It’s undeniable that sleep plays a big role in a person’s life.. However, data has shown that an estimated 30% to 45% of adults suffer from insomnia. “Importance of sleep” essays also emphasize that some habits like the use of cellphones and other gadgets also compel people to get less sleep than what they actually need.
Why do people need sleep in the first place? Is it simply a period of time when the body completely shuts down, or is there more to sleep than most people realize? Understanding how getting enough sleep can positively impact our health can be the first step to improving our overall well-being.
What are the Top Reasons Why Sleep is Important?
Sleep Improves Memory and Your Ability To Learn
One of the reasons why sleep is important is because it can boost learning and memory. Studies have shown that sleep plays an important role in memory, which directly affects a person’s ability to learn. This completely debunks the myth that nothing happens to the body when you’re at rest. On the contrary, the brain goes through different activities during the period when you’re asleep.
Sleep can be categorized into two types, namely:
- Quiet sleep or non-REM sleep.
- Dreaming sleep or REM sleep.
Quiet sleep, or non-REM sleep is when a person’s brain goes through the process of organizing newly-acquired memories for long-term storage. Since the brain cycles between different stages of sleep throughout the night, not getting enough sleep means less time for consolidation.
One study proved that students who slept between lectures did better on a test, compared to those who didn’t. If you’re a student who has a habit of staying up all night before a big test then you might perform better if you used that time to sleep.
Sleep Regulates Your Appetite
One of the reason why sleep is important is because of how it regulates appetite and affects metabolism. This is part of the many reasons why sleep is important. There are two hormones that affect our hunger namely:
- Ghrelin is a hormone produced in the stomach, small intestine, pancreas, and brain. It is often referred to as the “hunger hormone,” because of its primary function which is to stimulate your appetite.
- Leptin is a hormone mainly produced by fat cells. This hormone is referred to as the “satiety hormone” because of how it inhibits hunger. Leptin also maintains body weight.
When you don’t get enough sleep, the amount of ghrelin increases which can stimulate appetite This is why sleep deprivation puts you at risk of becoming obese or overweight.