Why We Need To Sleep
Start writing a post
Student Life

6 Reasons Why We Really Need To Catch Those Zzzzz's

We might not want to admit it, but sleep is important.

6 Reasons Why We Really Need To Catch Those Zzzzz's

Sleep deprivation is a growing epidemic in the U.S. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep for optimal physical, mental, and cognitive health. The average American only gets 6.8 hours of sleep and 40 percent of Americans get less than seven hours. The data clearly shows that most of us don't seem to care about optimal health, but should we? Professor Michael Walker, a sleep researcher, and expert, highlights the detrimental effects of sleep in his book, "Why We Sleep." Here are 6 fascinating statistics from his book.

1.Low Testosterone


Men who only get 5 to 6 hours of sleep per night have the testosterone level of a man that is 10 years older than them. A lack of sleep can age a man's body by a decade in terms of muscle mass and strength, sexual performance, and energy levels. A sleep deprived 20-year-old is literally trapped in the body of a 30-year-old.

2. Decreased Athletic Performance


Researchers can measure an objective decrease in these performances when people get less than 7 hours of sleep per night. Physical training isn't the only important aspect of running a marathon. Your performance can be destroyed if you don't sleep enough the night before. Keep this in mind the next time you sign up for 5K.

3. Increased Risk of Injury


Researchers studied a group of athletes by observing their rates of injury and their rates of sleep. They found that there was a strong and direct correlation between the two variables. This is caused by a weakening of stability muscles that are crucial for balance and strength.

4. Dreaming


We all know the phrase "sleep on it" when we're faced with a tough decision. Research shows that a significant amount of dreaming occurs in the brain when we are in deep (REM) sleep. We often don't remember what these dreams are, but they are important for our decision-making process. While we sleep, new information is processed with old information in order to make a rational decision. Next time you have a difficult decision to make, postpone it until the morning.

5. Skill Building


Remember when tying your shoelaces required an immense amount of focus? The same goes for when you learned how to play an instrument or drive a car. These skills eventually become automatic - we don't really even know how we do them, it just comes naturally. This is because sleep aids in automaticity by rewiring the brain and strengthening neural connections.

6. Weight Gain


There's a hormone in our bodies called leptin which is responsible for signaling to the brain that "hey we're full - stop eating!" When we don't sleep, this hormone is suppressed and doesn't function properly. Researchers have found that people who sleep only 5 to 6 hours per day eat about 200 to 300 calories more per day. This translates to over 70,000 extra calories per year which is 20 pounds of weight!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments