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Monday December 10, 2018

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Importance of Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important things for children and adults and yet it is constantly being overlooked. Living in a society where resting is seen as laziness and success is determined by how many hours you spend at work; it is very easy to think that sleep is not crucial.

Everyone needs sleep. There are countless studies and tons of research on the dangers of sleep deprivation and how it increases the risk of depression, makes it difficult to regulate emotions, damages health and impairs cognitive functioning. It causes difficulty in focusing in class and stops your brain from thinking clearly.

One thing that helps people get more sleep is recognizing the benefits of getting sleep every night. One benefit of sleep is that it helps you learn. When you sleep, your neural pathways strengthen and helps process what you did throughout the day. A study from Harvard Medical School tasked students with a challenging computer maze. After dealing with the problem for a while, the students went to sleep. It was found that the students who dreamt of the maze saw an improvement in their ability to solve the puzzle.

In addition to this, sleep allows your brain to remove information that is unnecessary and makes room for more memory storage. Also, it was found that sleep improves academic performance such as improved recall, faster response time, and more fluid response time. It was also shown that higher achieving students go to bed 40 minutes earlier than students who get low marks. Lastly, sleep improves your mental health and athletic performance. It improves your immune system and improves reaction times as well as reduces injury rates.

To get better sleep, establish a routine that makes you sleep earlier and at consistent times. Don’t drink caffeine right before bed and stay off devices at least 30 minutes before bed. Another thing that will help is to meditate before bed so that the brain is calm and relaxed. Lastly, realize what is stopping you from sleeping such as homework and other unattended work and make time to get these things done earlier.

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