How Your Understanding of Sleep Can Help Save Your Life

How Your Understanding of Sleep Can Help Save Your Life

The two statements that are commonly misunderstood are ‘I overslept’ or ‘ I slept for only 3-4 hours.’ The former categorizes us as being lazy and the latter, well, let’s just say productive or busy.

However, what we haven’t realized till, is how threatening these notions can be to our very existence.

The amount of sleep we get each night determines our course of activities for the day. The benefits of sleep are often devalued and shown in a negative light.

Founder and CEO of Thrive Global, Ariana Huffington, in her book “The Sleep Revolution” makes stunning revelations when it comes to rest. The stats presented reveal how sleep affects us all, be it athletes or even presidents of countries.

Sleep deprivation is on the rise and this detrimental increase impacts decision making. This has led to poor decisions by presidents, as stated in the book.

Research paper The Extraordinary Importance of Sleep – The Detrimental Effects of Inadequate Sleep on Health and Public Safety Drive an Explosion of Sleep Research by Susan L. Worley presents a connection between sleep and our functioning in our day to day lives.

Here are three top reasons why sleep is important and how a change in our perception can be a step in the right direction

1. Sleep affects our cognitive abilities

Our previous night’s sleep affects our ability to function daily and conduct the tasks we have set for the day.

Sleep affects our ability to think clearly, be cautious, and be attentive at all times. As the research paper puts it, “Memories are consolidated during sleep and that sleep serves a key role in emotional regulation.

Studies conducted by scientists reveal that 16 hours of being awake greatly affect our cognitive performance and attention. Depriving yourself of sleep in the long run results in deterioration of alertness.

2. Lack of sleep results in sleep disorders

Quite often it’s difficult for doctors to find out the causes of sleep-related disorders. Insomnia is by far the most common sleep disorder. The presence of sleep disorders like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome at times further complicates the diagnosis of insomnia.

3. Lack of sleep can be quite dangerous, literally!

According to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the probability of getting into a car accident is higher when you’ve slept for six to seven hours compared to a full eight hours. A sleep routine of fewer than five hours can be incredibly detrimental.

Growing up with the notion that the less amount of sleep you get, the more productive you are, is quite ridiculous after we’ve read these stats.

So, why do we wear this lack of sleep badge with pride?

Society has taught us to believe this stereotype is true over time. Now, we have to unlearn it.

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