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Why is Sleep so Important?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Shera.

Let’s understand the benefits of good sleep for good mental and physical health, along with understanding common sleep disorders, causes effects, and solutions.

(Bountiful Company, 2021)

A good night’s sleep has become somewhat of a luxury in today’s fast-paced world. It’s slid below work, chores, social time, and entertainment on our list of priorities.

Sleep, on the other hand, should not be a luxury. It is just as critical to your bodily and mental well-being as food and water are. While the purpose of sleep remains unknown, scientists do know that the average human requires approximately eight hours of sleep per night to live a happy and healthy life. Proper sleep allows the body to rejuvenate after a long day and promotes healthy development and growth in adolescents and children.

Why is sleep needed?

Apart from being vital, there exist many sleep health benefits. When it is lacking, whether in terms of time or quality, all areas suffer and the consequences can be distressing.

Sleep deprivation is a relatively new area of research. Scientists are exploring what happens to the body during sleep, why it is so critical, and the benefits of sleep on physical health. Sleep is needed to:

  • Support vital body functions
  • Replenish energy
  • Rebuild muscular tissue
  • Enable the brain to process new information

What happens when you don’t get enough sleep?

(Verywellhealth, 2021)

Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health, reducing your ability to:

  • Think clearly
  • Concentrate
  • React
  • Maintain emotional control

Sleep deprivation has been found to raise the chance of developing significant health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. Additionally, it can have an adverse effect on your immune system, impairing your body’s ability to fight infection and disease.

How much sleep do you need?

While sleep is critical, how much sleep we need changes as we progress through life.

(Resmed, 2020)

Sleep disorders

Many people who suffer from sleep difficulties sleep for an acceptable period of time but do not reach a deep enough stage of sleep to wake up feeling rested and refreshed. Frequent awakenings during the night can also hinder you from reaching the essential sleep stages. Several common sleep problems include:

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder in which you stop breathing while sleeping. You will briefly regain consciousness to keep breathing, even if you are not aware of it. Sleep apnea awareness is important for people to understand and analyze if the symptoms are severe or mild as a lack of guidance might lead to serious health complications. If you’ve experienced this and continue to do so, it is recommended to consult a doctor. Sleep apnea treatment in Pakistan is widely available and one common treatment is nasal allergy therapy. If you’re overweight, losing weight can also help.

Sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis causes temporary loss of muscle control and function. It occurs just before or just after sleep. It is a common sleep disorder and around 7% of people experience it. Despite that, people do not have enough sleep paralysis awareness.

Sleep paralysis causes are not recognized. It’s commonly thought of as a side effect of another condition, for example, narcolepsy sufferers frequently experience sleep paralysis. Mental health difficulties, sleep deprivation, pharmaceutical use, and substance use can all contribute.

Sleep paralysis treatment at home is not recommended and it is a good idea to consult a doctor to identify the underlying cause of the condition. Treatment focuses on the underlying ailment or issue causing the loss of muscle function. Antidepressants may be prescribed to persons with mental illnesses like bipolar disorder.


Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders and around one-third of adults are believed to experience insomnia symptoms. Up to 10 % have symptoms severe enough for them to be diagnosed with clinical insomnia. If you experience insomnia, you may have difficulty falling or staying asleep. It can also cause you to wake up too early and prevent you from feeling refreshed after your sleep which is why it is essential to seek sleep deprivation treatment.

Benefits of a good night’s sleep

Good quality sleep can ward off many short-term issues such as fatigue and trouble concentrating. It can also prevent serious long-term health issues. There are multiple benefits of good sleep for mental health and physical health.

The benefits of good sleep include:

  • Reduced inflammation in the body
  • Improved concentration levels
  • Lesser fat craving and eating fewer calories
  • Decreased risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Reduced risk of depression

We should think about our sleep habits, realize how much they impact our well-being, and take a step towards improving them. If sleeping is a problem for you, a family member, or a friend, try figuring out a way to mindfully prioritize it and change your habits if they affect your sleeping patterns. If sleep problems continue to be a regular occurrence and interfere with your daily life, seek medical advice.

By: Sanya Zahid

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