Why Do We Sleep? By Grace

When you wake up early in the morning do you feel drowsy? Tired? Worn out? Or the exact opposite? Edgar? Peppy? Enthusiastic? Do you know the days when you feel happy, and when you feel worn out. Well, I bet that you feel great when you get enough sleep, and you feel worn out when you don’t. Sleep doesn’t only effect how you feel, but other important things as well. Such as your memory, mood, and much more.

While we are asleep many things happen in our bodies. There are 5 different stages of sleep. And they stages repeat every 90 minutes. During Stage 1 you can feel drowsy, and be able to wake up easily. In stage 2 You are in a bit deeper sleep. As you are in this stage your brain is telling our muscle to relax, your body temperature drops, Your heart rate is slower, and your breathing is becoming slower too. As you move on to stage 3 and 4 also known as Slow Wave Sleep. During this stage you are not sensitive to temperature, and it is very hard to wake up in these stages. Surprisingly these are normally the two stages that you sleepwalk and sleep talk in. In stage 4 if you wake up you get confuse for a few minutes. And the last stage is called Rapid Eye Movement (REM). You are the most active in your sleep during this stage. This is the stage where we dream, we move our eyes back and forth under our eyelids. You start to breathe less regularly, and your heart rate goes up. These are the stages of sleep.

That was what happen in sleep, but what impact does sleep have? It has an impact of our memory. According to Neuropsychologist Brenda Miller a experiment, she took out the hippocampus of a patient named H.M. And when they took it out, H.M. lost the ability to form both short term memory and long term memory, but he was able to do physical tasks with repetition because when we sleep, we regulate and balance our vital systems. And while that is happening, the Declarative Memory is stored in the anterior part of your hippocampus. Most importantly our brain is restructuring. This is very crucial for our memory. Normally we forget about 40% of the new things we learn in the first 20 minutes, also known as the forgetting curve. A 19 century phycologist figured that this can be solved by which when our short term memory is moved to our long term memory. This is called Memory Consolidation.

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When you wake up from sleep, there are also other things that sleep impacts us on. Try to imagine a day when you don’t sleep at all and feel tired and groggy. Then the next thing you now you are fighting with your friend for not a really good reason. This is a scenario that might happen if you don’t get enough sleep. You might not feel good. And then your mood changes. Your mood might cause you to feel angry or sad. It might even make you want to suicide. It won’t only make you feel that way but, it can also affect your risk taking behavior. Another reason that sleep affects you is because it can cause mood swings. Mood Swings are when you abruptly change your mood.

In addition to mood and memory, it also affects your daytime performance and safety. Have you ever stayed up late doing your homework, and then the next day you can’t wake up? Well, it would’ve been better to sleep more because if you don’t you are less productive at school. For example it would take longer to finish task, and since sleep also impacts your memory after study all night it will be useless.

So if you’re in debt of sleep, make sure you make it up so that you will feel good the next day. And if you feel good the next day it will improve your daytime performance, memory, and mood. Sleep impacts not only impacts those things, but lots more, so it is important to get enough sleep.

Credits:

Created with images by nile - "cat animal pet" • obpia30 - "clock time stand by" • michael.matuzak - "Sleeping kitties" • waitscm - "Tuckered out" • Meditations - "accountant accounting adviser" • lorenzocafaro - "correcting proof paper" • I Should Be Folding Laundry - "homework" • Snufkin - "book education paper" • ArtandFun - "dog lying sleep"

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