Although the importance of sleep is immense, it seems to have been largely ignored and forgotten considering today's hectic, frenzied lifestyle. How many times have you heard, "I don't have time to sleep," or said it yourself? Being busy and over-scheduled is even viewed by some as badge of honor.
Everyone seems to want to prove how frantic and fast-paced their lives are – and how exhausted it makes them. Of course, this is not the definition of success or helping to promote a healthy lifestyle.
The sheer logistics of fitting 36 hours worth of activity into a 24-hour day means something's "gotta give." We push ourselves to work harder, faster, and better in a constant race against the clock.
In a noble attempt to fit in everything that needs to be done, we allow the time that should be devoted to sleep to shrink and then further diminish.
The phrases, "I'll make up for my lost sleep tomorrow/over the weekend/on vacation..." or "It's only sleep, this is more important..." are constantly on our lips and in our minds. Yet, there's a fundamental problem with this way of thinking. When we underestimate the value of sleep, we forget that sleep isn't a luxury, it's a biological necessity.
For all our sophistication and civilized way of living, we must remember that our brains and bodies are governed by biological functions and needs. Sleep plays a huge part in the way our bodies function - so big, in fact, that if we are totally deprived of sleep for an extended period of time, we will die.
There are five stages of sleep, each stage has its own properties and benefits. Together, all stages enable our bodies to regenerate and rejuvenate themselves. Every part of the body is affected - the brain, nervous system, immune system, hormones, emotions, heart, lungs, and the list goes on.
If we want to...
...then we need to recognize the importance of sleep.
Instead of seeing our need for rest as a weakness, we need to learn to welcome sleep as an ally who wants to help us enjoy life to the fullest because better sleep does lead to a better life - physically, emotionally and spiritually.