Sleep is important for many reasons. Lack of sleep can lead to many problems in ones functioning in everyday life. In this article I will list five reasons that sleep is important in the short term. Lack of sleep can lead to the following five symptoms in the short term, which can lead to long term problems if lack of sleep becomes a common occurrence in one’s life.
Lack of sleep can lead to a lack of daytime alertness, adversely effecting ones performance. By reducing sleep by as little as a half an hour at night can actually reduce ones daytime alertness by as much as 32% (Sleep Habits). This reduction in daytime alertness can really hurt one’s career, and potentially lead to injury or in some cases death in occupational accidents, or automobile accidents. One estimate states that 100,000 automobile injuries occur every year because of drowsy driving (Sleep Habits). The adverse effect on health, and potentially death is one reason that sleep it important.
Another effect that lack of sleep has, is that in relation to decreased alertness, is that memory and cognitive ability are decreased (Sleep Habits). This is another reason that sleep is important, especially in a learning environment such as college. In a learning environment, if one’s memory and cognitive ability are hampered, performance in that environment will surely suffer to some degree. The same would happen in a career/occupational setting in much the same way as college or other learning environments.
Lack of sleep can also lead to a more stressful relationship (Sleep Habits). If you have a partner that you sleep with on a nightly basis, not sleeping can lead to your partner not being able to sleep. This can put a lot of stress on a relationship because if one is accustomed to sleeping with their partner and they simply cannot sleep together anymore, it leads to strain. This type of stress can distance two people who are involved in a relationship, leading to a more stressful waking life.
A fourth occurrence that accompanies sleep deprivation is a poor quality of life (Sleep Habits). Because lack of sleep leads to an inhibited ability to focus, one who cannot sleep ultimately cannot participate in activities that require sustained attention. Many of these activities appeal to the person who cannot sleep, and can look like depression because they cannot do activities that he or she used to enjoy.
Lack of sleep can also lead to a suppression of the immune system (Sleep Deprivation). So in other words, not sleeping can literally make one sick. With a weakened immune system, the body cannot fight off infections at a normal level, leading to becoming sick more often.
The importance of sleep cannot be overstated. It is important to get adequate sleep on a nightly basis so that you can function at your highest level. The five above listed symptoms are only short term issues that can arise from lack of sleep. There are plenty more issues that can come from prolonged lack of sleep that are even more harmful to a person and his or her life. So make sure to get enough sleep every night so that these problems can be avoided.
Sleep Deprivation, What are the Consequences?
Sleep Habits: More Important Than you Think