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Facts about sleep

Updated on March 16, 2011
Kulsum Mehmood profile image

Kulsum Mehmood is an Eye Consultant with 30 plus years of experience. She is single mother and a philanthropist. She is in a full time job.

Sleep is very essential for maintaining good physical and mental health


Facts About Sleep

It is a proven fact that not getting enough sleep can lead to difficulty in concentrating. In fact many experts think that lack of sleep is the reason for many ailments. An early detection of the problem is essential.

The underlying cause may be jet lag, shift working, chronic insomnia, a sleep disorder or simply trying to put in extra hours at work We all have experienced the exhaustion caused by lack of sleep. Sleep is as important to healthy living as eating properly and exercising. Getting a good night's sleep is one of the simplest things you can do to stay healthy.

How much Sleep do you need ?

A good night's sleep means waking up rested and energized. A healthy adult requires over eight hours of sleep a night. The amount of sleep it takes to achieve rejuvenation varies from person to person. If you consistently get less sleep than you need, a sleep deficit accumulates.

How important is a good night's sleep ?

Sleep is very important to maintain good health. Without it, you increase your chances of contracting a number of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and depression.

Not getting enough sleep can disable your immune system. You eat well and exercise in order to boost up your immune system, but if you are not getting enough sleep, you undo all the good work. The immune system works best when you are asleep. That is when your body's defence system gets boosted. The immune system fights against viruses, bacteria, even cancer, and it does not work properly in the sleep deprived persons. A lot of damage might be done to your body when your immune system left you undefended and susceptible to infection.

It is not only your immune system that suffers when you cut down on sleep. There is a higher rate of heart failure amongst people with sleep disorders.

Sleep loss can affect key hormones

Studies show that chronic sleep loss can reduce the body's ability to regulate hormones and metabolise carbohydrates. In one study they reduced volunteer's sleep from eight to four hours a night. After less than a week, they noticed changes in the body similar to early diabetes, advanced aging and obesity. The hormone controlling hunger pangs, increases with lack of sleep, causing greater feelings of hunger. You too may have noticed that if you have insomnia due to some reason, you feel like raiding the refrigerator. Also our body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases fat storage. Not only do the increased hormones resulting from sleep loss make us eat more, but most of us also make poor food choices when we are tired.

Sleep is important not only to maintain a healthy body but also keep a balanced brain activity. During sleep your brain gets rest and it rejuvenates. When you do not get enough sleep, your brain chemicals become depleted and that causes emotional disturbances including depression, anxiety, and feelings of anger or sadness. So, have a good night's sleep regularly...zzzzz


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    • Yaduvanshi profile image

      Yaduvanshi 5 years ago from Bharat Vrse

      A very good advisedly hug let see if I can practice it

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 7 years ago from Nagpur, India

      God made day and daylight for being awake and going about our business. He made night and dark for rest and sleep.Our biological clock is always clicking... daylight- awake and working, nighttime and dark- sleeping and resting. The reverse of this will confuse us mentally and will leave us disoriented. Our physical and mental health requires us to keep awake in daytime and sleep at nightime.Also sleeping 6 to 8 hours at a stretch at night is the best type of rest and sleep one can have rather than getting the same amount of sleep in instalments.

    • profile image

       7 years ago

      Ms Kalsoom, I sleep during the day time when I am back from my university. I keep myself awaken throughout the night. What can be its possible repercussions? What is the importance of sleeping in the night? However, I do take 8 hours sleep daily.

    • minakay profile image

      The Rev. Kelechi Timothy Francis 7 years ago from Rivers State, Nigeria

      This is where I am at fault. I have always been a late sleeper. Right now it's 4am in my Country and I have been awake since midnight. Please, I need to change my sleeping Habits. Thank you for this hub.

    • hsofyan profile image

      hsofyan 8 years ago from Indonesia

      Very nice hub!

      Thanks for sharing, Kulsum...Although I do not sleep regularly. Lol!

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 8 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Consequetive sleep of 8 hours for a healthy adult is rejuvenating for the body and brain. A sleep of 8 hours in installments will leave a person with a sleep deficit in between. Awakening after 4 hours sleep will not be refreshening. Then, again if one sleeps for 4 hours more, the person will be better off. This is what I think. Nice question issues veritas. Thank you for visiting.

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      issues veritas 8 years ago


      Here is a question, how much sleep at a time would recharge the brain? For example, if you slept for 4 hours and then were up for three or four hours and then slept for 4 more hours. That would give 8 hours but not consecutive. The 4 hours in not an absolute just a number. It could also be 2-3 hrs sleep (falling asleep watching TV) then you are up 2-3 hours, then you go to bed for 5-6 hours.

      Would that accomplish the same thing for the brain as consecutive sleep?

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 9 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Thank you Tensteps for visiting. Yes, sleep is very essential for our well being. Our rejuvenation occurs while we are asleep and sleep freshens us up.

    • Tensteps profile image

      Tensteps 9 years ago

      Like most people, I never used to put too much thought into how I might be damaging body when I deprived it of sleep for too long.

      Possibly, it's not so much a problem when we are young. But as we begin to get older, and don't recuperate as we used to, we should take our sleep more seriously and arrange our lives accordingly.

      A good night's sleep does have a remarkable effect upon us - and sometimes we take this for granted.


      A very thought provoking hub. Thank you.

      Keep up the good work!