Sleeping is such a part of our lives that we tend to take its importance for granted at times. No one can and should discount the benefits of a 7-8 hour sleep. Getting enough sleep slows the body down and relaxes the mind. It is during sleep that tired muscles and joints get rejuvenated and prepared for the days ahead. Aside from the calming effect of sleep, it is also an important step in our daily metabolism.
There is actually some truth to what others may consider as an “old wives tale” that children who do not get enough sleep during their growing years do not grow as tall as other kids who do. Most of the body hormones that are necessary for physical growth are produced during sleep. There is no substantial explanation yet as to why there is more hormonal activity during sleep.
Recent studies about sleep have established the fact that sleep deprivation leads to several chronic diseases. A person’s immune system can easily fail if he or she does not get enough sleep. Prolonged sleep deprivation does not only make a person lose focus, but it can also be fatal. It can also cause sharp increases in a person’s blood pressure, which if not medically attended can lead to stroke.
When the brain does not get enough rest, it will not be able to conduct effectively some of the ordinary brain functions such as reasoning and remembering. Sleep deprivation often happens as a result of anxiety and depression. In such cases, the nervous system may also suffer and the major neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which are responsible for mood stability will also be affected.
Although there are many new theories that come about, trying to explain the changes in the body which place during sleep, there are still grounds that need to be covered in sleep research. Given the data that we are aware of right now, it suffices to say that we should never take the benefits of sleep for granted.
Children should always be encouraged to get enough sleep to increase their immunity against common diseases. One thing that can help children reach the needed number of hours daily is not to have entertainment equipment inside their rooms, such as the television and the computer. A good, warm bath can relax a child and get him or her ready for sleep.