The average person spends approximately one third of his life sleeping. This equals more than 25 years in bed! And we are told Mother Nature strives for efficiency?
Although it might seem like a waste, sleep is actually crucial to proper brain function and greatly affects the quality of the other two thirds of your life that you spend awake. Scientists are yet to understand how sleep works and how we evolved this mechanism. One thing that can be easily observed, however, is the consequences of failing to provide the body with proper rest. Here are six reasons why you should not view sleep as a waste of time.
According to scientific studies, a lack of proper sleep is directly related to weight gain. One study found that people who did not get enough sleep were 7.5 times more likely to have a higher body mass index.
While the exact biological mechanism is not yet fully understood, observational data shows that sleeping well or not can cause hormonal changes in your body. These changes can increase your appetite, among other consequences.
If you are concerned about losing weight, fixing your sleep schedule is one relatively easy trick to improve results.
Apparently, one feature of the body which is affected by sleep is the immune system. According to one study, people who slept less than 7 hours per day were 3 times more likely to develop a cold than those with 8 or more hours of sleep.
Given the relationship between sleep and the immune system, those hours that you thought you gained by not sleeping may end up translating into money and time spent at the doctor. A bad deal in the end.
Sleep is divided into 4 stages. One of these, the latest stage, is called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM sleep is fundamental for activities related to learning and abstract thinking. Not getting enough REM sleep results in memory issues, difficulty concentrating and slower thinking.
Since REM sleep occurs later in the night, when you cut your sleep short this sleep cycle is the most affected. Therefore, lack of sleep affects your concentration, multitasking, problem solving and decision making abilities at work.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes and more than 1,500 deaths every year.
Studies have shown that sleep-deprived adults perform as poorly as drunk drivers behind the wheel. Lack of sleep slows reaction time, decreases awareness and impairs judgment. While we are all aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, many of us don’t realize that drowsy driving can be equally fatal.
Sleep is important for the maintenance and growth of multiple physiological systems. One of these many systems is the body’s skin tissue.
One study found that sleep is related to skin aging. This research analyzed skin after exposure to ultraviolet light and its ability to recover. It found that poor sleep quality causes the skin to exhibit reduced protective function and increased signs of aging. Apparently Sleeping Beauty has a scientific basis!
It is no surprise at this point that poor sleep has also been linked to depression. The relationship between sleep and depression has been studied for decades, and it is estimated that 90% of patients with depression complain about their sleep quality.
According to one study, sleep quality has even been associated with risk of suicide.
While we are all impacted differently by lack of sleep, clearly the ramifications are not good! At BlanQuil, our goal is to help you achieve better sleep. This can come in the form of falling asleep quicker, staying asleep longer and sleeping deeper. We all know how we feel when we’re tired (not good!) but we wanted to illuminate some of the more serious issues than can occur when sleepless nights pile up. If you find yourself wondering why you can’t sleep, maybe it’s time to try a BlanQuil Weighted Blanket! We carry various sizes and weights to ensure there’s something that will work for you. The deep sleep you’re craving may be but a few clicks away…