Why We Need a Good Night’s Sleep

Some people need eight hours of sleep while others can exist on four. The bottom line though is that everybody needs sleep as it’s as vital as breathing and eating. We all feel better after a good night’s rest and much worse if deprived from doing so. Days of having no sleep leaves us irritable, disoriented, forgetful and generally miserable.

Photo by RelaxingMusic on Flickr

Photo by RelaxingMusic on Flickr

So why do we need sleep then? Here are some of the top reasons why a good night’s slumber is a must.

1. Sleep May Help You Learn More Effectively

It has long been proven that sleep plays an important role in memory but recent findings suggest that getting some real shut-eye improves learning. In one study, researchers discovered that depriving students of sleep after learning a new skill decreased memory of that skill up to three days later. Known as the memory consolidation theory of sleep, this notion proposes that sleep serves to process and retain information learned earlier while awake.

2. Sleep Deprivation May Contribute to Obesity

Having not enough sleep has been linked to body weight. A 2005 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that overweight participants sleep less than participants of normal weight. Researchers haven’t fully understood how sleep disruption impacts appetite and metabolism but getting a good night’s sleep can certainly help you maintain a good and healthy weight.

3. Sleep Can Help You Make Better Decisions

Have you tried having to struggle to make simple decisions after having poor slumber the night before? One study published in the journal, Sleep, revealed that sleepiness has a serious impact in your ability to make effective decisions so if faced with such a situation, better make sure that you’ve had enough rest to avoid being in such a predicament.

4. Sleep is Important for Managing Stress

Experts said that we need between seven to eight hours of sleep every night. If you don’t get enough sleeping hours, you get disoriented, moody, anxious and aggressive, all of which, contribute to increasing your stress level. According to Elizabeth Scott of About.com’s Guide to Stress Management, taking power naps is a good way to fight drowsiness, reduce stress and increase productivity. Stress will always be there everyday of our lives but ensuring that we get the right hours of sleep equips us with the readiness to cope with it.

Talking of power naps or siestas, it has been found out that you can actually get a memory boost from a daytime nap so if you are studying or working hard in the morning, do allow yourself some rest by closing your eyes for a while.

If you happen have a hard time sleeping though, it would be wise to see your doctor as you may be suffering from a sleeping disorder already. He could suggest sleep strategies or prescribe sleeping pills to help you attain that state of slumber you need.

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