It’s one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body that doesn’t cost a dime! And yet I bet most people do not get enough at all. And with Kate’s wedding only 12 days away, how can we get enough sleep!
Why do we need at least 7-8 hours of sleep? Guess what? Our bodies do all the repair work at that time. Eight hours of sleep a day seems like a huge waste of time, especially when there’s so much to do! Especially with wedding planning and wedding dress making, uh huh! I know!
So why do we need so much sleep? Dr. Neil B. Kavey, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, offers some clues:
“We don’t fully understand the importance of sleep. What we do know is that sleep is an anabolic, or building, process. And we think it restores the body’s energy supplies that have been depleted through the day’s activities.”
“Sleep is also the time when the body does most of its repair work; muscle tissue is rebuilt and restored. We know, for example, that growth hormone is secreted during sleep. This hormone is important for growth in children, but is also important throughout adulthood in rebuilding tissues.”
“Think of the body as a car. No car can keep going and going and going without a tune-up or oil change. If it’s not tuned, the car may keep running, but not as smoothly as it did when it was maintained properly. You can think of sleep as your body’s daily tune-up.”
“Human beings can function without a full tune-up, but they will be in a state of relative sleep deprivation and won’t be able to work or to think as well as they do when they are fully rested. It’s like an engine that gets only four out of eight spark plugs replaced and then runs sluggishly.”
“Sleep is also a time for restoring mental energy. We spend all day thinking and creating, and that uses up our energy stores.
It is interesting that in dream sleep the brain is actually very active. And this is where things get really theoretical. We’re not really sure exactly what dreams accomplish. Some experts believe that dreaming is actually some king of clearing-out process. More sleep researchers think that dreams serve the function of helping to reorganize and store psychological information taken in during the day.”
And what happens when we only get a few hours or do an all night-er? Watch out! The beast in all of us appears! Lack of sleep makes us snippy, short fused, and we can’t think clearly therefore the choices we make may not be what we really want. We make lots of stupid mistakes. Our coordination is off kilter too and we drop things or worse than that…….get behind the steering wheel of a car. Not good.
“Sleep improves muscle tone and skin appearance.” Is that where the expression ‘getting your beauty sleep’ comes from?
“With adequate sleep athletes run better, swim better and lift more weight. We also see differences in immune responses depending on how much someone sleeps.”
How many times have you caught a cold because you were not adequately rested and nurtured with sleep……..oops, me for one!
Animals instinctively know how much sleep they need. So do babies for the most part……except my third child who never got enough because the other two woke him up all the time. Sorry Kris!
And my daughter who always had difficulty getting to sleep as a child actually did get her sleep after endless bedtime stories! What can I tell you……..we lived in the noisy Bronx! I hope she gets some good restful and restorative sleep the week before the big day. Hint, hint Kate!