In today’s world of fast-paced-pseudo-buffoonery (© Wondergressive 2013), we often put the needs of careers, money, and self deterioration before taking care of the one vehicle that we cannot replace: Our Bodies. Generally speaking, we don’t get enough sleep. At all.
We find creative ways to stay up later and wake up sooner: pulling all-nighters to study for tests, waking up at 3 am to commute several hours to work each day, staying up until 4:30 in the morning downing shots of whatever kinds of poison kids are into these days (for whatever reason they’re poisoning themselves), and finding more and more destructive and unnecessary ways to lose essential rest that our body needs.Related Article: Afraid to Wake Up? Conquering Fear and Living the Lives We Want
Why Don’t You Just Give it A Rest?
Whoa there, bold font… take it easy. I was just attempting to chide at some of the silly reasons that we don’t get enough sleep. I’ll tone it down a notch. I’m just curious to know just what is so important about sleep anyway? Why do we need to get so much rest? I can sleep when I’m dead, right?
Well if you look at sleep as solely an unconscious state in which the body lays motionless then… yes, you can sleep when you’re dead. On the other hand, if you see it as a necessary activity in which the brain, body, and mind are actively working to prepare for the next day… then no, (unless you believe in reincarnation… then yes.) you cannot just do it when you are dead.
When a person sleeps, the body and mind are working just as hard as when the person is awake, correcting chemical imbalances, assuring proper blood sugar levels for the next day, and maintaining the memory.
While it is difficult to quantify how “hard” the body works, there is definitely a lot of resorting and reorganization happening within. So throughout the day the brain and body negotiate an intimate dance and in this dance, the brain and body communicate with each other through the use of various hormones. This list is immense.Related Article: Engineering the Perfect Morning in 8 Easy Steps
At night during sleep, since the need to focus on external stimuli is generally low, we allow for an ample amount of time for the body to re-cultivate a hormonal homeostasis. Sort of clear the inbox, if you will. The body also uses this inward focus period to reorganize memories from the day.
During sleep, the brain may recharge its energy stores and shift the day’s information that has been stored in temporary memory to regions of the brain associated with long-term memory.
Back in 2012, Scientists at the University of California in LA (UCLA) discovered that, while “sleeping,” the brain is actively trying to remember. The same parts of the brain work while sleeping as when you are attempting to remember the name of that one actor who plays the pirate in one movie and an elf in another or, more practically, when you are learning how to use logarithmic formulas.
One thing is for certain: We, as a society, do not get enough sleep. In our never-ending quest to make positive changes and to be always growing, a simple change that we can make is to listen to our bodies and rest when we need to. From there we can share the well rested positive aspects of our life in whatever way that we see fit. World, it is time to fall asleep!