Sleep is one of the most important activities for our health. It impacts everything from how we feel to how successful we are at work. But there is a lot more to sleep than just getting enough hours in-between snoozes, and this blog post will be exploring why that’s true!
We rarely think about why we sleep. Yet, we can all agree that we cannot do without it, and at some point, sleep makes us feel better. Conceivably, sleep is one activity that both humans and most animals engage in. We indeed have different sleeping schedules, yet it is also true that sleep is just as essential as other primal needs in our lives. One approach that can help analyze the importance of sleep is to compare sleep to other humane activities, let say hunger.
I know it’s pretty easier to comprehend the role eating plays in relieving hunger. But, practically, sleeping and eating are not that dissimilar. For instance, sleeping relieves overall exhaustion and sleepiness, just as eating relieves need. For a while, sleeping conceived that sleeping is an inactive state for both the mind and body. However, research has established that sleep is an active period with its own distinctive and complicated physical and mental mechanics over the years.
Scientists have tried exploring why we sleep from multiple approaches. In one direction, scientists studied the effect of sleep deprivation on humans and animals. In another, they analyzed sleeping patterns to draw conclusive remarks on the function of sleep. Researchers theorized that we sleep due to the body’s energy demands. Nonetheless, regardless of multiple types of research on the aspects of sleep, the answer to why we sleep remains elusive. For a while, it had been difficult for scientists to pinpoint why we sleep due in part to the fact that they assumed that the brain was inactive during sleep. However, multiple types of research continue to be leveled in this field.
Though, still unproven numerous theories on sleep have added to understanding why we sleep. Sleep research, particularly sleep deprivation, suggests that sleep is essential to ensure that brain functionality stays put. Experiments on sleep-deprived rats proved that when one is sleeping, unimportant connections are trashed, and important ones are reinforced. Moreover, in a study conducted in 2013, researchers conceptualized that the glymphatic system naturally occurred during sleep and is solely responsible for waste removal.
From this study, we could gather that sleep is essential since it renews brains functionality. When we sleep, the brain rests on improving and recalibrating our synapses and enhancing our memory skills. We can all relate to sleep essentiality since we tend to feel irritable, more tired, less effective, and very clumsy when we are deprived of sleep.
In yet another study, scientists identified that sleep helps us consolidate our memories. Conceivably, we take in a lot of information when we are awake. In essence, such information is not directly logged into our brains. Instead, through systematic and complex processes, the data is processed and stored from short-term memory to long-term memory when we are asleep. In addition, research affirms that sleep is crucial in the performance of memory tasks.
Of course, some of the above explanations on unraveling the sleep mystery are pretty ambiguous. For a fact, even the pioneer in sleep research, William Dement, was unable to point out why exactly we sleep; he states, “As far as I know, the only reason we need to sleep that is excellent is that we get sleepy.” Nonetheless, while the recommended sleep dosage varies from child to adult, too much sleep, like too much of every other thing in life, has its effects. It is believed that too much sleep can confuse the part of the brain responsible for controlling the body’s daily activities. I guess this explains why we feel drowsy after too much sleep.
In a nutshell, We know that the brain doesn’t regenerate overnight. Sleep, in turn, is a time for it to do so. The brain also clears out toxins and other waste products while we sleep which helps keep us healthy on both mental and bodily levels. So next time you’re feeling tired after staying up late at night – don’t worry! It’s not just your imagination; you really are getting work done without even knowing it!