Why your body and your mind need sleep.
If you’re like half of all adults, you may not be sleeping well and not getting the right amount of sleep. Today’s fast paced society can make sleep seem like a luxury, not a need, but this is simply not true: you need quality sleep for good health. Sleep deprivation affects your entire body and mind.
Sleep plays an important part in your mood, memory and concentration. to organize memories, solidify learning, and improve concentration. Proper sleep, especially sleep where you are actively dreaming (REM sleep), regulates mood as well. Lack of sleep can make you irritable and cranky, affecting your emotions, social interaction, and decision making. Sleep deprivation also affects motor skills, enough to be similar to driving while drunk if seriously sleep deprived.
Sleep benefits your nervous system and immune system. Neurons are the freeways of the nervous system that carry out both voluntary commands, like moving your arm, and involuntary commands, like breathing and digestive processes. Sleep gives neurons time to rest and repair. Without adequate sleep, the immune system becomes weak, and the body becomes more vulnerable to infection and disease.
So, how do you know if you need more sleep? Here are some signs:
• difficulty waking up in the morning
• poor performance in school, on the job, or in sports
• increased clumsiness
• difficulty making decisions
• falling asleep during work or class
• feeling especially moody or irritated
Sleep deprivation can be dangerous not only to you but others, since it affects motor skills like driving. Chronic sleep deprivation is also thought to cause long term changes to the body, which contribute to increased risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease.