SLEEP, so what are the many benefits of having a good one.
let me explain the benefits of good sleep
For most people, sleep is, has, and always will be, somewhat of a mystery. If we start by looking at it from an evolutionary perception, too many it looks more like something we should have abandoned doing a few hundred thousand years ago. The fact that for a third of our day. The state that our mind falls into a near unconsciousness for such a long period does beg the question. How did we ever make it this long as a species?
Therefore, the only conclusion I can make is that when we are in this state of sleep and what happens to our body is obviously vital to our whole health and well-being. This makes me believe that if it wasn’t such a vital and essential part of our being.
Then those individuals who need much less sleep than others would have then automatically risen to the top of the gene pool a very long time ago. Whereas those who required a lot more sleep, I’d have to say that there would have only been one thing really could have happened to them. Finding themselves to have most probably been eaten!
In the scientific community, they have not fully been able to explain to us exactly why we sleep. Aside from that, it has definitely created a consensus among researchers. And sleep deprived mothers. That adequate sleep is what is best for your whole being in many ways. Let’s look at these now.
- We all have at some point experienced those feeling of overwhelming irritability and short-tempered. All simply due to us not having had got enough sleep that we needed. A study from the University of Pennsylvania showed that subjects who experienced even partial sleep deprivation reported feelings of anger, stress, fatigue, much sadness, and mental exhaustion.
Let’s face it, now of this is exactly new information, we are all very aware of how emotional we get in very negative ways when we have to function on too little sleep. I find there are three questions arise from this, What is that? Why doesn’t it have similar effects like other things, say, for example, a few glasses of wine? When we were are sleep deprivation do we not start telling those people we love them so much or develop that overconfidence we sudden get in our ability to sing at karaoke?!
It is still again a bit of a mystery. But the latest researchers have made suggestions that sleep deprivation is responsible for stimulating activity in the amygdala. This is the part of our brain that is responsible for our feelings, which among other things, includes fear and anger. These feelings when heightened, leading to an overall sense of stress. Creating hostility towards others. This explains at least some part of, the reason why when your co-worker asks how your weekend was you lose it at him. This is then not helped by someone then using their finger guns while passing the remark “Sounds like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays,”. It is fair to say that there are other villains here as well as sleep deprivation!
So, we all know and can see how essential getting enough sleep is for our emotional well-being. What other tangible benefits are there to sleep? After breathing, drinking and eating people are going to be very hard pressed to find anything that has more health benefits to it than getting enough sleep.
“Sleep services all aspects of our body in one way or another: molecular, energy balance, as well as intellectual function, alertness, and mood,” says Dr. Merrill Mitler, asleep expert and neuroscientist at the National Institute of Health. “Sleep impacts almost every tissue in our bodies.” People who regularly get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night have proven significantly lower rates in the following medical conditions. Depression, strokes, heart attacks &/or heart failure, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, infections, inflammation, and hypertension. The reports also showed results in higher satisfaction with their sex lives. Better performance at work, with fewer sick days being taken off or suffered from fewer illnesses than people who were typically getting less than 7 hours a night of sleep.
As we all know and are familiar with the fact that when we are running on too little sleep, how difficult and how it can be almost impossible to focus information and then absorbing and retaining this information is only half the battle though.
Ok, if I want to be technically correct, it is only a third. We know that learning and memory occurring in three functions. Acquisition, consolidation, and recall. Putting at simply, firstly you need to receive the information, secondly, you then need to secure the memory of it, and finally, you need to be able to have it recall it by having access to it when needed. To allow you to yell out the answers at the TV while you watch episodes of “Jeopardy!”
Acquisition and recall only really take place while we are awake. Consolidation, on the other hand, “takes place during sleep through the strengthening of the neural connections that form our memories. The overall evidence suggests that adequate sleep each day is very important for learning and memory.”*1
So what does that all mean? Simply, if you find you have been able to manage to focus on what it is you are learning and acquire the information, that without sleep, all the information you have acquired will not be stored properly in your brain. So when you are called upon to access it, what you will have found occurring is you drawing a blank accompanied by “that face”. You know the one your teenagers give when you ask him/her to do something or communicate his/her needs more often? That one!
