From boardrooms to bedrooms, everyone from Arianna Huffington on a recent TED talk to your local GP is talking about the importance of sleep and why getting enough can have a huge impact on your life.
The amount of sleep – or our lack of it- has almost become a status symbol in the boardroom, on facebook status updates and even when hanging with our mates.
If you stop and think about it, it makes no sense. We all need sleep to stay fit, healthy and alert. It’s time to change the trend – and for you, getting 8 hours sleep a night really could change your life.
Here are some official reasons why:
So why do we need sleep?
1) To de-clutter: Scientists at the university of Rochester have found we need it to clear our minds of clutter, and re-boot them each and every day. The lymphatic system does it for the rest of the body, but for the mind, sleep is the only way to perform the same function.
“This study shows that the brain has different functional states when asleep and when awake,” study researcher Maiken Nedergaard, of the University of Rochester said.
“In fact, the restorative nature of sleep appears to be the result of the active clearance of the by-products of neural activity that accumulate during wakefulness.”
2) Without sleep our personalities change. You only have to visit someone who is a new parent and having sleepless nights to see irritability, low tolerance, and the effects of not enough sleep.
3) Co-ordination is effected; without sleep, our co-ordination is one of the first things to suffer. Much like excessive alcohol consumption and driving, without sleep, our judgement is impaired, and we are far more likely to make mistakes and struggle with machinery.
4) Better sex; One of the first effects on the body of not enough sleep is a lack of libido. The more sleep, the more sex, and the better the quality of that sex.
5) Consolidation of memories: Sleep helps us consolidate our memories and emotions, so we wake up with a clear head and open feelings.
6) Immune system: Sleep helps the immune system. Immune signalling molecules are present in the healthy brain, where they interact with neurochemical systems to contribute to the regulation of normal sleep.
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