The Importance of Sleep

By Joshua H,

To the human body, sleep is the most important activity. The less amount of sleep that you have the less your body can perform; in many cases days without sleep can lead to fatal accidents. The treatment of these problems is and should be very important to everyone. Even just one night of little or no sleep will impair your judgment, reactions, and your ability to think. Many people with little sleep will not even realize just how much they are affected by it. If you are operating any machinery or driving, for example, you are a danger to yourself and everyone around you.
In this case, I will be talking about insomnia. Insomnia is a condition where you are not able to fall and/or stay asleep. Many people have actually experienced some form of insomnia, which is called acute insomnia. Acute insomnia will only affect your sleep for one night, and can be caused by feelings of anxiousness, doing some physical or brain engaging activity before going to bed, or just not being in a place associated with sleep. Many people have also experienced insomnia due to jetlag.
While acute insomnia is usually not a big problem, chronic insomnia is. Chronic insomnia is when you go three or more days with little to no sleep. Some symptoms may include difficulty paying attention, behavior problems, and/or relationship problems. There are ways to help people deal with this condition. Some ways to help are to keep a consistent sleep pattern, do regular exercise, stay away from late night meals, and to limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Other ways to avoid sleepless nights are to avoid any activities right before bed and to not go to bed before being tired. People suffering from chronic insomnia should consult a doctor who is an expert on sleep disorders. A doctor may recommend certain medicines that will help you. When insomnia is caused by sleep apnea, a condition that interrupts breathing and wakes you up, a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine may be recommended.
I have seen the effects of insomnia through a friend. He has chronic insomnia and sometimes does not sleep at all from one night, to little sleep for a whole week, and his body suffers because of it. Many days he comes to school with no sleep and may not be able to do any of your everyday school tasks, such as remembering anything about the assignment just given to him. Activities that require critical thinking can often be out of his reach. He also has trouble keeping up his relationships. His emotions are sometimes very hard to control. This cycle of insomnia happens many times throughout the year and impacts all of his work. He struggles to keep up his school work, but he was able to lessen the effects of insomnia through some sleep aids and sleep therapy.
In conclusion, sleep is one of the most important parts of your life. Without sleep you cannot do any of the normal day-to-day activities effectively. Unfortunately, many people may not even realize that they suffer from some form of sleep deprivation. The fast pace of our society greatly impacts the ability of many people to get adequate sleep but they may not even realize they are sleep deprived. An awareness about the importance of adequate sleep and its impact on health, relationships, happiness and productivity is something that needs to be promoted and stressed far more then it is today. The benefits from doing this will benefit every aspect of our lives and increase productivity.

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