Categories: Sleep Science

What Sleep Does for the Body

Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health and well-being. Failing to get an adequate amount of sleep can limit the body’s ability to heal itself, recover from wounds, and even lead to premature aging. The bottom line is that sleep is necessary for the body and mind to function properly.

What Happens While You’re Sleeping?

We all know that the body needs sleep. The sleep cycle is important time for your body to restore and recover what’s lost during the day. Young children, especially, require large amounts of sleep because that’s the time when the growth hormone is released in the body. Cellular damage from the sun is also repaired while you’re sleeping. This includes things like wrinkle reduction and collagen production—which is why it’s sleep is commonly referred to as “beauty rest”.

Aesthetics aside, however, the body also does vital repair and maintenance work to help you fight off various diseases, illnesses, and long-term health conditions. Sleep is also the time when your body restores the physical and mental energy that is drained in your daily activities and revitalizes your creativity, mental acuity, and even your sense of humor. Seriously, have you spent much time around a person who didn’t get enough sleep the night before? It’s not a fun place to be.

What does Sleep Deprivation do to the Body?

Sleep deprivation, especially over a long period of time can have a significantly negative impact on your body. These are just a few of the ways it can slow you down and keep you from being and doing your best according to a recent MSNBC article:

  • Reduces coordination
  • Lowers reaction time
  • Increases irritability
  • Decreases immune responses
  • Restricts your ability to lose weight
  • Diminishes your vitality

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to add sleep to your “to do” list!

How much Sleep does the Body Need?

The actual amount of sleep that is necessary for the body to function optimally will vary from one person to the next, and depends on a number of factors, particularly a person’s age. Other factors, such as pregnancy, prior sleep deprivation, and quality of sleep play a part, reports the Mayo Clinic. Some people require huge amounts of sleep day in and day out, while others can function and thrive with considerably less. The average amount of sleep people need each night hovers between seven and nine hours, according to this recent Washington Post article. The same article indicates that getting fewer than six or seven hours of sleep per night on average can really increase the body’s risk for disease.

On the other hand, warns that it’s not the quantity of sleep alone that makes the difference. It must be quality sleep as well to have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being. If you’re getting the right amount of sleep every night but continue waking up tired or even have difficulty waking altogether, you might consider going through a sleep study to find out why you’re not getting the restful, helpful sleep you really need.

The one thing you can take home from this is that sleep isn’t something that’s optional if you want to be healthy and happy. It’s a distinct necessity that you need to make a priority in your life for the sake of your quality of life. Check out a Plushbeds natural latex mattress for some of the most rejuvenating sleep available!

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Amber Merton

Amber Merton is an accomplished writer on the topics of green living and sleep. Her work has been covered in numerous online publications. Amber has been a regular author on the PlushBeds blog for the past 7 years.

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