Sleep, as basic as it seems, is an incredibly fascinating necessity in our lives.
Every night, in some form or fashion, you go through the following stages of sleep:
- light sleep: drifting in and out of sleep and can be easily awakened
- ceasing of eye movement
- deep sleep: no eye movement or muscle activity and waking up us difficult
Given the above, it is suggested that the average person should sleep an average of 7 hours per night. That mean we should a whopping 30% of our lives sleeping.
Sounds crazy right? Sleep for 30% of my life. Logically, one naturally thinks that’s 30% of my life spent being unproductive. A complete waste! But, stop. Is it really a waste?
As a long distance athlete who spends hours per week running and cross-training, I can tell you with certainty that my body derives maximum benefit when it is in “rest mode”.
I can then conclude – with 100% certainty – that sleeping the recommended hours per night can never be ‘unproductive’. In fact, the body loves it! Below are reasons why the body loves sleep:
1. Provides fuel
Much like a vehicle needs fuel to keep driving, your body needs fuel to remain energetic. Imagine driving for days one end without re-fuelling? You’d go on empty. The car would start giving signs that you are low on fuel. Eventually you’d get stuck.
The body is no different. The body, if you had to go for a few days without sleep, would start signalling, through fatigue, that you are low on fuel. Eventually you’d pass out.
2. Boosts brain-to-body communication
You waking up, stretching and checking your phone first thing in the morning is a function of communication that happens between the brain and the body. Your entire day is process of continuous communication between your brain and the brain.
Why on earth would the body not be thankful for an enhanced brain that results in the body functioning better?
3. Enhances skin beauty
In a study conducted by the British Association of Dermatologists, titled: “Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing?”, it was concluded that that chronic poor sleep quality is associated with increased signs of intrinsic ageing, diminished skin barrier function and lower satisfaction with appearance. On “The Beauty Bean”, an article titled “How to Sleep Your Way to Beautiful Skin” highlights that:
“Sleep, though, is not only essential for maintaining heart health, improving concentration and reducing stress, but also vital for repairing sun damage, preventing acne and even maintaining a healthy glow!”
Beautiful skin to the body is like the “Home” or “About” page on any website or the marketing brochure to a company. Beautiful skin is often the outward expression of what is really happening on the inside. Give your body that beauty sleep!
4. Allows you to pamper it
More sleep means clear thinking and prudent decision making. Productivity and prudent decision making often means financial stability. Financial stability means you can afford to reward yourself in life, including pampering the body.
Be it manicures, pedicures or massages – the body loves being pampered and good sleeping habits contribute significantly.
5. Reduces hangovers
The body hates hangovers. I know that’s a bit of a “duh” statement. But the point behind this rather obvious fact is that good sleeping habits and alcohol abuse are directly correlated. Where there’s a hangover, there’s booze. Where there’s booze, there’s often a hangover.
Fight that alcohol craving and hang-overs by hopping early into bed.
6. Reduces diseases
The body loves to stay healthy. A lack of sleep causes chronic medical condition over the long term. In an article published on Healthy Sleep, titled: “Sleep and Disease Risk”, the following is said:
“What many people do not realize is that a lack of sleep—especially on a regular basis—is associated with long-term health consequences, including chronic medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, and that these conditions may lead to a shortened life expectancy.”
Whilst mild diseases, like flu, come and go – you have a responsibility to nurture your body and help it avoid and fight off chronic diseases.
7. Helps maintain a healthy weight
Being heavy sucks! You are inundating the body with unnecessary responsibilities.
Sleeping helps with metabolism, thus assisting you to keep a healthy weight.
8. Reduces your “beat down” vulnerability
In this violent world that we live in, beat downs have become a norm. Why? Well, there are a number of reasons. One of them is being irritable. Irritable people snap quickly, often talk before they think and are all too willing ‘fight over issues’. At times, the fighting is literal and leads to a beat down. Get some sleep. Relax. Chill out a bit and you’ll get involved in less brawls.
In conclusion, sleep is an under-estimated necessary of a joy-filled and fruitful life. Whilst you don’t want to be a couch potato, neglecting to get adequate sleep is shooting yourself in the foot.