Why Do We Need Sleep?

Why Do We Need Sleep?

Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body and mind. It helps you to recharge and feel refreshed when you wake up. This month in our Year of Living Well journal is all about how sleep affects us and how to improve our sleep schedules.

There are a few reasons why sleep is needed, from protecting your immune system to making sure you remember things. Here are the main ways sleep helps your body and mind stay healthy:


Immune system – Your immune system helps destroy infections, like the common cold. Sleep strengthens your immune system and gives your body the time it needs to rest and repair while you’re ill.


Concentration – A good night’s sleep can help you feel awake throughout the day. If you have a big decision to make, you more likely to make a mistake when you’re tired. Sleep helps you stay sharp.


Memories – When you sleep, your brain begins to organise the information you learn that day. It changes your short-term memories into long-term memories so that you remember important things for years to come.


Heart – Research has shown that if you’re not sleeping properly, your nervous system remains stimulated and your body releases stress hormones that keep you alert. When you sleep, your heart rate drops. This gives your heart time to rest.


Mood – If you’ve got a lot on your mind or are feeling worried, sleep can help you rationalise your thoughts. Living with depression or anxiety might make it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Make sure to speak to your GP if you think you might be struggling with your mental health.


Stay tuned for our next article on ways to get a good night’s sleep! You can download our 2024 Journal here, filled with tips to improve your sleep routine.