Sleep is important. So is sleeping.

by Katja Gartung
Sleep is important

We hear it and read it again and again: sleeping is important. Getting enough quality sleep is important. But why?

Our bodies recover during the various stages of sleep, but particularly so during stages of deep sleep, which people cycle through multiple times each night. This is when it takes bodily functions that are not needed at that moment and switches them to autopilot and the muscular system relaxes. Our blood pressure and body temperature drop, our heart rate moderates, and even our breathing becomes steadier. This does not mean that little happens in our bodies during the night, however. On the contrary, cells – including nerve cells – are regenerated through the release of growth hormones and our metabolism is regulated. Energy reserves are recharged and the body’s defences are built up. During sleep, our memory converts things we experienced and learned from short-term to long-term memory. People who sleep well may not learn better, but they do learn more easily.

Deep, high-quality sleep is essential for one’s body and mind. Without it, our body cannot survive for long. The amount of sleep each person needs varies, however. Adults sleep an average of 7–8 hours per night.


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