Many people don’t know, Why Do We Sleep? How Much Sleep Do We Need? There is a living creature that does not need sleep or complete rest every day. If you want to know why just try going without sleep for a long period of time! You will discover that your mind and body would become too tired to work properly.
You would become irritable and find it hard to think clearly or concentrate on your work. So sleep is quite simply the time when the cells of your body recover from the work of the day and build up supplies of energy for the next period of activity.
One of the things we all know about sleep is that we are unconscious in sleep. We do not know what is going on around us. But that does not mean the body stops all activity. The vital organs continue to work during sleep, but most of the body functions are slowed down.
For example, our breathing becomes slower and deeper. The heart beats more slowly, and the blood pressure is lower. Our arms and legs become limp, and the muscles that control our posture are at rest.
It would be impossible for our bodies to relax to such an extent if we were awake. So, sleep does for us what even the quietest rest cannot do. Your body temperature becomes lower when you are asleep, which is the reason people go to sleep under some kind of cover.
And even though you are unconscious many of your reflexes still work. For instance, if someone tickles your foot, you will pull it away in your sleep, or even brush a fly from your forehead. You do these things without knowing it.
Sleep is very important as we all know because it helps restore tired organs and tissues in our body. But how much sleep do we actually need? Many people don’t know this question. So, several believe, six hours of sleep is enough, and many believe eight hours of sleep seems to be about the right amount.
Yet we know that there are a great many people who get along perfectly with less sleep. And some who may even need more. A great deal depends on the way we live. But a good general rule to follow is to sleep as long as we have to in order to feel happy and be able to work at our best when we awaken.
Actually, there are different levels of sleep. There is deep sleep and shallow sleep. In shallow sleep, our body does not get the same kind of rest it gets in deep sleep. So that after eight hours of shallow sleep, we may still feel tired. But a short deep sleep can be very restful.
Alexander the Great was able to get a deep sleep whenever he needed it. Once, during the night before an important battle, he remained awake longer than anyone else. Then he wrapped himself in a cloak and lay down on the earth. He slept so deeply that his generals had to wake him three times to give the command to attack!
Normally when we go to sleep, our sleep center blocks off nerves so that both our brain and our body go to sleep. One prevents us from wanting to do anything and the other makes our internal organs and limbs sleep. But sometimes only one goes to sleep and the other does not.
A very tired soldier can sometimes fall asleep (brain sleep) and keep on marching because his body is not asleep. So, eight hours of sound sleep keeps you energetic for your next day’s movements.