The Importance of Sleep

Getting a good quality night's sleep is essential for a person's overall health and well being according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). But we do not need an expert organization to tell us this as we all know how much better we feel when we have gotten a good night's sleep. When we have not had enough sleep irritability, moodiness and disinhibition are some of the signs we experience from lack of sleep. Disinhibition is used to describe when we have lack of restraint and poor risk assessment. It is a process which results in a person having reduced capacity to edit or manage their immediate impulsive response to a situation. Sleep deprivation can also lead to a person having an impaired memory, slowed speech and an inability to multitask. This is not good for the busy lives we lead today.

The amount of sleep we need varies with each individual but on average an adult needs 8 hours of sleep. Some people are able to function well with just 6 hours sleep whereas others need 10.

The many scientists and psychologists who have studied sleep disorders have shown that lack of sleep can affect the following:

• The immune system – The immune system is a protection mechanism made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body, it is the body's natural defense against infectious organisms such as bacteria, microbes, viruses, parasites and toxins.

• Metabolic functions – The processes necessary for the maintenance of a living organism.

• Brain and the nervous system – The brain controls everything we do and The nervous systems is a network of tissues that controls actions, thoughts, emotions, sensations, and all of the basic body functions.

• Cardiovascular system – This includes the heart and blood vessels, arteries, veins and capillaries. The system transports food, hormones, metabolic wastes, and gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from cells.

So as you can see by the list above it is very important to get good nights sleep. There are many reasons why some of us have trouble sleeping and many people who can sleep take it for granted. Insomnia could be one reason, insomnia is when you are tired during the day and struggle to nod off, and once you do nod off you sleep lightly and wake up too early. Insomnia can be caused by medical problems, substance use or an emotional issue. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder caused by difficulty in breathing during sleep. Loud snoring and then long pauses in breathing followed by gasping for breath are the main symptoms. Stress could also be a factor in why some people can not sleep.

If your one of the millions that can relate to this article, then you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. Once your doctor has diagnosed you properly they will have a rough idea of ​​where your problems stem from. Remember to be honest to your doctor about your lifestyle as it could just be a few simple changes that will make you get your sleeping back on track.

The importance of sleep should never be underestimated. Our brain is like a computer that needs power to work. Our brains need to shut down and rest so they are charged and ready to work for us each day.