The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is something I look forward to most of the time—it’s a great feeling to put my head on the pillow knowing how rejuvenated I’ll feel once I wake up. An article published earlier this week on The Huffington Post talks about how long we can go without sleep and some of the effects of neglecting sleep. According to the article, studies have shown that a lack of sleep affects behavior.

The article notes a 17-year-old who, in 1964, went 11 days without sleep, the longest recorded sleep drought for a human. The boy experienced memory problems, paranoia, and hallucinations. I can relate—just last night I stayed up nearly three hours past my normal bed time and am left with a headache and constant thoughts about getting back under the covers.

Research shows that the proper amount of sleep depends on your gender, age, and what’s happening in your brain. Babies and the elderly tend to sleep more, and new research suggests teenagers could use between nine and 11 hours of rest each night. The recommended amount for adults—eight hours—usually keeps me feeling refreshed.

The necessary amount of sleep differs for different people, but it is important that you fulfill your sleep requirement on a regular basis. Not doing so can lead to daytime sleepiness, which can affect your memory and ability to perform various functions. Since I didn’t get enough sleep last night, I’ll be extra careful to get to bed early tonight. Sleep well!

–Blayne Jeffries

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