Why do I need to sleep?

You already know what sleep is. You do it every night for at least….what? 5 hours? 6? 7? 8? 9? But why? Why do we need to sleep so much? 

Along with regular exercise, a good diet and a healthy mindset, sleep plays an important role in our physical (and therefore emotional) well-being. 

Sleep is like hitting the reset button—it is a critical time to re-energize the brain, body and mind. In fact, as we sleep, we solidify information we learned during the day. Yes, sleeping helps you learn by allowing the brain time to process the information that you acquired. Your sleeping brain is actually solving problems as you sleep! Remember way back in 1st grade when you got to connect the dots so an elephant would appear on the page? Well, sleep is like connecting the dots to form a picture of all that you learned. 

Sleep also improves mood. A good night’s sleep, meaning enough sleep that goes through all the stages without interruption (more on that later), can help an irritable person wake up feeing much better the next day. On the flip side, a poor night’s sleep can contribute to feeling irritable throughout the day. The bottom line is: we tend to be nicer people and feel happier when we are well-rested.

What you are about to learn throughout these sub-posts is that the majority of us do not sleep the required amount. Unfortunately, most of us are sleep deprived: a person in middle school needs at least ten hours of sleep, high school students  at least 8, preferably 9.  Somehow, sleep hasn’t gotten the attention or priority it deserves. Most people don’t realize how incredibly important sleep is to our health and well-being and that a lack of sleep takes its toll on both our bodies and minds. The next several posts will hopefully help you to realize how important a good night’s sleep is and how you can get one!

(Source: Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, by Tom Rath and Jim Carter)

Post Question:

Which is more affected when you don’t get enough sleep—your thinking or your mood?

Answer the post question here

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