Why is sleep so important?

In the United States, insomnia is one of the most common health issues. It is estimated that a third of Americans suffer from sleep problems, with half experiencing sleeplessness at least once or twice a week. While that is already bad enough, the other half experience sleepless nights much more often, creating a serious issue.

The first step to a good night’s sleep is a good mattress.  I recommend Tuft & Needle.  I’ve also got a Tuft & Needle coupon code page which I’ll keep updating.  Another great mattress is the Loom and Leaf mattress.  It can get a bit expensive so I’ve got a coupons page for Loom and Leaf.  This article explains why sleep is important, and what you need to know about the way sleep affects us and the way we feel. If you think sleeplessness is causing issues with your sleep pattern or even resulting in health issues, keep reading to better understand the reason sleep is needed, and how you can begin to get enough sleep again.

Five Stages of Sleep

Sleep helps the body as well as the mind repair itself and get ready for the following day. Lacking sleep does not just leave the body feeling tired, it can lead to irritability and become a danger to yourself and others as it deteriorates your quality of life.

Sleep happens in five stages, and it is common to go between stages through the night. The first stage of sleep is light sleep, this allows the body to relax and begin breathing slower. When first going to bed this stage can be easy to drift in and out of, and it’s very common.

The second stage of sleep is where the brain waves slow and eye movement stops. Then, the third stage consists of slow delta brain waves, and has the occasional fast wave. Stage four is nearly all delta brain waves.

These later stages do not have eye or body movement, and can be hard to wake a person from these stages. It can also be disorientating experience for the person, so it is only recommended in emergencies.

It is within these deeper stages of sleep that the body I able to repair itself and handle important physiological processes. But, the fifth stage tends to target the mind more than anything else. This stage is known as REM, or rapid eye movement stage.

REM sleep is very different than the other four stages, this is due to the fact breathing gets even more shallow and irregular, the blood pressure and heart rate increases, and it is where the majority of dreams happen.

There has been researched conducted that indicate that dreaming helps to improve the mental health of a person. It would seem that dreams are the minds way of processing the events that happened the day before. A lack of REM sleep can lead to various health problems, including anxiety disorders, depression, among other serious mental illness.

If your goal is to feel better the next day and be at your best, getting the REM sleep your body needs is very important. The REM stage of sleep tends to happen at the end of a regular sleep cycle, meaning if the body only gets a few hours of sleep a night, it may be missing the most important stage of sleep.

Lack of Sleep Leads to Negative Effects

The following are reasons that getting in the habit of a good sleep pattern is important to help you avoid various health issues. You may have a reason to turn that TV off early, and get more sleep each night.

Lack of Sleep slows the mind

Sleep is so important to the body and mental health that a single night of insufficient sleep is able to impact the body’s ability to stay alert, pay attention, and have issues concentrating and solving problems the following day. For those who do not get enough sleep at a young age, could have issues as they age and their mind develops, resulting in lower intelligence levels and mental development.

Increased Accident Risks

It has been shown by research that lack of sleep can lead to a person getting into more accidents and being injured more often on the job. This means a lack of sleep can affect those around you if you drive or work around others after getting insufficient sleep the night before.

It is estimated by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that fatigued drivers cause or fact into over 100,000 vehicle accidents, with more than 1,500 deaths each year.

Diabetes and Heart Disease

Those that suffer from insomnia are thought to be a higher risk for getting cardiovascular disease, having a heart attack or even strokes. A recent study discovered people who experienced issues falling asleep or staying asleep that wake up feeling unrested have three times the chance of developing heart failure over an 11-year span. Diabetes is another illness linked to insufficient sleep.

Gaining weight

Those that only get six hours or less of sleep per night have a higher chance of weight gain because their body has a larger appetite and seems hungry more often. One study discovered those in this category have a 30% higher chance of becoming obese compared to those who get 7 to 9 hours of sleep. But, sleeping over 9 hours also seems to have a reversed affect with weight gain, making 7 to 9 hours the optimal time for rest.

Lack of Sleep Causes Aging

Did you know that not getting enough sleep can lead to a quicker aging process? It’s a long-term affect that happens when we are running on the stress hormone, cortisol, due to being tired all the time. Higher amounts of cortisol have been shown to have negative effects on collagen proteins that work like a glue to keep skin cells grouped together. This leads to having poor skin tone, fine lines, and even wrinkles.


In the end, if you are experiencing sleep issues it is best to begin paying attention to it now. If you have issue sleeping one or two nights per week, try making minor changes to correct your sleep pattern, turn the TV off and lay down earlier, etc. If you are experiencing sleeplessness more than two times per week, you may want to speak to your doctor as there could be underlining causes, such as insomnia.