How important is sleep? Wouldn’t it be useful to be able to never sleep, or only sleep a couple hours? I’m sure students would love to be able to absorb information into their brains whilst sleeping before a test or exam. Something that a lot of people are also fascinated with is lucid dreaming, which is being awake and being able to control your dreams. So how important is sleep? Well we do a lot of it, and seem to be very interested in it, so maybe that gives a clue as to how important it is.
I am one of those people that if I don’t sleep enough, it definitely affects my mood, my productivity levels, and how quickly I understand concepts, and not sleeping enough means less than 7 hours. For someone else, the same might happen, but they can handle less sleep than I can, so it might only happen after less than 5 hours sleep. Whatever your threshold is, it’s pretty clear that we need sleep to function properly, but why?
Sleep is more than energy regeneration, it’s necessary for the brain to have time to store and process memories, for cells to heal, regrow and regenerate. Without sleep, the body literally cannot function. Sleep is, in many ways, an unknown mystery to science. We know what happens if we don’t sleep, but we don’t exactly know what happens during sleep or why we can reenergise only with food, but need to have sleep as well. Animals also sleep, but they have different sleep cycles, from nocturnal animals to those that hibernate. Hibernation is a good indication of how powerfully sleep gives energy, as those animals that do hibernate don’t really eat the whole winter long. It is interesting to note that people who struggle with depression will often turn to sleep as an escape, sleeping a large amount of the time. Sleep is almost a legitimate excuse to stay in bed and not face other problems. On the other hand, depression is sometimes a side effect to insomnia. Clearly sleep heavily affects our emotional state, whether it’s the getting or the losing of it.
If sleep is so important, are you getting the sleep you need? Your sleeping surface can severely impact your sleep. Everyone has a different preference for what works for them, and that also changes over time. If you are sleeping on something that feels uncomfortable, your sleep will be restless and not as deep as it should be for you to get enough rest. Just as we need quality oxygen to feel our best, we need quality sleep too. Sleep can have a huge impact on your job, your relationships, and your motional wellbeing.
Some people like a foam feel. If you want your bed to be stable, not bouncy, and firmer, you might be a foam person. Foam beds are good for a couple that don’t want to disturb each other during the night, guest beds that will last long, and children’s beds that can’t be jumped on or damaged. There are also different foam feels. Memory foam has a sinking in feeling that some people love and others find disturbing. It’s quite soft. On the other hand, there is latex, which is bouncier and firmer than memory foam. It’s a totally different feeling to memory foam. Other foams are chip foams and other differing densities of foam. These all have a resilient feel.