Everyone sleeps, but we don’t usually give much thought as to why we need sleep. The reason we are programmed to require such long periods of sleep remains a bit of a mystery to scientists. However, there is a large amount of evidence that demonstrates how important a sufficient amount of sleep is. Inadequate sleep can be detrimental to our overall health, but why. When a person is unable to get fall or stay sleep, they might be in need of an intervention like insomnia treatment.
Why do we need to sleep?
Scientists simply do not know exactly why we sleep. However, it’s believed that one of its primary functions is to give our bodies and minds time to process, rejuvenate and rest. Research has shown that a few critical things take place while we sleep.
One of the important roles of sleep is that it allows us to process and consolidate memories. The massive amount of information that our brains take in each day needs to be processed and stored, and much of this process—known as consolidation—occurs while we are sleeping. This helps explain why people perform better on tests and memory tasks after a good night’s sleep. Those who struggle with getting enough sleep may notice that their memory is not as sharp. Insomnia treatment could help in cases like this.
Our brains clearly need the period of rest that sleep affords us, and our bodies do as well. Long periods of slumber give our bodies time to repair and rejuvenate. Science has demonstrated that sleep is the time that the body uses for many of its restorative functions such as tissue repair, muscle growth, protein synthesis and hormone synthesis.
Additionally, sleep gives the body a chance to press pause. The metabolic rate is lowered and energy consumption decreases during sleep. The cardiovascular system also benefits from a good night’s rest. Research has shown that people with normal or high blood pressure experience a 20-30% reduction in blood pressure and a 10-20% reduction in heart rate during sleep.
It’s easy to see that sleep plays a critical role in our health and well-being. When people are unable to get an adequate amount of sleep, it can negatively impact both their health and quality of life. While most people have experienced an occasional sleepless night, for many people it is a chronic issue that requires treatment for insomnia.
Insomnia is a serious concern which can lead to problems such as:
- poor memory
- difficulty concentrating
- poor performance at work or school
- high blood pressure
If you’re suffering from insomnia or another sleep disorder, there are treatment options available. A sleep study can help your doctor figure out what may be causing your insomnia, and a proper course of treatment can be determined. For more information on insomnia treatment and sleep studies, call the sleep specialists at Jacksonville Sleep Center at (904) 854-6899.