As adults, the benefit of sleep is underrated. We get busy with life and work, and suddenly sleep seems less a priority than it had been when we were younger. The benefits of sleep for mind and body are well researched and documented. Additionally, there are several good habits that one can make to ensure that proper sleep is achieved.
Getting a good night sleep is more than just to wake up refreshed. Sleep helps our brains function properly, clears out toxins, makes memories, and restores order in our minds.
As we age, this becomes even more important; retaining memories and even daily routines become more laborious than it was once upon a time. Yet, sleep is still essential to good health.
Here are some of the ways that this is achieved:
Long periods of wakefulness can damage brain cells and neurons. It has been well documented that permanent damage to the brain can result from a lack of sleep. Also, when we sleep, our brains release essential chemicals that help the body fix itself. This includes repairs to the brain, as well. Without entering REM sleep, or Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Cycles, our brain is ill-equipped to benefit from this chemical transformation.
Those who are sleep deprived tend to make poor choices, have shorter reactionary times, and have a higher chance of falling ill. Our cognitive abilities are significantly harmed when we get insufficient or unsatisfactory sleep; so is our immune system.
Studies have shown that even the time of day that we sleep is important. Additionally, our cardiovascular health is better when we get enough sleep. Those who suffer from sleep apnea, which affects sleep quality, are more likely to have significant cardio issues.
Our brains are stimulated continuously during awake hours. Auditory, neurosensory, visual, olfactory and even our tastes are forms of brain stimulation. When we sleep, our brain gets a chance to make sense of all that stimulation and organizes into in our memory bank.
Have you ever smelled a scent and it invoked a memory? This is because the memory is stored in our brains based on that olfactory sense and its incredible ability to make sense of our days.
Having a routine is the first step to getting a good night sleep. This includes:
Proper sleep is essential for the brain to function correctly. Without it, our brain has reduced reaction times, is less capable of making good decisions, and cannot file our memories appropriately.