What Makes Sleep Important

Marcelina Hardy, MSEd, BCC
Important rest
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Life is busy and there doesn't seem to be enough hours in a day to accomplish what you want to; this might make you question, what makes sleep important? The first thing people cut down on when they don't finish something in a given day is usually the amount of sleep they get that night. It just seems easier to stay up late at night to finish a project or do household tasks than getting a good night's rest. The problem with this is the lack of sleep may be doing you more harm than good.

What Happens When You Do Not Sleep

Understanding what happens when you don't sleep, will help you the next time you consider burning the midnight oil to get things done that you didn't get to during the day. You may not consciously know what you are doing to your mind and body, but lack of sleep can have detrimental effects:

  • Impaired judgment - When you don't get enough sleep, your judgment and decision-making skills may begin to suffer. If you have a big decision to make, you may decide irrationally because you are not able to focus enough to weigh all of your options.
  • Inability to focus and concentrate - Since your eyelids are so heavy and you have been running around for many hours without rest, you may start to find that you can't focus and concentrate as well as you could after a good night's sleep.
  • You work slower - You aren't as productive as you were at 9:00 a.m. in the morning and it's taking you double or triple the time to finish something due to your inability to focus and your reduction in motor skills.
  • You gain weight - Lately, you've found yourself staying up late almost every night to get work done and in that time, you are eating, which has turned into extra weight. When your body is awake, it thinks it should eat as you do throughout the day. The problem is that you are consuming extra calories that you wouldn't be if you were asleep.
  • You're anxious - You're more anxious about things than you normally are when you have adequate sleep. Situations and people annoy you and you feel overwhelmed most of time.
  • You're feeling depressed - You haven't been able to sleep but you still aren't accomplishing as much as you think you can, so you start to feel depressed. You may feel like it's hopeless and feel guilty for not being able to do the things you need to get done in your daily life.
  • You are sick more often - The lack of sleep is taking its toll on your physical health. You used to be a healthy person who hardly ever got sick but lately you have a cold, a headache, or an upset stomach.
  • You're emotionally unstable - You may cry easily or get angry quickly. Your emotions are out of control and you don't understand what has gotten into you.

Understanding What Makes Sleep Important

Understanding what makes sleep important will help you make better decisions about getting the sleep that you need. When your body and mind doesn't have a chance to relax, re-energize and repair, you run on empty. You are constantly feeding yourself information that your body cannot process effectively and the results are the negative effects it has on your health and work performance. If you allow yourself to get the sleep that you need, your body can ward off illnesses, help you relax after a busy and stressful day, and give you energy so you can work faster and more efficiently the next day. Staying up late at night to work won't give you the time you need to finish work as well as you could the next day after a good night's rest. Deciding to go to bed means you will wake up refreshed, energized, and able to be much more productive, efficient, and happier throughout your day.

What Makes Sleep Important