

Why sleep is important for students

The-Growing-Importance-Of-Sleep

Sleep contributes to a lot of the brain functions and thus, it is very important that students sleep well. It is often observed that students sleep less, especially during exams and evaluations, but this only negatively affects their outcome. Performance, concentration, productivity are all irreplaceable factors for a student. And all these are directly linked with sleep and are adversely affected if one is sleep-deprived.

Why is sleep important for the brain?

Our brain controls everything that happens in our body, right from communicating between two neurons (nerve cell), to storing information which we call memory. It is fascinating how all of this happens, and it is scientifically and medically proved that sleep contributes towards these brain functions. Quite a significant number of functions of processing and storing our day to day information happens while we are asleep. Sleep removes toxins that develop in the brain while we are awake. So, if you want your brain and body to function well even in your old age, it is very important that you sleep well.

How does sleep affect growth?

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Growth hormones that are responsible for the growth of a person are mostly released during sleep. Therefore, if one is sleep deprived or sleeps very less, the growth hormones in their body will be suppressed, thus hampering the overall growth. Especially sleep is essential for the mental and physical growth of a child as most of the growth and learnings like language social skills happen in early childhood.

Is 7 hours of sleep enough?

Due to the changing routine and lifestyle, between home and work, we often tend to bargain with our sleep duration. But just because you feel energetic even after 4-5 hours of sleep doesn’t mean that it is enough. For our body and mind to function at the most optimum level we need to follow the guidelines that are set by experts and researchers. The sleep range can vary depending on the age group. For example, a newborn between 0-3 years is expected and advised to have a sleep of 14-17 hours, whereas a toddler is advised to sleep for 11-14 hours. Similarly, a teen is advised to sleep for 8-10 hours, whereas a grown-up adult is advised to sleep for 7-9 hours.

Conclusion

Sleep is as important as other activities of the day. And it is not wise to neglect your sleep to get that extra work done. Sometimes yes, with the busy routine, there can be an exception, but never let it turn into a habit. When you take out the time to hit the gym, say no to fast food because you want to stay healthy, then why risk all these efforts by not getting an adequate sleep? A healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, and a good sleep are the key to a healthy mind and a healthy body. 

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