Discussion of Sleep and Its Influence
Sleep is a special state of consciousness, as well as a natural physiological process characterized by a reduced reaction to the surrounding world and specific brain activity. Scientists are still investigating the structure of human sleep, and the purpose of this need is not fully defined. Sleep occupies an important place in the life of every person. It was found that people spend about a third of their lives sleeping (Alsulami et al., 2019). However, sleep habits vary, and researchers are still discussing its problems. Therefore, it is vital to investigate how sleep affects the body, what happens when a person lacks it, and determine its norm.
During sleep, all systems and organs are restored because there is a purification of old obsolete cells and their replacement with new, healthy ones. The brain relaxes, which leads to the preservation of mental and physical health. During sleep, the frequency of brain waves, body temperature, and blood pressure decrease, causing the breath to slow down (Alsulami et al., 2019). Along with the movement of the eyeballs, muscle tension also disappears, making the entire body regenerate.
Each person’s habits are different, especially regarding the basic human need for sleep. Someone does not get enough sleep for nine hours, and for someone, six hours is quite enough. A person’s sleep can have different duration, but its primary goal is to optimize all biological processes in the body.
Usually, 8 hours is enough for the body to regain strength and be able to function fully. Getting enough sleep during a lifetime and leading a healthy lifestyle guarantees proper aging and a good state of physical and mental well-being. For a person, health is the most important thing; without it, no benefits make sense. Only a tiny percentage of humans can relax, spending no more than 6 hours a day on sleep. The duration of an individual’s sleep depends on age: it is known that babies sleep much more than adults. While aging, the condition of the nervous system changes, making people have insomnia and various sleep disorders.
Sleep has three main functions – recovery, boosting metabolism, and improving memory. The most important mechanism is recovery, which presumes that the brain gets cleared of toxins and accumulated metabolic waste during restorative sleep. The establishment of healthy metabolism is the next vital feature of sleep. Numerous medical studies have proven that if a person sleeps less than eight hours a day, the energy is burnt from protein and carbohydrates, while fat remains immovable (Alsulami et al., 2019). Such energy-burning causes harm by weight gaining and losing muscle mass. Furthermore, there is an increase in insulin levels in the blood, which is the primary cause of heart diseases. Finally, sleep strengthens long-term memory allowing for memorizing more information and storing it.
More blood flows to the brain during sleep than during wakefulness, especially to the departments responsible for memory and emotions. It is easy to determine the time of rest: it is enough to listen to bodily needs, although spending more than the prescribed time in bed is also harmful, and not getting enough sleep. Melatonin is responsible for healthy sleep, and it is produced only at night and in complete darkness (Krause et al., 2017). Even a night light can affect sleep quality, so it is not recommended to sleep with a TV playing or a light on. This hormone is responsible for the cardiovascular and nervous systems and rejuvenates the body, prolonging human life.
Sleep causes numerous processes in the human body. For instance, immunity is normalized, hormonal balance is established, and physical health is stabilized. In various studies, it was revealed that after a full sleep, students’ learning abilities improved (Krause et al., 2017). For instance, they coped with mathematical problems more effectively, studied foreign languages more successfully, and assimilated the material they had passed the day before better. The influence of the sleep regime is also reflected in the workers of physical labor. In particular, if they do not have a night’s rest, their risk of injury increases, and productivity decreases due to reduced attention.
There is also a relationship between cardiovascular diseases and sleep duration. If its duration is less than seven hours a day, this increases the chances of having heart disorder two and a half times (Alsulami et al., 2019; Krause et al., 2017). In addition, if a person sleeps more than ten hours a day, it also negatively influences heart health and causes severe implications.
Sleep is vital for the proper functioning of the brain, allowing it to learn, collect, and remember information. Insufficient sleep is associated with an increased risk for drivers and pedestrians on the roads, a decrease in efficiency and quality of work, with mood problems and relationships. Lack of sleep also leads to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, and stroke (Medic et al., 2017). Often people experience insomnia because they develop a pattern of behavior that interferes with normal sleep. Sleep problems are often associated with stress, depression, and anxiety.
The production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is stimulated by sleep scarcity. As a result, a person overeats because a tired brain requires more and tastier food. The peak production of this hormone occurs in the night, and if the sleep mode has been reduced, small amounts of this hormone are produced (Alsulami et al., 2019). The body realizes that it has saved little energy and begins to accumulate it in the form of fat deposits.
Lack of sleep leads to a hormonal imbalance that affects the entire body. The number of stress hormones increases, and happiness hormones, on the contrary, become less (Medic et al., 2017). It is difficult to find an organ in the body that would not suffer from scarcity of sleep in any way. Most dangerously, sleep insufficiency affects the reproductive system of women and men (Medic et al., 2017). When sleep disorders occur in men, testosterone levels drop and, as a result, sexual desire decreases, problems with erection arise. Complete sleep deprivation can lead to death, which can occur in 7-10 days (Alsulami et al., 2019). Therefore, it is essential to have a healthy sleep and not change the regime.
In summary, it is vital to mention that sleep is a basic human need alongside eating or drinking. The human body needs restorative sleep to function healthily. Even though the norm differs, people are recommended to sleep at least seven or eight hours a night. Deprivation of sleep leads to unpleasant consequences, including food disorders, hormonal imbalance, numerous cardiovascular conditions, and others. In general, lack of sleep affects the quality of a person’s life.
Alsulami, G., Rice, A., & Kidd, L. (2019). Prospective repeated assessment of self-reported sleep quality and sleep disruptive factors in the intensive care unit: acceptability of daily assessment of sleep quality. BMJ Open, 9. Web.
Krause, A., Simon, E., Mander, B., Greer, S., Saletin, J., Goldstein-Piekarski, A., & Walker, M. (2017). The sleep-deprived human brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 18, 404-418. Web.
Medic, G., Wille, M., & Hemels, M. E. (2017). Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption. Nature and science of sleep, 9, 151–161. Web.