Home > Sleep, The Importance of ... > The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep

The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep

Although the saying: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” may seem trite and clichéd, I do believe that it is true.  I mean, an activity that comprises one third of our entire lives must have at least some merit to it!  Despite the ever fervent debates in the scientific community about the nature and purpose of sleep, most scientists will agree that humans need it in order to function efficiently and effectively throughout the day (or night for that matter).  Simply put, monophasic sleep is a paramount portion of our natural circadian cycles; something that has been ingrained within our evolutionary history for many millions of years.

 

Our natural biological clocks don't take lightly to attempts at circumvention.

 

You would think that, being the educated bunch that we are, we would know by now that a good night’s sleep is just something too important to pass up on.  This, unfortunately, is not the case.  Many people that I come in contact with, whether it be at school or elsewhere, seem to be lacking a fair amount of shut-eye.  In fact, it’s all too common to find people nodding off in class, on the bus, on a bench, etc.  Granted, the majority of us have very busy lives; busy to the point that we have to constantly put sleep to the wayside in favor of more stimulating activities such as studying, work, etc.  Incidentally, this is when ‘sleep-debt’ multiplies and grows until it becomes too taxing for us to handle.  Hence why we occasionally end up seeking slumber in the most unorthodox of places.  This is merely nature’s way of helping us deal with the inevitable (nature cannot be beaten!)

So, where am I going with all of this?  Well, I want to delve into the age old issue of pulling all-nighters.  Namely, does the end justify the means?  I’ve never really pulled a ‘true’ all-nighter per se; however, I have come close (and know many people who do them quite often).  There have been nights where I have had projects or exams looming around the corner and I had no choice but to stay up and study / work on them.  I remember going to bed, exhausted, at 2 or 3 in the morning, only to wake up a mere 3 hours later!  For lack of a better word, it was awful; I would be dizzy with fatigue, my mind clouded and my thinking impaired … It’s amazing what an extra 4 of hours of sleep, or lack thereof, can do to you!

Needless to say, do all-nighters do more harm than good?  Well, based solely upon personal experience and opinion, I’d like to think so.  But you don’t have to take my word for it.  There have been numerous studies done investigating the effects of sleep deprivation on academic performance, and the overwhelming majority have come to the conclusion that they do indeed enfeeble your grades.  Next time you come across the saying “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” take some time to think about it for a while; or rather, sleep on it.

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