Have you ever pulled an all nighter and felt like you could conquer the world that next day? That is exactly how I feel right now and have always felt after not sleeping. Hopefully, I'm not the only one that feel like this, because it seems almost silly to talk about it, considering it is so contradictory. I have always wondered what the brain chemistry of this particular scenario is. How could I possibly feel so awake right now? I read somewhere once that it has to do with Newton's First Law of Motion: an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. I think that is an interesting theory. I would love to see scientific evidence of it. If you happen to know any more about this, please contact me! I'm curious to know!
Now, I am in no way trying to encourage others to skip a night or two of sleep in order to get this energetic high. Going without sleep is not good for your body. Sleep has many benefits. Here is a list of them from Health Magazine.
1. Improves memory
While you are awake, your brain essentially records data and stores it. While asleep, your brain goes through these memories and consolidates and enhances them so that you can remember them later.
2. Improves your grades
As we have established, sleeping improves your memory. It also makes you more attentive. During sleep, your brain prepares itself for learning and upcoming memories for the next day. All of this is essential in getting good grades. Plus, nobody wants to be at school when they are tired; it makes things more stressful.
3. Enhances the creative process
While sleeping, your brain consolidates memories. It also reorganizes them and makes them stronger, which can lead to more creativity. Also, sleep enhances the emotional aspect of memories, which also aids the creative process.
3. Raises your energy (especially for sports)
Stanford University discovered that football players that got at least 10 hours of sleep at night were better able to improve their sprint times, increase their stamina, and were less fatigued during the day. Now, we are not all great athletes, but we all receive the same benefits from sleep. By sleeping more, we will have more energy.
5. Sharpens your attention
Sleeping makes it easier for you to focus the next day. This is particularly true for children. Adults become sleepy and groggy when tired. Children become hyperactive. Both reactions to a lack of sleep make it very difficult to focus on what needs to get done throughout the day.
6. Helps lose weight
A study at the University of Chicago found that dieters who get enough sleep burn more fat that those that do not. In fact, people who do not get enough sleep lose muscle mass. "Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain," Dr. Rapport says. "When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite." In other words, you are more likely to be hungry when you don't sleep enough.
7. Lowers Stress
Unfortunately, stress and sleep have a nasty relationship to one another. Sleep reduces stress levels, but stress can keep you from sleeping. It's kind of annoying how that works isn't it? Eventually, though, you can figure out a way to go to sleep earlier and get the required amount of sleep to lower your stress levels. Sleep is important in regulating your cholesterol and blood pressure. This helps reduce your risk of heart disease. Your body also goes into repair mode and renews itself while you sleep. That is why you get dark circles under your eyes when you don't sleep enough. You are not letting your body renew itself and the blood vessels actually dilate when you don't get enough sleep. Additionally, when you get enough sleep, you are more able to handle any stress that you may encounter during the day.
8. Makes you happier
Lack of sleep and anxiety can lead to depression. When you sleep, you are able to reduce your stress levels and give your brain time to recharge and relax. This is essential towards becoming a happier person. Loosing sleep can make you cranky and irritable, and as everyone knows, the day only gets worse from there.
Moral of the story: Sleep! You will feel so much better and will be able to perform daily activities in a more productive and meaningful way.
Thanks for reading!