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How Important is Sleep? |Baywest Health

How Important is Sleep?

After waking up every morning, you start to feel sleepy and this continues for the whole day. Or you start to doze off soon after you settle down, perhaps in the office. But, other times, you wake up feeling restored. So, do all these tell us how we really need sleep and how important it is to us?

The answer is obvious; sleep is very important. Before the 1950s, more than a few authorities did not take sleep serious and to them, it was just a passive, dormant part of life. But, as we become more knowledgeable, we realize that our brains continue to function (though a little) even when we are asleep. Furthermore, we’ve noticed that sleep quality affects our daily functioning as well as our physical and mental well-being.

We have 5 phases of sleep, which are stage 1 – 4 and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. These stages are systematic, meaning they occur in the aforesaid order, and by doing this, they create distinctly different brain wave patterns. Most of our sleep is in stage 2 where we spend around 50-percent, followed by other stages with 30-percent (this depends on age), and then REM sleep where we spend about 20-percent.

Our sleep is much lighter in stages one and two. In fact, these are the stages where you can easily be woken up by noises or other disturbances, perhaps from a busy town like New Port Richey. But, in stages 3 and 4, we tend to have much deeper sleep called delta wave sleep. If there is any disturbance during these stages, you’ll find yourself disoriented and groggy for the first couple of minutes after waking up. REM sleep, on the other hand, is associated with rapid, irregular breathing and increased blood pressure and heart rate, although this is mostly experienced when we are having bizarre, illogical dreams.

How Important is Sleep? |Baywest HealthHow Much Sleep Do We Need?

Sleep duration decreases as we age. For instance, it’s advisable to let infants sleep for 16 hours and teenagers for 9 hours. If you are an adult, then you should sleep for 7 – 8 hours, and more if you are expectant. Sleeping for a shorter time causes sleep debt, which must finally be re-paid. We can function for a while if we had little sleep, but our reaction time, judgment, and other functions may be impaired. Inadequate sleep is the major cause of feeling drowsy, according to experts. And the bad news is that’s the norm in the contemporary society, like the one we have in New Port Richey.

Numerous studies support the fact that sleep deprivation is dangerous. And some even compare sleep deprived drivers to drunk drivers, who obviously we know are unsafe on the road due to poor judgment. According to experts, fatigue drivers are responsible for approximately 100,000 car wrecks and 1,500 deaths in the U.S. alone.

While we are still getting our facts right on the importance of sleep to human beings, animal studies state that if you deprive a rat of sleep, then it will surely die within 3 weeks. Moreover, depriving it of REM sleep will erase it from the face of the earth within 5 weeks.

The Bottom Line

If you want to maintain your mental and physical health, it’s important that you get adequate sleep each night whether you are in New Port Richey or anywhere in the world.


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