The world belongs to all those who wake up early. However, to wake up one needs to sleep well first. Sleep has a direct impact on every sphere of our life and everybody knows its importance. For instance, a good sleep helps to cool down our body.
The human body is like a small powerhouse which works continuously on a 24 hour basis. Like all machine, our body also needs to switch off from time to time to avoid problems. Hence, this switch- off mode is known as ‘Sleep”. A good sleep not only restores our mind and body but it also has other numerous advantages.
For example, it helps to keep our heart healthy- by reducing the level of pressure & inflammation in our body, reduces stress -by lowering the blood pressure and hormone levels, improves memory, keeps our weight under control- by regulating our appetite level, lowers the risk of getting diabetes, more specifically type 2 diabetes and leaves us less moody- lack of sleep makes us feel agitated.
But why do we sleep. It still remains a mystery and various scientists have put forward many theories to explain this phenomenon. First of all, the inactivity theory also known as the adaptive or evolutionary theory suggests that by staying inactive, it keeps us away from any harm. Scientists came up with this theory by studying the animal sleeping patterns.
According to this theory, animals that stayed still during these periods of vulnerability have more chances of survival than others who remain active. They did not have any accident or were killed by predators. This specific behavior later evolved and we now recognize it as sleep. However, a counter argument to this theory is that, it is much safer to be in state of consciousness, in order to response quickly to emergencies. Thus, it is not advisable to remain in such a state when safety is primordial (according to scientists).
Another theory brought forward is the “Energy Conservation Theory”. This theory is less likely to be applicable to individuals as there is always a continuous supply of food. Nature imposes various challenges, where the toughest of them are high competition and efficient energy utilization. This theory suggests that the prime function of sleep is to reduce energy demand and expenditure in the human body, more specifically when we are unable to find food.
Various researches have shown that we are able to save up to 10 % of energy by sleeping. For example, both our body temperature and caloric demand decrease significantly, when we are sleeping than we are in an awaken state. Hence, the main function of sleep aims at conserving our energy and this theory is also closely related to the inactive theory.
The restorative theories also bring to light that sleep also restores what has been loss in the body; while we are in an awaken state. A good sleep provides an opportunity to the body to repair and to renew itself. For instance, major restorative operations such as muscle growth, tissue repairs etc… only occur during the sleep. Besides, what is more surprising is the fact that being deprived of sleep can lead to death. It has also been observed that we have 3 times more chances of surviving from food deprivation than being deprived of sleep.
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