For me personally, I’m a firm believer that learning and education should become a lifelong pursuit and as we know once we are out of school, learning becomes optional! For all kids, their primary responsibility for the first 18-20 years of their lives is learning. With that though, just consider how much information on a daily basis they need to retain.
When you think about this it is easy to see the importance of a healthy sleep schedule is and how hard it is to not overstate.
So, for me, there’s no question how fundamental sleep is. While it can and does remain mysterious, it is most definitely one of the most essential parts of a healthy, happy lifestyle.
However, all this suddenly changes when you have a baby, right? I mean, you have brought a wonderful new life into this world, right? Many people in our society now view this as what being a parent is to be about. In fact. As new parent’s the message they are giving is their own sleep will have to be sacrificed for the first few years of their child’s life. With some parents even told it can be six or seven years!
All of this just so that you can be able to respond to your baby’s needs, which, for some reason, are always by the load full in the middle of the night, Right!
In my mind, is the most singularly problematic myth there is about parenthood. As for what I know and how I see it: Your baby actually needs a lot more sleep than even you do. Do not be confused by those cute little bodies looking like they are idle for one moment when they are sleeping. They most definitely are not. They are in a complete state of an internal frenzy. With work going on behind the scenes in our babies while they sleep.
To name a few. The growth hormone is secreted. Allowing it to be possible for the baby to gain weight and in turn, grow more. Producing Cytokines. This will help fight off infections and produces antibodies in the baby. All kinds of miraculous, intricate systems are at work laying the foundation for your baby’s growth and development. This continues to do all of this growth and development right through to adolescence. This is all subject to one thing happening. They get the opportunity to do so.
Luckily, mother nature does all that heavy lifting for us. All that is needed for all this to happen is for our little one is to close their eyes and sleep.
This is where my field of expertise is. In life, I see and hear a LOT of people passing comments to new parents that your baby will not sleep well. That all they can expect to occur is their little ones to be waking them up seven or eight times a night! We have all heard that or maybe even passed this comment onto some new mum.
That advice is not only wrong, but it is also extremely harmful! By people deciding to tell parents to accept their baby’s sleep issues because it is part of their parenting experience is in turn actually preventing them from addressing the problem. This is everyone in that family is a very serious concern. This is not due to them being selfish, or that the simply enjoy sleeping late, it is because they all, and more so, their children, need to ensure they are getting adequate sleep. This being for all of the reasons I have mentioned above.
So, let me tell you straight. If your baby is waking up 7, 8 or more times a night crying until you go into the room, comfort them by rocking them back to sleep. Then please believe me when I say this is not motherhood-as-usual. This is a baby who has trouble sleeping. And it is now interfering with the little one’s own body’s natural development. This is no different than if they were to have an ear infection or jaundice. It is a health issue. There is a remedy which will help your baby sleep. So, I, therefore, say believe me when I say if anyone that tells you that you should just grin and bear this situation for the next six years is peddling horrible advice. I do not think it is said with any kind of malicious intent. It is most likely those people sharing their own parenting experience. That said, it needs to stop.
By us as parents and caregivers accepting inadequate asleep in infancy stages then leads on to accepting it in adolescence. Where eventually it ends up with grown adults who do not understand. Or give their sleep the priority it requires. Leading those who do suffer with it to all to more serious health issues later on in life which follows along with it.
Therefore, I simply wish to say to every new mother and father out there, I implore you, please do not accept the idea that sleep is a luxury that you must learn to live without for a few years. If you find your baby is not sleeping. Address it. You are not selfish. You are not being unrealistic. Simply put, it is necessary. And the benefits are prolific.
And – as always – I am here for you when you’re ready to get started.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me and let me know how I can help.
*1 – Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, retrieved from healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/ healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/learning-memory, December 18, 2007
*2. Sleep. 1997 Apr;20(4):267-77. Cumulative sleepiness, mood disturbance, and psychomotor vigilance performance decrements during a week of sleep restricted to 4-5 hours per night. Dinges DF1, Pack F, Williams K, Gillen KA, Powell JW, Ott GE, Aptowicz C, Pack AI.
*3 National Sleep Foundation, 2008 Sleep in America Poll, Summary of Findings retrieved fromsleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/2008%20POLL%20SOF.PDF