Importance and Duration of Sleep.

Importanceand Duration of Sleep.

Importanceand Duration of Sleep.

Accordingto Tempaku,Hirotsu and Tufik(2016), sleep can be defined as the state of the body and mind whichrecurs naturally and which is characterized by relatively inhibitedsensory activity, altered consciousness, limited interactions withthe surrounding and inhibition of almost all the voluntary muscles.Sleep is different from wakefulness because of the reduced ability toreact to stimuli when one is asleep. Sleep is very important in humanlife, it plays very vital roles in the body both mental andphysical. Sleep is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

Sleephas very important functions in ensuring well-being through-out lifeand promoting good health. People who get enough good sleep at theright sleeping time highly protect their physical health, mentalhealth, safety and they live quality lives. The way someone feelswhen awake largely depends on what happens when they are asleep. Whensomeone is asleep, the body works to ensure that the physical healthis maintained and the brain is healthy and functioning well.

Sleepassists the brain to work well. While asleep, the brain prepares forthe next day. One is able to learn and remember things. Lack of sleepchanges the activity of some brain parts. This prevents one fromlearning effectively. People who do not get enough sleep haveproblems in making decisions, paying attention, being creative,controlling their emotions and solving problems. The teens andchildren who do not get enough sleep do not get well with others.They easily get angry, have serious mood swings, feel depressed orsad, and they lack motivation. ( Tempaku,Hirotsu and Tufik,2016).

Sleepis also important in physical health. It plays a very important rolein the repair and healing of the heart and blood vessels. When one isasleep, there is reduced activity and thus the heart functions lessthan when one is awake. This reduced activity allows healing andrepair of the heart and blood vessels. Lack of sleep increases therisks of suffering from kidney diseases, heart diseases, stroke,diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Sleepis very important in maintaining balance between the hormones leptin(which makes one feel full) and ghrelin (which makes one feelhungry). When a person does not sleep, ghrelin levels increase whilethe level of leptin reduces. This makes the person to stay hungry andovereat. This can easily result in obesity. ( Tempaku,Hirotsu and Tufik,2016).

Sleepaffects the reaction of the body to insulin. Insulin is the hormonewhich controls the levels of blood glucose and thus good sleepenables efficient control of blood glucose levels. If a person doesnot get sufficient sleep, they develop high levels of blood sugarwhich increases the risks of suffering from diabetes.

Togetherwith oxygen, water and food, people need sleep. There has been a lotof controversy on how many hours people should sleep. Some studiessuggest that people should sleep for at least one-third of theirlives. Despite the many studies done, most of the researchers haveagreed that the amount of hours of sleep required differ with age.(Perez-Villena etal.,2016). The standard sleep time for adults is between 7.5 to 8 hoursper day. Night sleep is more recommended than day time sleep.

Newbornbabies up to the age of 2 months should sleep between twelve toeighteen hours a day. Between three months to one year old, theyshould sleep between fourteen to fifteen years. This is the time mostof the development takes place and thus they require a lot of sleep.From this age, the number of hours reduce with age until they areeighteen where it is constantly eight hours per day. (Perez-Villenaetal.,2016). The amount of hours required vary greatly. They not onlydepend on the age but also on other factors such as the health statusof the person, their occupation and genetic composition. Sick peopleare encouraged to sleep more to relieve pain and heal quickly. Peoplewhose work requires more hours of working may not be able to sleepthe stated number of hours.

Despitethe many opinions and studies on sleep, the most important thing inhuman life is enough sleep. Sleep is not a luxury, it is a necessity.People should sleep enough to ensure that the bodies are given enoughtime to rest. Resting of the body and brain ensures good health andprevents many diseases.


Perez-Villena,A., Soto-Insuga, V., Castano-De la Mota, C., Martin-Del Valle, F.,Pons- Rodriguez, M., Losada-Del Pozo, R., … &ampMonfort-Belenguer, L. (2016). [The importance of sleep problems inchildren with headache and other neurodevelopmental disorders inneuropaediatric services]. Revista de neurologia, 62(2), 61-67.

Tempaku,P. F., Hirotsu, C., &amp Tufik, S. (2016). The importance of sleepin the association between perceived stress and telomerelength.&nbspBrain,behavior, and immunity.