Do I really need to sleep?
The urge to sleep is a physiological drive that we cannot ignore. There are many scientific reasons why we need to spend almost a third of our lives unconscious and horizontal.
According to a recent research piece in Scientific American magazine, ” sleep does not serve just a single purpose. Instead it appears to be needed for the optimal functioning of a multitude of biological processes – from the inner workings of the immune system to proper hormonal balance, to emotional and psychiatric health, to learning and memory, to the clearance of toxins from the brain. At the same time, none of these functions fails completely in the absence of sleep. In general, sleep seems to enhance the performance of these systems instead of being absolutely necessary. And yet anyone who lives for months without sleep will die.
Research also shows an association between sleep restriction and the development of type 2 diabetes.
Given all the latest research on the many functions of sleep and the likelihood that yet more will be discovered, skimping on sleep is looking like a worse and worse strategy for dealing with the demands of daily life. Taken together, the results of studies looking at the role of sleep in hormonal, immunological and memory functions suggest that if you do not get enough , you could – besides being very tired – wind up sick, overweight, forgetful and very blue.”