Some facts will not surprise you about sleep. It’s common sense. The question is why we doubt our common sense so often? If we don’t respect our need for sleep, for example by forcing ourselves to stay up watching useless programs on TV or internet – that we either feel bad about or forget as soon as we turn them off – we basically risk our attention spans and ability to concentration, becoming less capable of learning and making decisions, less creative and productive, and less socially adept, say lots of studies, some made by the Circadian neuroscientist Russell Foster .
That’s not all. Now we also know why we also lose our health. We already explained that the brain detoxes during sleep. What it also does is to turn on or off genes and metabolic pathways to promote our health when we sleep. This means it is pure medicine to sleep and not a waste even if you do it about 36% of your life.
Most grown ups need about 7 hours of sleep. Teens need 9 or more as one thing that happens is that hormones are formed while sleeping. The average teenager only gets 5 hours of sleep during schooldays. The whole body thrives with good sleep patterns. Simply put sleep makes us age more slowly, keeps us healthy and happy. It makes us learn more and better and allows us to make better decisions. So when you apply for a job, make sure your new boss is not saying: “Sleep is for wimps!”, like Margaret Thatcher did.
Good sleep gives you longevity, and while you live it gives you a healthier and happier life, too. On top of this gift it’s cost free. It’s if you don’t sleep that it can be costly. Think of all the accidents we create because of bad sleep, as Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez Oil spill, airplane accidents, about 100,000 car accidents a year only in the USA, etc.