It may seem obvious that sleep is beneficial and there is no secret that when we go without sleep for too long, it makes us feel terrible. And on the other hand a good night’s sleep makes us ready to take on the world. But do you know why?? Why is sleep essential for us? What is the role of sleep in our life?
Well, this is because of the body’s internal process as the body cannot adapt to getting less sleep than it requires. Therefore, sleep deprivation catches up with you. Sleep plays a vital role in the normal functioning of the human body. It allows our body and mind to function normally during the day.
Not sleeping for a long time leads to the build up of adenosine. Adenosine is a naturally occurring substance which is present in all the cells but its concentration is high during the waking periods than during sleep. High level of this substance trigger sleep. Lack of sleep causes the accumulation of this substance. Basically, adenosine is secreted due to the degradation of a molecule known as adenosine triphosphate. During the period of wakefulness, the brain uses a large amount of adenosine triphosphate which increases the production of adenosine, resulting in accumulation of adenosine.
According to research, the longest record time without sleep is approximately 11 consecutive days. No doubt, it must have affected the health of a person in a deteriorated way.
Sleep is an extremely important part of health. Getting an adequate amount of sleep protects our body from developing various serious health problems and promotes overall well being. On the other hand, lack of sleep or sleep deprivation can have a harmful impact on health. Sleep loss is associated with the development of various health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, and heart problems. Let’s understand some of the reasons to have a good night’s sleep every night:
1. To live longer - Yes!! The most important reason. Too little or too much sleep is strongly associated with reduced life span. Studies have shown that people who get less than required hours of sleep per night are at high risk of dying. This is due to the health risk factors associated with sleep deprivation.
2. To avoid excess weight gain - Sleep is considered to be crucial to manage weight. It is strongly believed that lack of sleep could lead to an increase in body fat, resulting in obesity. The most common explanation to this correlation is that sleep deprivation alters the appetite and increases the chances of an unhealthy diet.
3. To have a healthy skin - Good night’s sleep is a way to glowing and healthy skin. Sleep regulates the production of some important hormones in the body that could lead to clearer skin, even tone, and less wrinkles. Also, getting a good night sleep makes you look fresh the next day.
4. To improve cognitive function - Sleep deprivation can have far reaching effects on the cognitive system. Not getting sleep for a long time can impair the functioning of the cognitive system such as memory, learning, understanding, and taking up new information.
5.To have a better mood - Many of you might have realized that when you do not get enough sleep at night, you are more likely to be irritated. This is because sleep enhances better mood. Lack of sleep affects the secretion of various hormones, including cortisol (commonly known as stress hormone). Sleep reduces the level of stress and promotes a better mood.
Evidence suggests that getting an adequate amount of sleep is not the only important thing, but getting it at the right time (night time) is also important.
You must have heard people saying that night sleep is the only sleep that increases the level of sleep satisfaction. This is because night time is the right time. Multiple studies have stated that people who work in night shift are at high risk of suffering from health problems and accidents and this is because of the way the biological clock in the body functions.
The biological clock is the clock that regulates the sleeping pattern in an individual and the primary hormone, melatonin which makes a person sleepy also belongs to this clock. The biological clock basically includes various nerve cells of the brain that triggers the body to produce melatonin and prepares the body for sleep. Melatonin makes a person feel drowsy. This clock functions throughout the day and triggers the body, depending on the internal and external factors like a light. In the light, it keeps the alertness high in a person. Eventually, during the night time body produces a high amount of melatonin, making a person and less attentive. Therefore, people who do night shift are more likely to face problems with alertness as the biological clock makes a person least alert during the night time.
Sleep is highly dependent on our lifestyle, primarily dependent on what we eat and what we do. There some lifestyle factors that can affect the sleep in multiple ways such as:
1. Diet - What we eat can affect our sleep. Some foods that make us sleep better, whereas some foods can screw our beauty sleep. Therefore there is a strong relationship between the food that we eat close to bed time and the quality of sleep. For example, eating almonds and walnut can enhance better sleep and having coffee and spicy food can screw beauty sleep.
2. Room environment - The indoor environment can have a significant impact on the quality of sleep. The most simple example to explain this point is light. As stated above, there is a correlation between light and melatonin (a hormone that makes you sleepy). Therefore, keeping light off in the room can promote better quality sleep.
3. Physical activity - Research suggests that people who do regular exercise are less likely to complain about sleeping problems. Regular physical activity can have multiple health benefits and getting good quality sleep is one of the benefits. Evidence suggests that exercise can make you fall asleep more quickly and improves the overall quality of sleep.
4. Alcohol consumption - There is a myth that consumption of alcohol makes you have a good sleep. But the truth is that alcohol consumption may make you feel sleepy and drowsy for that time, but it significantly decreases the quality of life. This is one of the reasons why people who consume excess alcohol get up feeling tired the next morning.
Therefore, it can be concluded that sleep plays a vital role in maintaining the health of a person. Share this post with your family and friends and spread awareness. Stay Safe, Stay Healthy!!