The Importance of Sleep

 The Importance of Sleep

Humans can last longer without food than sleep. While you may feel more prepared to stay up all night partying than to stop eating, the feeling will be relatively short-lived. Provided there is water, the average human can survive one to two months without food depending on their body fat and other factors.

However, sleep-deprived people begin to experience radical personality and psychological changes after only a few days without sleep. The longest recorded time that a person has ever gone without sleep was 11 days, at the end of the experiment waking up, but stumbling over words, hallucinating and often forgetting what he was doing.

Adequate sleep is essential for optimal production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) which repairs and enhances muscles and Lack of sleep suppresses the immune system, which can weaken academic or athletic performance, especially during stressful finals or competitions.

Lack of sleep causes an increase in ghrelin and a decrease in the hormone leptin which makes the body feel hungry and prevents the body from feeling full even though you have enough food intake. It also contributes to obesity.

Steps you can take to improve your sleep

Improve the quality of your sleep and life as a shift worker, and improve your safety at work and on the road.

Steps you can take to improve the quality of your sleep.

Make your room dark: The darker, the better. As a shift worker, you wake up and sleep against the natural rhythm of light and dark—our most powerful internal clock-regulator.

Blocking outside noises: Sleep can be easily disturbed by sudden and unexpected noises.

Adjust your thermostat before bed: A room that is too hot or too cold can disturb your sleep.

Be aware of drug side effects: Some medications can increase drowsiness and make driving dangerous.

Changing bedtime: After work, don't go to bed right away. Take a few hours to relax and unwind.

Develop a relaxing bedtime ritual: Before going to bed, try taking a warm bath, listening to soothing music or reading until you feel sleepy –but don't read anything interesting or stimulating.