Why Do We Need Sleep?

Its important to understanding sleep and know why it is important to your health. Most people and animals have sleep in their everyday routine. It is a time of either partial or total unconsciousness. For birds and mammals, sleeping is divided up into two different types, REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non rapid eye movement). Non rapid eye movement is basically the falling asleep stage. It is when your brain is slowly moving from conscious to unconscious. Rapid eye movement sleeping only accounts for 20 to 25 percent of your sleeping cycle and occurs when you are sleeping deep.

Sleeping has many different functions but none as important as restoration. Your body needs to be able to recharge itself for the next day. Also it has even been proven that the healing process for wounds is improved with the implementation of a good night's sleep. If you deprive yourself of sleep for too long or too much you can actually lower the effectiveness of your immune system. Keeping your immune system strong helps you fight off illnesses and diseases so jeopardizing this is very dangerous to your health. During a study on rats that had been deprived from sleeping, their white blood cell count showed 20% drop or decrease than those who could sleep nightly.

Sleeping can also be beneficial to the development in the brain. Infants and children need to get much more sleep than adults because their little brains still have much to learn and grow. Keeping a sleepy child around can not only wear you down but also affect how they develop in the future. The theory is that the younger an infant human or animal is the more time they will spend in REM and the older you get the less you need it. However, the problem is that it does not explain why adults still experience and need REM. One of the coolest functions that sleeping serves is to process the memories we store. Numerous studies by doctors and scientist have been performed over years and have showed many ways that your brain will process your memories while you are in a deep REM.

The true science and reasoning for sleeping is fascinating and gives you a look inside parts of the brain that you may otherwise not know about. Keep yourself healthy and alert by getting at least 6 to 9 hours of sleep every night.