Sleep research has resulted in some interesting findings, including those concerning your body and its’ metabolism. Sleep is absolutely necessary, and while you sleep your body repairs and rejuvenates itself, so that when you awake you are fully rested and ready to face another day. Sleep research has shown that Americans are routinely sleep deprived and it is no wonder with the hustle and bustle of the modern world. Always seeming to be on the go, with never enough time in the day, you may be sorely tempted to cut back on sleep because of this lack of time. Be careful, this can be a big mistake. Not getting enough sleep can impair your reactions, judgment, and performance in all areas of your lifestyle.
Quantity of sleep is vitally important, therefore, children and teenagers who are still growing should get between 8 1/2 to 10 hours of sleep each and every night. Research into the sleep needs and habits of teens, also shows that teens generally fall asleep at a later hour of the night and naturally want to sleep later into the morning. As a result of this research, many school boards and educators are rethinking many high schools’ schedules with double shifts, to start first every morning and get out first every afternoon. The argument to this early scheduling is that a later scheduled shift start and dismissal time will enable teenagers to get a better quality and quantity of sleep.
As mentioned before, when you sleep, your body restores energy, repairs injuries, builds new tissues like muscles, releases hormones into your body, and prepares your body for another long day of work, school, play, and exposure to many different factors. Sleep also plays a significant role in your body’s metabolism. With research into the benefits of sleeping, studies show that not getting enough rest will actually lower your metabolism substantially, which can result in a weight gain. There have been many sleep research studies conducted over the years by doctors, scientists, and nutritionists, that have offered valuable insight into the multi-faceted subject of sleep. You may not realize it, but you can take a little nap, only lasting seconds, without ever closing your eyes or appearing asleep at all. Many times people will witness this happening in another person as that person goes into a kind of “stare” or “asleep” mode and not blink their eyes or speak for a short time. A severe lack of adequate quantity and quality of sleep can result in sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is when the function of sleep, a physiological loss of consciousness with reduced cerebral function and almost absent voluntary physical activity, is absent. Sleep deprivation can cause many problems including paranoia, seeing things that are not there, hearing sounds and voices that do not exist, lapses and lags in concentration and memory, blurred vision, the slurring of words, and more. The longer you go without sleep, the worse the symptoms become. If you lay down to go to sleep and you drop right off, this can be a sign that you are not getting enough sleep and are exhausted. There are numerous disasters and accidents that occur each year in the United States that are a result of sleep deprivation, and for example, some businesses have been involved in lawsuits because an employee was sleep deprived after working long hours and fell asleep while driving and caused an accident.
Even though getting plenty of sleep is important, research has shown that using sleeping pills and drugs to help you doze is not the best answer. Drugs, as a rule, slow your metabolism and can cause problems with your sleep cycle if taken for any extended length of time. This can also be problematic when you stop taking them. Some sleeping medications may be addictive, causing you to become dependent on them to sleep which takes away from your body’s ability to fall asleep on its own. Research has also shown that a healthy and active lifestyle is important to a good night’s rest. If you do not get enough exercise or do any physical activity all day long, and assuming that you are not sick or suffering from a medical condition which tires you out, then you may find it hard to go to sleep at night because your body is still rested and has not had enough physical exertion. Research indicates that you should get moving and be as active as possible, so that your body naturally feels the need for physical rest and repair, in turn helping you get right to sleep and staying that way all night long. This will increase your metabolism, helping your body burn more fat, and work much more efficiently.
If you have severe problems where you stop breathing during sleep, Sleep Apnea, or you fall asleep uncontrollably, Narcolepsy, consult with your doctor to help you in the proper treatment right away.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.