Many people have a love hate relationship with sleep. Although you know you need it, it may feel like a waste of time. The time you spend sleeping could be spent exercising, completing more work, volunteering or spending time with family and friends. Because of this, we often forgo a few hours of sleep to get more done. Although this is usually done with the best of intentions, it usually is not what’s best for our bodies.
Although sleep may seem like a waste of time for us, sleep is extremely important. In our waking hours, we expel a lot of energy. Walking, thinking, working, talking, studying, driving, playing and even watching TV can take a lot out of you. When we sleep, our bodies get a chance to recharge and restore those energy supplies that have been depleted during the day. In addition to this, our bodies repair themselves as we sleep. For example, muscle tissue is rebuilt and restored during sleep and growth hormones are secreted then as well.
Those who don’t get enough sleep suffer physical and mental consequences. Our immune systems are weakened and coordination decreases. Muscle tone and skin appearance decline as well. We become sluggish. People who don’t get enough hours of sleep are impatient, irritable, and less tolerant. Although a sleep deprived person can still make calculations and be creative, it takes longer. In addition to this, more errors are made. Those who are extremely sleep deprived may suffer from hallucinations, take micro naps and have extreme mood swings.
According to research, more than 100 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. Approximately 45 million Americans are chronically sleep deprived. Many of these Americans have to take sleeping pills to correct this problem. A good amount of these people taking pills will develop a dependency on them. Those who ignore their sleep problems may pay severely. Remember that bus crash in New York that involved a sleep deprived driver or all those reports about air traffic controls falling asleep in the tower?
So yes. You can sleep while you’re dead, but I really recommend you get some now.