Do you find it hard to sleep at night? No matter how much you toss and turn, you just can catch any Z's at all! You could be having insomnia or sleep deprivation symptoms. But, what is insomnia and what could be the symptoms to tell that you are indeed sleep deprived? Read through the rest of the article to learn more about it.
Sleep and What You Should Know about It
Sleep is an essential part of your daily routine. It is more than just resting, it is a protective and life – sustaining activity. You might not fully understand why and how it become so beneficial but you know that enough sleep gives you a great feeling, revitalize your senses and makes you efficient throughout the day. You also understand that lack of sleep will give you terrible effects to your health and the day ahead.
Sleep is commonly associated with lying down and closing your eyes. It is a great way of relaxation; a time of reduced activity. During sleep, the person becomes less responsive to external stimuli.
Scientists have been studying sleeping and its different aspects for the longest time. They found out that sleeping plays a very essential role in your immunity, metabolism, learning, memory, etc. Since it is something that your body needs, signals are sent like sleepiness to prompt you that you need to take a rest and sleep. It is comparable to hunger that prompts you to eat, thirst that prompts you to drink, etc.
Benefits of Sleep
- Sleep has a big impact on learning, memory and other cognitive functions. A person who is deprived of sleep will have a hard time in paying attention and focusing. While a good night's sleep can help you get high grades, perform better in your sports, and maintain you over all well being.
The learning and memory mechanisms in your brain are classified into three processes:
Acquisition is referred to as the brain's activity of getting or gathering of new information.
Consolidation is a process in the brain wherein memory becomes stable.
Recall is the ability to access stored information both during conscious or unconscious state.
These three processes are supported by sleep. During waking hours, the brain performs acquisition of new learning. While during sleep, your brain consolidates all the things that happened during the day. With good sleep, you will have a good recall of the data gathered and a sharper memory. In contrary, lack of sleep will cause you to have ‘false memory' or getting a wrong recall.
- Improves your immunity. A research found out that people with poor sleeping habits are likely to catch cold; while those who have enough sleep became less susceptible to the virus.
- Could help you live longer. A study in 2010 found more deaths in women aging 50 to 79 who only sleep less than five hours compared to those who get 6.5 hours each night.
- Will lessen the risk for inflammation. Inflammation may cause diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, and even premature aging. Another research proved that people who sleep less than six hours are likely to increase their inflammatory proteins than those who get more sleeping hours.
- Promotes creativity. Because brain reorganizes your memory during sleep, this will create more positive thoughts and foster emotional strength which will result to creativity.
- Conserves energy. According to Energy Conservation Theory, humans decreases their metabolic activity during sleep. This means that there will be lesser demand since there is lesser activity compared to waking hours. In this way, the body conserves its energy resources especially at night when you don't take in food to burn into calories then be used as energy.
- Restores what is lost during the day. It is the time when the body rejuvenates itself. According to the Restorative Theory, the activities happening in the body during sleep are protein synthesis, tissue repair, muscle growth, hormone release and other major body functions that are restorative in nature. Also during sleep, our body clears out the adenosine, which is a product of the neurons that makes us feel tired. As a result, you feel energized and more alert when you wake up.
Sleep Deprivation Symptoms and Its Effects
If you have poor sleeping habits, and constantly sleep less than the recommended hours for your age, this may result to difficulty in receiving new information. In addition, if you are tired, your neurons (brain cells) will not perform well and will not transmit information properly.
With sleep deprivation symptoms, you tend to make unsound decision and have an impaired judgment and interpretation to an event or situation. Moreover, since you lack the ability to assess well the situation, you will not be able to plan and act on it accordingly.
Lastly, chronic sleeplessness will cause physical, emotional and mental fatigue. You may lose your balance and hurt yourself. It will impact your mood; making you irritable and impatient. You cannot concentrate on the things you need to prioritize. Worst, you cannot finish your tasks. The quality of sleep will greatly affect your performance at work, in your social circle, or even at home.
So before you stay late up night, whether finishing a project or just chilling out, ask yourself is it worth the time? Or is it best to allow your body to sleep. Think of sleep as your best friend. Sleep will not just give you a temporary benefit, it will offer you longevity. Don't think that working hard could bring you to where you want to go. Sleeping does. It will make you functional and effective. It will reward you as you respect it. So never rob that privilege from yourself.
Do you think you get enough sleep everyday? Share your story about your sleeping patterns and how you manage them!