Sleep is one of the most important elements in life. Have you ever been sleep deprived? Then you will understand why sleep is so important. When we talk about healthy living, we cannot forget about the need of sleep. However, there are many sleep issues that a normal person can encounter in life.
First of all, why do you need to sleep?
The need for sleep is a critical one. An ordinary people is vulnerable to death due to sleep deprivation rather than having eating disorder problems.
Sleep is also extremely important for our brain. There are brain cells acting as a biological clock to sleep. They are called suprachiasmatic nucleus. When the external environment goes light, it will wake you up. Conversely, when the external environment becomes dark, it will make us sleepy.
During a sleep, your body still works to metabolise energy and restore health. Also, the muscles in the body are grown. If you have a lack of sleep, your body cannot perform these operations well. So, sleep-deprived people often feel fatigued and lack of energy.
In particular, the information acquired through the five senses when you are awake will be reorganised during sleep. Your brain will rearrange what you have seen and heard. All important information will be stored in the memory. Anything that does not matter will be removed out of your memory.
In life, there is information that is not really important for your brain that needs to be forgotten to not create a burden for your memory. For example, today you met someone in the street and there are a lot of acnes on his face. Of course, you do not want to remember this minor detail in a lifetime. If not, you will be haunted. Meanwhile, sleep will help you forget this information. You are not under stress having to remember what is not needed.
When your brain filters the information, you will have more informed decisions that are made lucidly. So, if you now are facing important decisions in life, what you need to do is to take good care of your sleep. After waking up, you will be smarter and able to make a right decision.
There was a study on rats ever made by the scientists. If we let these rats be sleep-deprived, they will die within 17 to 20 days. (1)
When you are sleep derived constantly, you will encounter a disease known as insomnia. Insomnia means you are having a sleep disorder or poor-quality sleep. Having this disease, when awake you have a lifeless performance. All day, you will lose focus, feel the lack of energy and your memory does not work well. You always want to be in bed and sleep.
35% of adults often encounter four of the following symptoms, also known as four expressions of insomnia, which is "difficulty falling asleep, waking a lot during the night, waking up too early and not being able to get back to sleep, or waking up feeling unrefreshed." (2)
All of this will increase the risk of premature death when you get older.
How to sleep well and have a better life?
Reduce the time you lay in bed: This may sound paradoxical. The more you lack sleep, the more you need to reduce your daytime sleeping. A lot of people think that they need to sleep during the day if they lack sleep at night. But this only makes the sleep disorder problem worse.
Change your beliefs about sleep: If you believe the fact that you lack sleep last night is the reason why today you lack focus and you cannot function properly as usual, you will end up sleeping during the day whenever you have time. But this belief does not have any scientific basis. In fact, when you lack sleep the night before, you can still fully awake to work the day after. Mostly, the fatigue is caused by your thoughts and your emotions rather than your sleep-deprivation. At noon, you just need to spend 10 to 30 minutes to get a nap.
Get enough sleep: This is a personal choice. It's a mistake to assume that all of us must have enough sleep for about 8 hours a day. Because of the amount of sleep needed by each person is different, you need to determine how much of sleep time is enough for you. The best way to know if you are getting enough sleep is after waking up, you may feel sleepy during the day or not. If you are sleepy, you should increase the time in bed at night. If you only have 5 hours to sleep per day and still be alert and focused on working day long, then 5 hours is enough for you.
If you constantly force yourself to sleep for exact 8 hours, you will create unnecessarily psychological tension.
Moreover, avoid sleeping pills, alcohol beverages, caffeine and heavy meals before bedtime. Finally, regular exercise will help you sleep more deeply at night.