The Science Behind Sleep
We all have been wired to think that sleep is an essentially biological process. It affects all body organs and systems. Science tells us that we need around eight hours of sleep each night, but the real point of curiosity is why exactly, scientifically speaking, do we need to sleep?
The need for sleep is undisputed, but to most people, the concept and details of why we sleep is still unknown. To fully understand how it works and why exactly it happens, it is best to uncover the theories and scientific opinions on how sleep has evolved and what purpose it serves.
Many scientific studies revealed that our physical and mental health relies on having adequate rest. Sleep and your immune system are inherently linked. If you look at your overall health, sleep plays an integral role. While additional sleep won’t completely prevent you from getting sick, consistently getting inadequate or poor sleep quality can negatively affect your immune system, making you more susceptible to everyday illnesses such as a cold or case of the flu. To stay healthy and safe against illnesses and diseases, you need to understand how indispensable sleep is to your health.
Below are some sleep theories cited by Harvard's Healthy Sleep website:
Energy Conservation Theory: Sleep is an organism's way of energy reduction at night when it's not efficient to search for food.
Inactivity Theory: Organisms sleep at night to protect themselves from danger.
Restorative Theories: Sleep facilitates repair and rejuvenation after an entire day full of activities. It proposes that sleep improves immunity, heals damage, removes waste, and promotes growth.
Brain Plasticity Theory: Sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) enable the brain to develop new connections, learn, and process memories. Both are essential for brain health.
All these theories lead to a single and unchanged truth: that shut-eye is crucial to our body's ability to function and our overall wellness. After a long and exhausting day, we all truly deserve a good night's rest. There is no denying the rejuvenating power of a sound slumber. As our body relaxes during the hours of darkness, so does our mind. Sleep optimizes the regenerating powers in our bodies that are beneficial to our overall health. For this reason, one should have sufficient hours of sleep and ensure those hours are quality rest.
Why Sleep Deprivation is Dangerous
We often hear how sleepless overworked people can be because of their demanding schedules and other factors. Though it can be challenging to prioritize sleep to meet the recommended hours and get quality sleep, it is important to consider the impact throughout your body and daily lives and focus on finding ways to get rest that restores and re-energizes the body.
Bad Skin and Aging
Constant lack of sleep causes your body to release a stress hormone called 'cortisol' which can break down collagen. Collagen helps maintain the smoothness of your skin, and its breakage contributes to more wrinkles and fine lines.
Poor and less sleep can cause you to crave high fat and high carb food to compensate for energy production. Study shows that sleeping less than 6 hours a day makes you 30 percent more likely of becoming obese compared to those who sleep longer every day.
Sleep deprivation makes it harder to store memories. It affects all types of memories, from short-term to long-term ones. If you suffer from sleep deprivation, you will struggle to learn and retain those memories and knowledge gathered throughout the day.
Sleepiness and Decision Making
Declining Energy and Performance: Sleep deprivation makes you feel lethargic, and it negatively affects your performance, whether at school, work, or home. Without adequate sleep, you will have more difficulty concentrating, learning, and communicating. Memory lapses also increase, and problem-solving abilities decline. The productivity and quality of your output are being sacrificed as you cannot think reasonably and effectively.
Optimize Your Sleep Today
Taking a Warm Bath: A warm shower before bed can help you relax and unwind. The warm water soothes your muscles and regulates your body temperature. Having a nightly routine can also help you sleep better and fall asleep faster.
Reading a Book: Reading a physical book that you can hold and touch can help calm your mind and fall asleep better. This is an ideal way to prevent yourself from overthinking numerous thoughts running through your mind all at once. By reading a book, you get to focus your attention on a single thing only. This habit also lessens your exposure to the blue light emitted by new gadgets and electronics that can hold you back from falling asleep.
Not being able to sleep can lead to numerous health issues. One way to support sleep and avoid sleep deprivation today is by finding a mattress that fits your needs, body form, sleep position, and desired firmness.
Bryte is the leading Restorative Sleep Technology™ platform backed by sleep science and powered by AI.
The Restorative Bed™ by Bryte is purpose-designed to actively nurture natural, more restorative sleep. Bryte RebalancingTM sensor monitor for pressure imbalances as you shift throughout the night and relieve any pressure points to eliminate wake events and foster more restorative, unbroken sleep. An embedded sensory network within the mattress detects biometrics such as heart rate and breathing patterns to identify when a sleeper enters the first stage of sleep. Bryte’s climate system then triggers cooling features to lower the body's core temperature and gently guide sleepers through an optimal balance of sleep stages.
The Restorative Bed™ uses science-backed technology to help you achieve restorative sleep by helping you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake feeling more restored. Bryte’s purpose-built software can help you analyze your sleep quality as well. Check out our mattresses and get the sleep you deserve every night. For more information, visit Bryte.com.