Why is it necessary to sleep every night?

Tiffany has this habit of sleeping for long hours, reaching almost 10 hours each night. Will it make her more energized since she had rested for so long, and maybe has stored a lot of power for the next day? If sleeping beauty did not have that magical kiss, will she be sleeping until today?

Is it five, six, seven, eight hours, or more? How much sleep do we really need? Let’s find out why sleep is essential.

The amount of sleep that can be considered healthy varies from person to person. Sleep affects a person’s ability to get by and to function optimally.

The average adult sleeps less is than seven hours at night, according to the National Institutes of Health.

However, sleep is becoming a luxury as people tend to be more busy and distracted in today’s fast-paced world. A six to seven hours of sleep may sound pretty good, but in reality, it contributes to the chronic sleep deprivation.

Some people say that as you age, your sleep requirement becomes lesser, but older people still need at least seven hours of sleep. If adults, especially older people, have difficulty sleeping at night, daytime naps fill the gaps. Most healthy adults need to sleep seven to nine hours at night to function better during the day. Children and teens need even more sleep for better growth and development of their body’s system. (click here for more details)

Why do we need to sleep?

Sleep is essential to good health and well-being throughout life: our mental health, physical, social interaction, and the overall quality of life and safety.

Sleeping has four stages, namely: N1, N2, N3, and REM. Contrary to the belief that your brain shuts off when you are sleeping, it actually is pretty much busier while you are at rest sleeping. It sorts and stores information that you have gathered during the day. It files information for later use, and this process is essential in creating long term memories as your brain consolidates all the information.

The N3 stage is the deepest part of your sleep, and this gives you a refreshed and restored feeling the next day. Some of the crucial processes that occur during this sleep are the dropping of the blood pressure, slowing of breath, relaxing of the muscles, increasing blood supply to the muscles, repairing of tissue growth, restoration of energy, and the release of growth hormones. (click here for more details)

The rapid eye movement or REM stage occurs about an hour and a half after falling asleep and recurs about every 90 minutes that get longer later in the night. This uninterrupted part of sleep can give energy to your brain and body and supports daytime performance. Your eyes during this sleep dart back and forth and indicative of dreaming. Your muscles are turned off, and your body becomes immobile.

Sleep helps strengthen our immune system, enhance our appetite, and help the body regulate hormones ghrelin and leptin, which affect our feelings of hunger and fullness. While you are sleeping, your body releases cytokines, a type of small protein that helps your body fight inflammation, infection, and trauma. If you are not having enough sleep, your immune system might not be able to function effectively, resulting in some sicknesses to surface. (click here for more details)

Sleep is vital to health, especially for children. According to studies, children are likely to have improved attention behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health when they have an adequate amount of sleep every day.

Here are the recommended number of hours of sleep in children

Infants below one-year-old: 12-16 hours

Children 1-2 years old: 11-14 hours

Children 3-5 years old: 10-13 hours

Children 6-12 years old: 9-12 hours

Teenagers 13-18 years old: 8-10 hours (click here for more details)

Sleeping at night can give a different quality of health benefits than sleeping in the daytime, especially for night shifters.

You are probably aware of the adverse effects of sleep deficiency. And even if you are not, you will just feel it the next day after getting only three or four hours of sleep during the night. You will feel less energized; the mood is unstable, usually easily ill-tempered. And more serious health conditions are acquiring the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, and more.

But according to new research, there is another crucial factor to consider in acquiring a healthy sleep. The time factor, either you are sleeping seven hours at night or seven hours in the daytime.

A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published on May 21, 2018, states that staying awake at night and sleeping during the day for even just once period can rapidly affect more than 100 proteins in the blood, including ones that affect blood sugar, immune function, and metabolism. And over time, these biochemical changes in blood protein levels can elevate your risk for health issues such as diabetes, weight gain, and even cancer, says the study’s lead author, Christopher Depner, Ph.D. (click here for more details)