Why Does Sleep Matter?

Posted by Brielle Pastore on Jan 9, 2014 10:30:00 AM
As I write this post, I am sipping coffee in order to combat the effects of a less than stellar night of sleep. I did not plan on staying up late, but somehow it happened once again. This is a sentiment that I am sure most people can relate to. My day typically consists of going to work, and returning home having made a pact with myself that I will go to bed at an earlier time. However, I always seem to find a way to stay up into the wee hours of the morning. How can I fix this? Well, if you are having trouble falling asleep at night, or drawing yourself away from the TV or internet so you can get a better night's sleep, then you should respect sleep MORE than you already do. 

How I typically treat sleep

How I should treat sleep!

The importance of sleep needs to be respected. People tend to not treat sleep with the level of importance that it deserves. Sleeping is as important, if not more important, to your health than both your exercise and diet regiments.

Over the past few months I have made it my job to become as well versed as possible on the science behind the importance of sleep. During this time, I came across a number of scientists and doctors who are steadfast in their promotion of sleep, and how often they find that people undervalue it. If you have not heard of Dr.Czeisler of Harvard Medical already, you should look him up. He is renowned within the science community for the work he has done regarding the study of what lack of sleep does to the human body. He is currently the sleep doctor for the Boston Celtics, and has previously been a consultant for NASA, setting the wake and sleep schedules for astronauts going to the International Space Station. Dr.Czeisler preaches the importance of sleep and his concern for how little people seem to respect the importance of sleep. Here are just a few facts that he has repeatedly mentioned as some of the consequences that exist if you do not get enough sleep.
  •  Sleep helps to consolidate memory, especially procedural memory which enables you to learn and retain new things  
  • Lack of sleep negatively affects the parts of the brain that control emotional reaction and judgment
Don't be this person anymore!
In a study Dr.Czeisler did with the National Sleep Foundation, he and his team found that "43% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night's sleep on weeknights. More than half (60%) say that they experience a sleep problem every night or almost every night (i.e., snoring, waking in the night, waking up too early, or feeling un-refreshed when they get up in the morning.)" Those numbers are staggering, and I know that I fit into both of those categorizations. For those who are very curious, you can follow the link I provided which will give you all of the findings Dr. Czeisler and his team made. After going over all of the information in the study I am going to make a conscientious effort to respect sleep more and I hope you do too!

To read more about why sleep matters, check out our sleep blog by clicking here. Sleep Matters is sponsored by Kensington Furniture and NBC40.  

Topics: Sleep Matters