The Importance of Sleep. Why You Should Know?

Why it is essential | Stages Of Sleep | Sleep Disorder

Many hard-working people pride in their ability to sleep less and work more. But do you know how it can affect your lifestyle? So here we will learn the importance of sleep in our daily lifestyle and how to make the most of it.

Sleep is very essential because we all know that without proper sleep our body and mind are not at their best.

About 70% of people are sleep deprived. As the world is running faster and in order to try to keep up, we are sleeping less. An estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders. So in this, we will cover the importance and different aspect of sleep.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recently declared sleep disorders to be a public health epidemic. And research has found that lack of sleep reduces our ability to concentrate, think logically, and remember.

Why sleep is essential?

It fulfills basic biological needs, especially in the brain. The brain usage more energy than any other body parts.

It is also required to maintain our focus and alertness. Our reaction time decreases due to a lack of sleep. For example, if instead, our reaction time is a quarter of a second then it would be 3-6 seconds. Hence our average reaction time will be 3 times longer. When we are sleeping our brain replenishes the energy that we have used up during the day time.

In a recent discovery, it has been found that our brain repairs and maintains brain cells and remove toxins while sleeping. If we don’t clear out the toxins then it can be toxic to the neurons in the brain and can cause degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Sleep is also critically important for the body, the cardiovascular system depends on sleep. It is during sleep that our body recovers from high blood pressure and higher heart rate.

It is also important for our resilience and resistance to infection. So a sufficient amount of sleep is important for our immune system to function properly.

It also helps in the regulation of appetite. Our effectiveness of insulin reduces and glucose levels go up to the higher level for the same amount of meal, as a result, this leads to gaining weight.

This is a very big problem in our society cause children today are getting 2 hours less sleep in America per night then they did a century ago.

4 Stages of Sleep

Stage 1: Stage 1 is the very beginning of your sleep cycle. It is the transition from wakefulness to sleep. This sleep period is very short and lasts for only a few minutes.

During this period your heartbeat, breathing, and eye movements slow, and muscles are relaxed.  At this time your brain wave shifts from daytime wakefulness to theta wave.

Stage 2: Stage 2 is the second step of sleep and lasts for approximately 20 minutes.  Body temperature starts to decrease and heart rate begins to slow and muscles relax even further. Your body temperature drops and eye movement stops.

In the second stage of sleep, the brain starts to produce rapid, rhythmic brain wave activity known as spindles.

Stage 3: Stage 3 is when you are in deep sleep. It is a transitional period from light to very deep sleep. Your heartbeat and breathing slow to the lowest level. And muscles stay relaxed and immobilized.

During this stage, people become less responsive and brain wave becomes shorter. This stage is also sometimes referred to as delta sleep.

6 Different Type of Sleep Disorder

  • Insomnia

It is the inability of falling asleep or staying asleep over a prolonged period of time. Insomnia is very common and happens in 30% of the general population. Approximately 10% of people may suffer from chronic insomnia.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea

It is characterized by a reduction or pause in breathing while sleeping. It affects about one out of three men and about one out of six women. So it’s a very common disorder and snoring is one of its symptoms. It increases cardiovascular death by 420%.

  • Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder in which people suffer from excessive sleepiness, cataplexy(sudden and uncontrollable muscle weakness), hypnagogia hallucinations, sleep paralysis, and disturbed nocturnal sleep pattern.

It affects 0.02% of the population worldwide and causes disability in 24% of the affected people.

  • Parasomnias

Parasomnias also known as abnormal arousals are disruptive sleep disorders. It involves unwanted movements and behaviors when you sleep. Like nightmares, sleepwalking, sleep talking. It happens due to confusional arousal from REM sleep or partial arousal from non-REM sleep.

This mostly happens to people suffering from narcolepsy.

  • Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Paralysis is a condition in which the body remains paralyzed while the brain awakens. In this condition, the person experiences a temporary inability to speak and move. It is commonly accompanied by a feeling that someone is there in the room or someone is watching you.

It is often common in people with sleep apnea and narcolepsy.

  • Hypersomnia

Hypersomnia refers to the condition in which a person sleeps and has trouble staying awake during daytime and difficulty in awakening. The main symptom of hypersomnia is an irresistible urge to sleep despite adequate or even excessive sleep.

People with Hypersomnia can sleep at any time and anywhere for instance while driving or at work.

Sleep Recommendation:

Sleep needs vary from person to person, and according to their age. As a person ages. they require less sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, these are the recommended time:

  • Newborns (0-3 months):  14-17 hours each day
  • Infants (4-11 months):  12-15 hours
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours
  • School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
  • Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours


We have seen how it can impact our short term and long term health. So try to take an adequate amount of your sleep cause this is an important part of your schedule which can’t be compromised.

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