• 4 minute read •
I remember my dad telling me how much I was “wasting my life” when I used to sleep very long hours as a teenager. What he didn’t know and neither did I at that time, is that teenagers need more hours sleep, and that the average human spends about 30% of their life sleeping! These and many other facts are some of the reasons why sleeping is a very important part of our biology, not only when we are growing but throughout our lives.
I recently watched this TED talk about the ‘neuroscience of sleep’ and thought it was worth sharing it here and spreading the word about the importance of getting enough sleep, and how it directly affects our mood, productivity, physical appearance, happiness and well-being.
Russell Foster, circadian neuroscientist and great speaker, explains better all of this in short. He starts by saying how little we know about sleeping, our “ignorance” about the subject. We don’t ask why we sleep and we don’t know why it’s so important. Sleeping plays an essential role in the status of our body and mind, and understanding the main existing ideas about the reasons why we sleep, such as: “body restoration, energy conservation, brain processing and memory consolidation”; could probably help find the answers to some of your problems, and how to fix them easily! In addition, discover why ‘sleeping is not an indulgence’, as some people may think.
Contrary to what it seems, while we sleep there is a lot going on in our brains. It is now known that while sleeping the brain presents a cycle of brain-wave activity – “What we know, and what we learn gets attenuated while we sleep; novel solutions to complex problems come up while sleeping; sleeping well enhances creativity”, Says Mr. Foster. And not only that, but sleeping well enough increases concentration, levels of attention, decision-making and more. No wonder why we say “I will sleep on it”, or as we would literally say in Spanish: “I’ll consult it with my pillow”, when making up our mind about an important matter.
When some people say: “I will sleep when I’m dead”, they don’t know that you could actually die sooner if you don’t sleep. If a human doesn’t sleep for about 11 to 14 days he/she will just die of sleep deprivation, passing through really bad stages of hallucination (around the 3rd day), dementia (after 5 to 6 days) and ultimately death. But we don’t need to go that far to be seriously affected by not sleeping enough. It is proved that some mental disorders like bipolar, depression and schizophrenia are associated with lack of sleep. As well as health problems like stress, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity – “when you sleep about 5 hours or less every night, then you have a 50% likelihood of being obese”, says Mr. Foster.
I didn’t know exactly how important it was to sleep, but those who know me, also know how much I love it. After watching this video and researching a little more about the subject, I truly believe this is one of the reasons why I’ve always been energetic and enthusiastic.
I invite you to watch it, discover what you can do to sleep better and help yourself be more productive, healthier, smarter and even more beautiful!!
“Sleep is the golden chain that ties our health and bodies together”
Additionally, if you are a fan of the “5 more minutes please”, don’t miss this other -short and funny video, and think about it next time you want to press the snooze button:
I hope you liked this post, enjoyed the videos, and start having longer sleep nights and consequently, more pleasant days. Do you sleep enough? Have your sleep habits changed over time? –I’d love to read your comments, have a good night 🙂