Why do we need sleep?
Sleep and in particular well sleep is essential for our health. Although it may seem otherwise, during sleep our brain does not rest, quite the opposite. Speaking of sleep we can speak of two stages: the NREM and REM stage, which passed through overnight. The REM stage predominates during the early morning hours, which makes us more dream.
Sleep is essential for the correct functioning of our brain (makes us more creative, for example), being involved in sleep functions as essential as an endocrine, immune memory (strengthens neural connections) and learning. Sleep also helps to set and update the memories. And one of the benefits is perhaps less known that sleep helps to lose weight. How it is possible? When we sleep bad fat cells called adipocytes produce more leptin, the hormone that directly influences appetite. This will cause the feeling of hunger much greater, also tend to eat more calorie foods.
Sleep well protects the immune system, which is auto-repaired with rest. In fact, when we are tired we are more exposed to the attack of bacteria and viruses. In the same way the lack of sleep makes us more vulnerable to suffer from stress, anxiety, and irritability. A good night’s sleep promotes the production of serotonin and melatonin, hormones that improve the well-being.
Sleep and the implications for the physical and emotional health have been the subject of numerous studies, including the one conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in which concluded that during sleep increases the activity of genes involved in the protection of the brain, while the lack of sleep or poor sleep increases the activity of genes that promote stress and cell aging.
The stress, worries, but also habits as delaying the time to go to bed or stay up late watching TV, are among the most common causes that steal the sleep from us. In medical terms, takes more than half an hour to fall asleep is an indicative sign of insomnia, one of the most common disorders.
Another study, in this case published in the European Heart Journal, found that people with insomnia problems are up to three times more likely to suffer from a problem of heart failure.