Why You Need to Sleep

If you’re like me and have no set sleep schedule and choose to close your eyes for the night at the same time that birds start chirping outside, just so you can wake up a short, few hours later, you need to stop. I admit it: I have a horrible sleep schedule. I go to sleep at 2 AM the night before I have an 8 AM for no good reason. I stay up doing homework that I could’ve gotten done during the day but instead, I choose to sit around and watch a TV show that would still be available in the morning. Well now, after being sick for about a week and being unable to stop coughing or sneezing, I’ve realized this could have all been avoided if I slept like a normal, healthy person and let my body recover. So here are few reasons why you should not be me but should try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night.

  1. Sleep improves memory
    I can tell you from firsthand experience that pulling an all-nighter to study for a final did not give me the results I wanted. Not even close. I thought that maybe if I stayed up all night memorizing what I needed, I would do fine on the exam a few hours later. Boy, was I wrong. My brain was complete mush when I was taking the exam. However, had I gotten enough sleep, and perhaps studied prior to the day before the exam, I would’ve performed much better.
  1. Sleep curbs inflammation
    Research shows that people who get less than six hours of sleep a night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more sleep. Inflammation is linked to a variety of diseases and conditions, including stroke, diabetes, and premature aging.
  1. Better weight control
    Weird, right? Who knew that your weight could be linked to how much sleep you’re getting? But it is. Getting enough sleep helps you maintain your weight while not getting enough sleep causes a drop in your leptin level (leptin is a hormone that causes you to feel full). The result? The more tired you are, the more hungry you are.
  1. Stronger immune system
    These last two weeks definitely taught me this. Having gotten almost no sleep last week, I, someone who rarely gets sick, have been missing classes just so I can sneeze and cough and feel like a sack of potatoes in bed. It’s been awful… and it’s due to the fact that people who get less than seven hours of sleep a night are three times as likely to catch a cold than those who get at least eight.

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Moral of the story? Get some sleep!

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