Why is Sleep Important?
Sleep is a very important function for the human body. It provides the body with rest and restores chemicals in the brain. It plays a key role in improving and maintaining our overall physical and psychological well-being. Our ability to perform tasks while being awake depends a lot on how much sleep our body receives. Very little sleep is known to cause significant health risks in the long run.
According to various studies, a lack of sleep has been associated with several medical conditions including obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular problems. Sleep deprivation has also been cited as a reason for accidents and mishaps. Investigations have shown that even major disasters, such as the Chernobyl Nuclear meltdown, occurred because employees working in the facility were performing under severe sleep deprivation.
A study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation discovered that around 60% of drivers, which translates to 168 million individuals, have operated their automobile even when they were drowsy. One third of those people also reported that they have fallen asleep behind the wheel. This is one of the top causes for accidents. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sleep deprived drivers are responsible for around 100,000 driving related accidents. Newer studies have shown this number to be much higher. The Institute of Medicine puts it at around 20% of all road accidents, which translates into 1 million accidents, 8000 fatalities, and 500,000 injuries annually, in the US alone.
Though a lack of sleep may not be the only reason for such disasters, it is definitely one of them. So, here are a few reasons as to why your body must receive enough sleep.
Sleep Helps Brain Function
A good night's sleep can help in maintaining proper brain functions. When the body is in a state of rest, it allows the brain to prepare for the next day. The brain is creating connections with the cells and tissues in your body to improve abilities such as learning and memory. This is why individuals who are deprived of sleep tend to have problems with basic functions such as decision making or controlling emotions.
Sleep Increases Academic Skill
Sleep also contributes to growth and development in young children and teenagers. It also helps their brains develop cognitive functions. Sleep deprivation causes children to exhibit poor academic skills and induces lethargy.
Improve Physical Health with Sleep
Sleep also contributes to the maintenance of your overall physical health. When the body is in a state of rest, it focuses on repairing and healing various organs. This ensures that your body stays prepared for activity the next day.
Keeps us Positive
A well-rested body directly impacts the way we work and improves our productivity. Lack of sleep can negatively affect the way we perform our day to day duties. Not only can sleep deprivation affect personal health but also cause large scale problems such as accidents. A lot of tragic incidents such as plane or car crashes have often been the result of sleep deprivation.