Everyone knows that one die-hard person whose life motto is, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Sure, their motivation and drive to succeed in life might be inspiring, but anyone who thinks they can cheat their sleep time in order to gain long term progress is sadly mistaken. Your body needs sleep if you want to maintain productivity. In fact, it’s just as important to your health as eating. No one would intentionally go days without food. So why would you go without sleep?
Sleep is crucial to your brain power. Upon waking from a good night’s sleep, you have a 33 percent increased ability to comprehend and rationalize your thoughts. Lack of sleep disrupts your ability to store memories, so you’ll be more forgetful. It also plays important roles in regulating your immune system to create protective antibodies that fight against diseases. Sleep also makes you feel more energized and ready to tackle the day.
The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. That number might change depending on your age. If you get less than that, say four hours of sleep for six nights in a row, research shows that you can increase your risk of diabetes, produce greater amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, and reduce the number of antibodies you make. The good news is that all of these changes are reversed once you start sleeping properly again. Want to know more? Here’s what happens to your brain as you move through the five stages of sleep.