Why is Sleep So Important?

Are you the type of person that goes through life groggy and puffy eyed with the minimum amount of sleep? Contrary to the common belief, sleep deficiency affects you in a lot more ways than just causing a few yawns and heavier eyes. The importance of sleep is prevalent in brain health which consequently can affect numerous aspects of your health that aren’t typically associated with sleep. To learn why is sleep so important for the brain and body read on!

The Importance of Sleep on Your Brain

Sleep is one of the most important things to keep your brain working properly. While you are sleeping, your brain prepares for the next day by “cleaning out” unwanted memories and creating new pathways to improve learning for the next day. When your brain doesn’t have sufficient sleep, you will have trouble learning, problem solving and adapting to change.

Other contributions a well rested brain makes to mental health, is emotional stability. Having enough hours of sleep gives the amygdala, the part of our brain that controls emotional responses, the ability to react normally. When tired, the amygdala fires more rapidly and we become more emotional or have more stress from events that usually would not be a problem. Sleep is especially important for children and their emotional health.

The Importance of Sleep on Your Body

Mental health can also affect your physical health. When you are sleep deprived, your brain produces more ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry, and less of leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full. That is why when you are tired you tend to snack more or meals don’t fill you up as much. Lack of sleep also influences the way your body produces insulin. This could lead to a higher risk of diabetes.

Prolonged sleep deficiency can have longer-lasting effects on the body as well. Chance of heart and kidney disease raise drastically after prolonged sleep deficiency and the chances of stroke also rise. Even fighting common infections is harder when your brain and body are tired. The immune system’s ability to protect the body against viruses is lowered drastically when sleep deprived.

Even though this all sounds alarming, it should not be something you stress about. Just get a good night’s sleep and relax. Don’t you wish other problems could be fixed just by sleeping?

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