By Anna Demetree
Sleep or lack thereof can have a major effect on your workday. We know that if we get enough, we’re going to feel energized and rejuvenated, whereas when we lack hours, we feel like zombies. Sleep goes beyond these physical feelings and plays a vital role in our memory, immune function, metabolism, learning and other critical functions. The benefits of getting enough sleep are extremely valuable in our day-to-day activities, while not getting enough can be detrimental. Here are some reasons why we should be getting all the sleep we need.
During deep sleep, we may think our bodies are shut off and resting, but our brains are still working. It’s busy processing our days, making connections between events, feelings, sensory input, and memories. Deep sleep is a crucial time for our brains to have the ability to process all of these things. Getting more hours of quality sleep will enhance our memory and help process information better. When we don’t get enough sleep, we tend to forget events and aren’t alert. This will reduce your ability to perform well in your job.
- Hunger and metabolism
There’s a hormone in our bodies called ghrelin, also called the ‘appetite increaser.’ It is released primarily in the stomach and signals the brain when we feel or think we’re hungry. Sleep deprivation changes the timing or frequency of release of this hormone. When we don’t get enough sleep, ghrelin is released in larger doses, causing us to think we are hungry more often. It makes us overeat and can cause unwanted weight gain.
- Learning, performance and focus
When we are sleep deprived, our vigilance, focus, and attention fade, making it more difficult to receive and process information. Without adequate sleep, our brains can no longer function to connect information properly, and we lose our ability to remember previously learned information. Also, our interpretation of events can be affected and can cause us to be unable to make sound decisions. All of this fatigue in our physical and mental states can negatively affect our performance in the workplace.
Not getting enough sleep can impact your mood immensely. When sleep-deprived, we are tired, groggy, and unable to perform or think well, which can lead to stress. Lack of sleep can also make us vulnerable to stress-related conditions such as depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, stomach problems, weakened immune systems and infertility. Stress can cause mental and physical harm to our bodies, so it’s vital to get enough rest to avoid these issues.
There is one easy solution to solve all of the harmful effects of sleep deprivation – get more sleep! If we get long, quality sleep, we will be energized, well-focused, perform successfully at work, eat stably and be mentally and physically healthy. There are so many ways sleep can improve our lives, so it’s important to take care of ourselves and get enough Zzz’s.