We all go to bed at night, sleep on average for seven to nine hours and we take the benefits of sleep very much for granted. We very rarely ever ask the question…..Why?
We really do sleep for the good of our health and all living creatures need to sleep for a varying amount of hours each day in order to function correctly and therefore, sleep is vital for our health and well being. If we fail to get sufficient sleep then eventually, it will be payback time, both physically as well as mentally.
A lack of sleep can make us moody, bad tempered, irritable, impatient, aggressive and unable to concentrate and react quickly when needed. When tired we can become vulnerable and prone to accidents and constant sleep deprivation will eventually have a negative effect on our immune system leaving us vulnerable to attack.
The Benefits of Sleep are Many and Varied and Here are a few
- Sleep is a time for the body to repairs itself and is busy replacing and renewing cells.
- Sleep lowers levels of blood pressure and heart rate.
- It also reduces levels of stress hormones, which helps slow down the degeneration the body’s cells.
- Sleep can even help control our weight because it regulates hormones that directly affect the appetite.
- Sleep allows our mind to optimize and re-organizes our memories and a lack of sleep can have a negative effect.
- Sleep research concludes that sleep is essential in helping us to learn new things.
You may have heard of REM sleep, which means “rapid eye movement” this occurs approximately an hour after we drift into sleep, the REM cycle begins. Results of studies into REM sleep show that this is a vitally important type of sleep because this is when the mind rationalizes itself by going through the days events including memories and emotions then decides what it needs to keep, file away, remedy or to delete.
REM is deep dreaming when your eyes start to move about rapidly under your eyelids, even your arms and legs may start to move about. If you have a pet dog or cat then you have more than likely seen this REM sleep in action, it can be quite amusing watching them thrashing their legs as though running, barking or meowing and their eyes moving around rapidly under their closed eyelids.
Sometimes REM sleep can be responsible for you experiencing very strange dreams shortly before you wake up in the morning. These dreams seem to make perfect sense at the time of waking but the memory of the dream starts to fade away quickly and very soon, all you can remember are just absurd snippets. Very often, these dreams can leave you feeling unsettled all day but the benefits of sleep are incalculable.