The Importance of Sleep

Looking at the negative implications of sleep deprivation.

by Stacey Philipp

photo by Adrian, Canada, 2006.

As the hours, days, and weeks fly by, there is no doubting the realization that there are not enough hours in the day. We take care of our bodies in endless ways: eating right, exercising, taking vitamins, and avoiding smoking. Yet, despite these positive acts, many of us tend to overlook the most important act of all: getting a good night’s sleep.

In between all of our daily tasks, it can sometimes be challenging to allocate the required eight hours a day meant for sleep. Admittedly, we have all decided to forgo a few hours of rest in favour of partaking in social activities or trying to meet important deadlines. However, it is not an exaggeration to say that sleep is essential for the healthy functioning of our bodies.

Harvard Medical School advocates the importance of sleep by focusing on these negative implications that can arise due to lack of rest:

Metabolism and Weight: Despite best efforts to eat healthy and exercise, weight gain can occur when sleep deprivation is a common occurrence. When we do not get enough sleep, our bodies cannot properly process and store carbohydrates, which cause the weight gain.

Mood: You might be finding yourself getting annoyed with your family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers. A lack of sleep can cause irritability, impatience, and moodiness.

Disease: Depriving your body of sleep can alter the proper functioning of your immune system. You can become more susceptible to illnesses due to a lower amount of white blood cells. Surprisingly, sleeping can even help fight cancer!

Safety: A lack of sleep increases the risk of becoming tired throughout the day. If your body is heavily craving extra hours of shuteye, continuing to push through the daylight hours could result in falling asleep at inappropriate times, such as while cooking food on the stove or even driving.

A comfortable mattress and a proper pillow are fundamental elements in sleeping well at night. Here on the Danforth you can visit Sleep Country Canada at 745 Danforth Avenue to purchase these products!


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